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Preparing Your Environment for Exchange Server 2010

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3/21/2011 11:24:14 AM
Before deploying Exchange Server 2010, there are several steps that must be done, and several more that should be done.

Performing an Active Directory Health Check

This is a step that should be done, especially if AD is not being set up from scratch (as it is in our scenario). The existing AD environment should be validated to ensure it is functioning correctly. Since Exchange Server relies so heavily on Active Directory, an extensive health check utilizing tools such as DCDIAG, NETDIAG, and Replication Monitor can help identify any underlying problems that will impact the installation or performance of Exchange Server. A combination of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Support tools can be utilized for these tasks.

For detailed instructions on performing an AD health check, see the Digital ShortCut titled Performing an AD Health Check (Sams Publishing, ISBN: 0-7686-6842-5), which can be purchased and downloaded from www.samspublishing.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=0768668425.

Granting the Appropriate Permissions

To install Exchange Server 2010, you must make sure the domain account you will be using is a member of the following groups: Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins, and Schema Admins.

To do so, perform the following steps:

1.
On the domain controller, from the Start menu, select Administrative Tools, then Active Directory Users and Computers.

2.
Expand your domain name and select the Users organizational unit (OU).

3.
Right-click Users and click Find. Enter the name of the account that you will be using to install Exchange Server 2010 and click Find Now.

4.
Double-click the user account and select the Member Of tab.

5.
Click Add. In the Enter the Object Names to Select field, type Enterprise Admins; Domain Admins; Schema Admins (separated by semicolons as shown). Click Check Names to ensure all group names are resolved, and then click OK. Ensure all three groups show in the Member Of section and click Apply. Click OK to exit the screen.

Installing the Base Operating System on Your Exchange Server

Exchange Server 2010 can be installed only on a 64-bit version of the Windows Server 2008 Operating System. Although either Standard or Enterprise can be used, the Enterprise version is required for some of the more advanced Exchange Server features.

After you complete the setup of the base operating system, perform the following steps to join the server to the domain:

1.
Install Windows Server 2008 on your Exchange server. Do NOT continue with the installation of Active Directory on this server.

2.
Configure your Domain Controller/DNS server as the Preferred DNS Server in the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) settings of your new Exchange Server.

3.
From the Initial Configuration Tasks screen, click Provide Computer Name and Domain.

4.
On the Computer Name tab, click Change.

5.
In the Member Of section, select the Domain radio button and type the name of the domain you created. In our example, this is companyabc. Click OK to continue.

6.
Enter the administrator name and password for your domain and click OK.

7.
When prompted Welcome to the companyabc Domain, click OK; then click OK again to acknowledge that the computer must be restarted. Close all open windows and, when prompted, click Restart now.

8.
After the computer restarts, from the log on screen, click Switch User; then click Other User and enter the domain administrator credentials in the following format:

–domain\administrator, where domain is the name of your domain, and administrator is the administrative account for that domain.

Prepare Internet Explorer to Accept ActiveX Downloads

The default security settings of Windows Server 2008, combined with the default security settings of Internet Explorer 8.0, can result in some real challenges when attempting to download the prerequisite applications for Exchange Server. To ease the process, perform the following steps.

1.
On the new Exchange server, log on with your domain administrative account.

2.
Right-click the Internet Explorer icon and click Run as administrator. Ensure you have Internet connectivity by bringing up an Internet website. If you do not, troubleshoot your network settings and resolve any issues before continuing.

3.
In Internet Explorer, select Tools, and then Internet Options. Select the Security tab and then the Trusted Sites icon, and click Sites.

4.
In the Add This Website to the Zone field, type https://connect.microsoft.com and click Add. Then type http://download.microsoft.com and click Add. When finished, click Close.

5.
Click the Internet icon and click Custom Level. Under the ActiveX Controls and Plug-Ins section, change Download Signed ActiveX Controls to Prompt (recommended).

6.
Click OK and click Yes in response to the warning; then click OK again and exit Internet Explorer.

Installing the Prerequisites

There are some software applications that must be installed on the server before you can run the Exchange Setup Wizard. These applications must be installed regardless of which server role you are going to install. Follow the steps below to install these applications.

Installing Windows Remote Management 2.0
1.
Log on to the workstation with your domain administrative account.

