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Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Deploying Active Directory from Scratch (part 1) - Installing the Windows Server 2008 Operating System

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3/20/2011 9:57:21 PM
Before installing Exchange Server 2010, there must be an existing Active Directory environment to support it. The environment can be running on either a Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 platform. The following sections will focus on the steps needed to install an Active Directory environment on a Windows Server 2008 platform from scratch. This example can be followed in a lab environment to prepare it for the deployment of Exchange Server 2010.

This sample deployment will consist of a single site and single domain controller, as might be found in a small organization. The steps we will deploy include:

  • Installing the Windows Server 2008 operating system

  • Promoting a Windows Server 2008 Server to a domain controller

  • Configuring Active Directory Sites and Services

  • Configuring a global catalog server

Installing the Windows Server 2008 Operating System

Microsoft Exchange Servers rely heavily on the Active Directory environment they are installed in.

For those experienced with installing previous versions of the Windows Server operating system, most of the concepts covered in this section will feel very familiar. The installation of Windows Server 2008 is straightforward, and takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete. The following procedure is based on installing Windows Server from the standard media provided by Microsoft. Many hardware manufacturers include special installation instructions and procedures specific to their hardware platform, but the concepts should be roughly the same.

To install Windows Server 2008 (Standard or Enterprise Edition) perform the following steps:

1.
Insert the Windows Server 2008 CD into the CD drive.

2.
Power up the server and let it boot to the CD-ROM drive. If there is currently no operating system on the hard drive, it automatically boots into the CD-ROM-based setup.

3.
Select the language you wish to install, the Time and Currency Format, and the Keyboard or input method. When ready, click Next to continue.

4.
Click Install Now.

5.
Select which version of the Windows Server 2008 Operating system you wish to install. For this example, we will be installing Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (Full Installation) on a 64-bit platform. When ready, click Next to continue.

6.
Review the Microsoft Software License Terms, click the “I accept the license terms” check box, and click Next to continue.

7.
Select Custom (advanced) to install a clean copy of Windows.

8.
Select the physical disk on which Windows will be installed and click Next to continue.

The server will begin the installation process, rebooting several times during the process.

1.
A default account called Administrator will be created, but you will have to set the password for this account. When prompted The User’s Password Must Be Changed Before Logging on the First Time, click OK to continue.

2.
Enter the new password for the Administrator account in both the New password and Confirm password fields, and then press Enter. When prompted Your password has been changed, click OK.

Once the installation process has completed and the server reboots, there will be an Initial Configuration Tasks screen. Perform the steps in the Provide Computer Information section as follows:

Set Time Zone
1.
Click Set Time Zone. On the Date and Time tab, review the current Date, Time, and Time zone settings and configure them as needed.

2.
If desired, up to two additional clocks can be configured for additional time zones with customized display names. If you wish to display more than one clock, select the Additional Clocks tab and configure them.

3.
By default, Windows Server 2008 servers are configured to automatically synchronize with time.windows.com. The server is configured to synchronize once a week. If you need to change the source of your time updates, you can click the Internet Time tab.

4.
Click OK to return to the Install Configuration Tasks screen.

Configure Networking

Windows Server 2008 has a completely redesigned implementation of the TCP/IP protocol stack which is known as the “Next Generation TCP/IP stack.” This updated functionality applies to both Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

1.
Click Configure networking, double-click the Local Area Network Connection icon, and then click the Properties tab.

2.
Double-click the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option and configure an appropriate IP address, Subnet mask, Default gateway, and preferred DNS server for your environment.

3.
Click OK to save your changes.

4.
Perform the same steps to configure the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).

5.
Save all settings and exit the Network Connections utility.

6.
Launch Internet Explorer and confirm internet connectivity. Adjust your network settings if necessary to allow the computer access to the Internet.

Provide Computer Name and Domain

Each computer on a Windows network and in Active Directory must have a unique computer name. This name, known as the NetBIOS name, allows users, resources, and other computers to contact this computer on the network.

A standard NetBIOS name is limited to 15 characters and should only consist of letters (A-Z, a-z), digits (0-9), and hyphens (-). For example, weinhardt-dc is a standard computer name, but weinhardt_dc is nonstandard. Although the implementation of a DNS server will allow you to use nonstandard computer names and still find the resources in your environment, servers as critical as domain controllers and Exchange servers should only use standard computer names.

1.
Click Provide Computer Name and Domain. If you have already closed your Initial Configuration Tasks screen, you can click Start, right-click Computer, select Properties; then, beside Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup Settings, click Change Settings.

2.
On the Computer Name tab, click Change.

3.
Under Computer name, enter the computer name for this machine; then click OK to continue.

4.
Acknowledge that you must restart your computer to apply these changes by clicking OK, and then click Close.

5.
When prompted You Must Restart Your Computer, click Restart Now.

Enable Automatic Updating and Feedback

Windows Server allows you the option of automatically applying updates as they are released from Microsoft. While this option may be a good idea for some applications, most organizations require change control procedures before updating servers as business critical as domain controllers and Exchange servers.

1.
Click on Enable Automatic Updating and Feedback. Although the first option, Enable Windows Automatic Updating and Feedback, states that it is “recommended,” in this author’s opinion, that setting is NOT recommended for domain controllers or Exchange servers. Instead, click on Manually Configure Settings.

2.
Under Windows Automatic Updating, click Change Setting. Set the automatic updates according to your organization’s policies. The author recommends selecting either Download Updates but Let Me Choose Whether to Install Them or Check for Updates but Let Me Choose Whether to Download and Install Them. Additionally, the author recommends Include Recommended Updates When Downloading, Installing, or Notifying Me about Updates, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Configuring automatic updates.

3.
When ready, click OK to continue.

4.
Review the Windows Error Reporting and Customer Experience Improvement Program settings. The author recommends the default settings, as shown in Figure 2. When finished, click Close to continue.

Figure 2. Configuring Windows Error Reporting and Customer Experience Improvement Program.

5.
Click Download and Install Updates; if prompted to Install new Windows Update Software, click Install Now. As part of the installation process, the Windows Updates application will automatically close and reopen and begin checking for updates.

6.
At this point, you can either click View Available Updates and select which ones to install or simply click Install Updates to automatically download and install all available updates.

7.
Accept any license agreements and click Finish to begin installing available updates. Monitor the installation, as you may have additional prompts from the installation process. When finished, if a restart is required, click Restart Now.

8.
When the server has rebooted, log on again and return to the Download and Install Updates section.

9.
Click the option to Get Updates for More Products.

10.
From the Microsoft Update site, place a check mark in the I Accept the Terms of Use box and click Next.

11.
Select Use Current Settings and click Install; then on the User Account Control window, click Continue.

12.
When complete, your server now checks for updates for all Microsoft products on the server (such as Exchange Server), and not just for the standard Windows updates. Close all windows to finish.

This concludes the installation of the Base operating system for both the Domain Controller and the Exchange Server 2010 server.

Other -----------------
- Planning Your Exchange Server 2010 Installation
- Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Understanding Role Based Access Control
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- Windows Server 2008 R2 : Traditional VPN Scenario (part 2) - Setting Up the Network Policy Server & Configuring the Network Policy Server
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : Traditional VPN Scenario (part 1) - Setting Up the Certificate Server & Certificate Autoenrollment
- Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Understanding the Active Directory Requirements for Exchange Server 2010
- Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Understanding the Prerequisites for Exchange Server 2010
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