Microsoft Exchange 2010 Deployment Assistant

Microsoft has launched an interactive tool in the Q&A format that will be a sure help for  your exchange 2010 deployment. Tool is named “Exchange Deployment Assistant” in shot EDA.

To learn more about EDA you can visit Exchange Deployment Assistant page.

Currently the tool is supporting Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 upgrade path only. Hopefully, other transition and upgrade paths will be available soon.

 

Please do feel free to comment if I have missed on adding something here.

 

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Exchange 2010 RTM available for download

Folks playing around with Exchange 2010 since its beta release were waiting for the RTM launch. Wait ends here. Today, Microsoft launched the Exchange 2010 RTM officially and can be downloaded from Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Additional Information

Before you install Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft recommends that you review the summary of system requirements and technical information located in the Exchange Server 2010 Technical Documentation Library.

Expiration Notice

This time-limited version of Exchange Server 2010 will end 120 days after installation. 
Learn more about Exchange Server 2010, visit http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010.

So download, install and enjoy testing!!

Installing Exchange Server 2010 in Mixed Mode Environment – Part 2

In the first part of this post I described on how to prepare a your existing Exchange 2003 environment to run get it ready for the first Exchange 2010 server. In this post we I am going to talk about the installation part of the Exchange 2010 which is not very much difficult when you have your organization prepared and its schema extended for Exchange 2010.

Before even going to start installation of your Exchange 2010 server you still need to consider few things like; the support for legacy exchange clients like outlook 2003, and the legacy routing server which is supposed to be a bridgehead server in your exchange 2003 organization. Once you have made a decision about these things you can now proceed to installation. In my previous post I said it would be easier for your to go with GUI based installation but if you are planning to install support for legacy outlook clients you will need a public folder database which is not created by Exchange 2010 by default and you have to choose this manually. So, in this case I would prefer and also recommend going with a setup.com command line installer which is full of features (command line options) and can also be scripted if required. A notable thing here is if you really want to enable the legacy outlook support on an exchange 2010 server you must specify when you install the first Exchange 2010 server in the organization. By any chance if you have skipped this stage of defining this requirement you can create a public folder database manually and then replicate Free busy  public folders to this new database on your Exchange 2010 PF database.

So, are you prepared? If you think you are then lets start installing the first Exchange 2010 box in the org. I will do it both ways, the command way and the GUI. Due to restrictions of hardware resources I installed just a server with MBX, CAS and HT roles on it. So here is how I did it.

Command line (cmd.exe) from powershell on Windows 2008 R2 –

Setup.com /mode:Install /roles:CA,HT,MB /EnableLegacyOutlook /LegacyRoutingServer:Exchange2003.msexchanagegeek.com /ExternalCASServerDomain:mail.msexchangegeek.com

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Above command line will install CAS, HT, and MBX roles on the box where it is going to enable the legacy outlook support by creating a public folder database on it. /LegacyRoutingServer refers to a bridgehead server in your existing Exchange 2003 organization. You can specify the FQDN of this server after the switch. /ExternalCASServerDomain will be the domain that will be pointing to your Exchange CAS server.

In GUI you get above mentioned options at following screens. Exchange 2010 RC GUI didn’t provide any option to specify the legacy outlook support though.

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Now once you have selected these two very important options you can simply read through the GUI wizard and proceed with other steps and start installation.

Once the setup is completed open the EMC and notice the following things. You will see a public folder database generated during installation

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and the domain name that you used for your CAS server:

Here is something interesting, if you ever asked yourself a question that why would exchange 2010 setup ask you to provide this information about the external domain name then the answer is below figure. Exchange setup will automatically use this name in the properties dialog box of the OWA website and you don’t need to configure it manually unless there are any changes in your domain name.

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The next step is to verify the mail flow between legacy server and the newly installed Exchange 2010 as well as the OWA accessibility. In my current setup I have Administrator’s mailbox on legacy server and the Exchange Geek’s mailbox on Exchange 2010 server.

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Once this is confirmed that both users can send and receive email to each other its time to configure something that can allow users to connect to their legacy mailboxes even after using the https://mail.msexchangegeek.com/owa domain name. Exchange 2010 OWA will not open the legacy mailboxes for you yet it can help you with redirection to the legacy exchange OWA URL. To set this run

[PS] C:>Set-OwaVirtualDirectory -Identity "owa (Default Web Site)" -Exchange2003Url https://mail.msexchangegeek.com/exchange

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To perform this operation you must have SSL enabled on your Exchange 2003 OWA website as well as the form based authentication configured.Though the redirection will take place automatically on Exchange 2010 you must configure your ISA boxes or firewalls for this redirection.

In next part I will write about rest of the stuff about configuration like OAB and Free/Busy information and other. Till then do let me know if you find any kind of documentation bug or mistakes in the posted entries.

 

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Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008 R2 will be supported soon

Microsoft Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008 R2 support is under consideration perhaps Microsoft has already made decision to support this combination. Though there is no further information available on this yet you can read the official story here Supporting Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008 R2