2.
Insert the Exchange Server 2010 CD and allow Autorun to start the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Setup Wizard. You can also start the Wizard from a command prompt by typing d:\setup (assuming d:\ contains your E2010 installation media).

3.
If you have installed all updates for the server, Step 1: Install .NET Framework 3.5 should already be completed.

4.
Select Step 2: Install Windows Remote Management 2.0.

5.
Select the WinRM on Vista and WS08 (x64) option, and click Download beneath the file. When prompted This Website Wants to Install the Following Add-On, right-click the Internet Explorer Information Bar and select Install This Add-on for All Users on This Computer.

6.
Click Install to Install the Microsoft File Transfer Manager.

7.
If the Language Update box appears, click OK and install the selected file.

8.
When the Confirm Transfer Request box appears, browse to the location where you would like to store your prerequisite installation files. (Note: The browse feature does not allow you to create new folders, so if you are going to want to create a new folder for the storage of these files, do so in Explorer before trying to browse.) When you have selected the location, click Transfer.

9.
Once the file has finished downloading, click Close. You can then go to the directory where you stored the download. Double-click the WinRM on Vista and WS08 (x64) Directory; then double-click the installation file. When prompted to Click OK to Install do so.

10.
Accept the license terms by clicking I Accept.

11.
Once completed, click Restart Now.

Installing Windows PowerShell v2
1.
Log on to the workstation with your domain administrative account.

2.
Insert the Exchange Server 2010 CD and allow Autorun to start the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Setup Wizard. You can also start the Wizard from a command prompt by typing d:\setup (assuming d:\ contains your E2010 installation media).

3.
Select Step 3: Install Windows PowerShell v2.

4.
From the download page for Windows PowerShell V2, locate the download files and click Download next to the “PowerShell_Setup_amd64.msi” file.

5.
Click Run to run the file directly from the download page. If you receive a security warning, click Run again.

6.
From the Windows PowerShell Setup Wizard, click Next.

7.
On the License Agreement page, click I Accept the Terms in the License Agreement, then click Next, and then click Install.

8.
Click Finish when complete and close the Internet Explorer window.

Installing the 2007 Office System Converter: Microsoft Filter Pack

This section is required only for Exchange Server 2010 servers that have the Mailbox role installed on them.

1.
Log on to the workstation with your domain administrative account.

2.
Open Internet Explorer and go to www.microsoft.com/downloads. Search for 2007 Office Converter Microsoft Filter Pack. Select the Microsoft Filter Pack from the available options.

3.
Make sure you are on the 2007 Office System Converter: Microsoft Filter Pack page. Scroll down and click Download for the FilterPackx64.exe file. When prompted, click Run.

4.
From the Welcome screen, click Next.

5.
From the End-User License Agreement screen, click I Accept the Terms in the Licensing Agreement and click Next.

6.
When complete, click OK to exit the installation.

Installing the Active Directory Services Remote Management Tools

These steps will allow an administrator to perform the Schema and Domain prep commands from your Windows Server 2008 server.

1.
Open an administrator-enabled command prompt. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

2.
Run the following command:

ServerManagerCmd –i RSAT-ADDS

The progress of this command will sit at the <10/100> prompt for awhile—be patient and let it finish.

Upon completion, you see two Warnings in yellow stating You Must Restart This Server to Finish the Installation.

3.
After you have successfully installed the Role Administration Tools and the Active Directory Domain Services Tools, reboot the server as instructed.

Note

Simply running the ServerManagerCmd command above from a normal command prompt will result in a frustrating and poorly documented error:

WriteError: Failed to write the log file: Access to the path ‘C:\Windows\logs\ServerManager.log’ is denied.

The need to do this is the result of a newly added security component found in both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista that is known as “User Access Control” or “UAC.” UAC allows administrators to enter their credentials while in a non-administrators user session to accomplish administrative tasks without having to switch users, log off, or utilize the “run as” command. UAC also utilized the Admin Approval Mode (AAM) for all accounts except the built-in Administrator account in Windows Server 2008. AAM is designed to prevent malicious applications from installing without the knowledge of the logged on user.

AAM allows administrators to log on and receive a split user access token—the administrator receives both a full access token and a filtered access token. The filtered access token is used to start Explorer.exe (the process that creates the user’s desktop). All applications started by the Explorer.exe process inherit this filtered access token.

