Exchange Server 2016 – Design and Recommendations

This blog is cover the Software and Hardware Requirements. I have used the following environment to install Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with Forest mode as 2016.

Please visit Following web pages as per Microsoft Best Practices

Planning and deployment

Exchange 2016 System Requirements

Windows Server 2016 prerequisites

Lets Install all the PreRequisities

  1. Install “Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB3213522)“, which can be downloaded from here
  2. Install “Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime” on Windows Server 2016, which can be downloaded from here
  3. To Install Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016, Exchange 2016 CU 3 or later is required. I have used “Cumulative Update 4 for Exchange Server 2016 (KB3177106)“, which can be downloaded from here.  This is over 5Gb in size and will take some time to download.

Once you have all Downloaded all these installation files. You can start preparing your environment.

 

Extend AD Schema

Active Directory schema must be updated with new classes, attributes, and other items before installing any version of Exchange Server. This is required for new or upgrade environments.

AD Schema can be prepared from any server located in same Active Directory site. It needs to be performed by user who has Schema Admin and Enterprise Admin level permissions.

This whole process needs to be completed via following:

  • Extend the Active Directory schema
  • Prepare Active Directory
  • Prepare Active Directory domains

Extend the Active Directory schema

Before you can install Exchange 2016, first step is to extend the Active Directory schema. Exchange Server stores lot of information in Active Directory but without Schema update it will not be able to do so. Exchange needs to add and update classes, attributes, and other items in Active Directory. Perform following command from any server which is member of same AD site.

exchange-prep-05

Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Prepare Active Directory

After Active Directory schema has been extended,  Next step is to Prepare the Active Directory. This step will create containers, objects, and other items in Active Directory. The collection of all of the Exchange containers, objects, attributes, and so on, is called the Exchange organization.

exchange-prep-07

Setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:”<organization name>” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

or something like this. Replace the Organization with your Your Organization name.

.\setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:”HarmikBatth Exchange Lab” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Prepare Active Directory domains

This step is only required if you have more than one domain, where exchange will be installed or used for.

If you have multiple domains in your Active Directory forest, you have a couple of choices in how you prepare them. Select the option that matches what you want to do. If you only have one domain, you can skip this step because the PrepareAD command in step 2 already prepared the domain for you.

You can get the current Forest Information using PowerShell command.

$Forest = Get-ADForest

$Forest.ForestMode

exchange-prep-01

Get the domain using Following command lines

$Forest = Get-ADForest
$Domains = @($Forest | Select -ExpandProperty:domains)
Foreach ($domain in $domains)
{
Write-output “Domain $domain details are as follows”
$DomainDetails = Get-ADDomain $domain
$DomainDetails
}

exchange-prep-02

If you have more than one domain then this step is to prepare each of the Active Directory domains where Exchange will be installed or where mail-enabled users will be located. This step creates additional containers and security groups, and sets permissions so that Exchange can access them.

.\Setup.exe /PrepareAllDomains /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

You can also prepare the required domain(s) by specifying FQDN for the domain.

Setup.exe /PrepareDomain:<FQDN of the domain you want to prepare> /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Verify AD Schema Extension

To Verify that AD Schema has been extended, run the following command in Powershell

exchange-prep-06

“Exchange Schema Version = ” + ([ADSI](“LDAP://CN=ms-Exch-Schema-Version-Pt,” + ([ADSI]”LDAP://RootDSE”).schemaNamingContext)).rangeUpper

You will get version number such as 15317. Following table describes different Schema versions. So you can see that currently is 15317 and needs to e at least 15326 in order to install on Windows Server 2016.

Exchange Forest (rangeUpper) Forest (objectVersion) Domain (objectVersion)
2016 Preview 15317 16041 13236
2016 RTM 15317 16210 13236
2016 CU1 15323 16211 13236
2016 CU2 15325 16212 13236
2016 CU3 15326 16212 13236
2016 CU4 15326 16213 13236

If you try to install 15317 on Windows Server 2016, you will get following error:

The Windows component Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra isn’t installed on this computer and needs to be installed before Exchange Setup can begin

Make sure you install “Windows Server 2016 CU3” and use Exchange Server 2016 CU4 for installation.

Install Pre-Requisities

Install the Required Windows Features

  1. Install-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation, RSAT-ADDS

  2. Install .Net Framework 4.5.2 or higher
  3. Install Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime downloaded before
  4. Install Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB3213522) for Windows Server 2016

This will prepare the environment and you ready to Install Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with specific Cumulative Update.

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