In short—with UAC enabled, administrators may have to confirm the installation of some applications or system changes, even when logged in with elevated privileges.


Preparing the Active Directory Forest, Domain, and Exchange Organization

Before you can install Exchange Server, the Active Directory Schema and Domain must be prepared.

Preparing the Schema
1.
From the Exchange server, log on with your administrative account. This account must be a member of the Schema Administrators and Enterprise Administrators groups.

2.
Copy the contents of your Exchange Server 2010 installation media to a directory on a local drive, such as c:\E2k10Install.

3.
From an administrator-enabled command prompt, change to the drive and directory that holds your Exchange Server 2010 installation media and run the following command:

Setup /PrepareSchema or Setup /ps

Note

Depending on how you obtain the media for Exchange Server 2010, you may need to copy the installation media to a local drive and run the setup from that local drive. If you do not, your installation may result in the following error:

An error occurred while copying the file d:\\en\Setup\ServerRoles\Common \en\Details Templates Editor.msc. The error code was 5.

If you did not copy the installation media locally and you receive this error, delete the contents of the c:\%windir%\temp file, copy the media locally, and run the command again.

4.
When completed, the screen should look like the one in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Preparing the Active Directory Schema.

5.
When finished, leave your Command Prompt window open and continue with the next section.

Preparing the Domain and Organization
1.
To prepare the Domain and Organization, log on to the Exchange server with your administrative account. This account must be a member of Enterprise Administrators and Domain Administrators groups.

2.
From an administrator-enabled command prompt, change to the drive and directory that holds your Exchange Server 2010 installation media and run the following command:

Setup /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:SG or Setup /p /on:SG

where SG is the Organization Name for your environment. In our lab, we are using TestLab as the Organization Name, so the command will look like this:

Setup /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:TestLab

3.
When completed, the screen should look like the one in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Preparing the Domain and Creating the Organization.

4.
When finished, leave your Command Prompt window open and continue with the next section.

Installing Additional Required Operating System Components

There are several additional operating system components that are prerequisites for all Exchange Server 2010 roles. Additionally, there are specific prerequisites that are required for each of the individual roles.

To determine what prerequisites are needed for each role, review the Exchange Server 2010 Prerequisites document on Microsoft Technet. You can find this by going to http://technet.microsoft.com and searching for “Exchange 2010 Prerequisites.”

The following components are required for a server that will contain the Hub Transport, Client Access, and Mailbox roles:

ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Server
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-ISAPI-Ext
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Metabase
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Basic-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Digest-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Windows-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Dyn-Compression
ServerManagerCmd -i NET-HTTP-Activation
ServerManagerCmd -I RPC-over-HTTP-proxy

To install these roles, perform the following steps:

1.
Log on with your domain administrator account. From an administrator-enabled Command Prompt, run each of the commands above or, alternately, run the combined command as shown here:

ServerManagerCmd –I Web-Server Web-ISAPI-Ext Web-Metabase Web-Lgcy-
Mgmt-Console Web-Basic-Auth Web-Digest-Auth Web-Windows-Auth Web-Dyn
-Compression NET-HTTP-Activation RPC-over-HTTP-proxy –Restart

Note the addition of the –Restart at the end of the command to ensure the server does not try to restart between component installations.

When complete, you should see Success: Installation Successful.

2.
Reboot the server upon completion.
Other -----------------
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : DirectAccess Scenario (part 6) - Monitoring the DirectAccess Server
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : DirectAccess Scenario (part 5) - Testing DirectAccess
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : DirectAccess Scenario (part 4) - Configuring DirectAccess Feature
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : DirectAccess Scenario (part 3) - Certificate Autoenrollment & IP-HTTP Certificate
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : DirectAccess Scenario (part 2) - Using a GPO to Configure Firewall Rules & Custom Certificate Template for IP-HTTPS
- Windows Server 2008 R2 : DirectAccess Scenario (part 1) - Configuring the Infrastructure
- Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Deploying Active Directory from Scratch (part 3)
- Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Deploying Active Directory from Scratch (part 2) - Promoting a Windows Server 2008 Server to a Domain Controller
- Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Deploying Active Directory from Scratch (part 1) - Installing the Windows Server 2008 Operating System
- Planning Your Exchange Server 2010 Installation
 
 
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