In case you haven’t heard, this week Microsoft unveiled preview editions of Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, Office 2013, Lync Server 2013, and the new version of Office 365. As you could imagine, there are a slew of new features in each product. From an Exchange point of view, we’re left with only two core server roles; Client Access Server and Mailbox Server. With this new architecture there are some changes to the deployment process. In this post we’ll walk through the installation of the Exchange Server 2013 Preview on Windows Server 2012. Keep in mind that this is preview only, and some of the screens, along with the technical details, are subject to change. The lab environment I’ll be using looks like this:
Active Directory Requirements & Prerequisites
Your Schema Master can still run Windows Server 2003, but your global catalog servers need to be running 2008 or higher. As before, your forest/domain functional levels should be at 2003 or higher. And of course, since this is a new installation of Exchange, the AD schema will need to be extended. For the purposes of this walk-through, this will be done over the wire from the Exchange server during setup. As a prerequisite for this, I’ve installed the RSAT-ADDS tools by issuing the following PowerShell command: Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS. For more details on the AD requirements, see the Network and directory servers topic under the Exchange 2013 System Requirements in the TechNet documentation.
Two of the main prerequisites are the Windows Management Framework 3.0 (which includes PowerShell v3) and the .NET Framework 4.5. Both of these are already installed on Windows Server 2012.
The remaining operating system prerequisites can be installed by issuing the following command from PowerShell. This will install the OS prerequisites for both the CAS and Mailbox roles:
Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 (Preview) Runtime
After you’ve installed the Desktop Experience feature as part of the previous step and have rebooted your servers, you’ll need to install the Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 runtime. Make sure you install this component on both the CAS and Mailbox servers. Once installed, remove/uninstall the Visual C++ 11 Beta Redistributable (x64) – 11.0.50531 from each server.
Office 2010 FilterFilter Pack
Make sure you install the Office 2010 Filter Pack and the Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 packages on the Mailbox server.
Installing the prerequisites is much easier on Windows Server 2012. There’s more steps involved in installing it on Windows Server 2008 R2. For full details, see Exchange 2013 Prerequisites on TechNet.
Graphical Install – Mailbox Server Role
The Client Access Server role is truly a front-end/proxy for the backend, which is the Mailbox Server role (sound familiar?). So we’ll start off by installing the back-end first, because with only a front-end, there is nothing to proxy to.
Initially setup.exe will check for updates
Next we get into the installation. If you’ve done a few Exchange 2010 installations, the options throughout the rest of the wizard will be very familiar.
Accept the License Agreement and click next
Specify your Error Reporting preference and click next
Some prerequisite checks will be performed. If any issues were found (missing prerequisites, etc.) this should let you know
Make you Server Role Selection and click next
Specify an installation path and click next
Since we’re installing into a clean forest, a new organization needs to be created as part of the Active Directory prep
Malware scanning, which is brand new in 2013. I’ve chosen NOT to disable it, so it will be turned on by default. You can read more about this under Anti-Spam and Anti-Malware Protection in the TechNet documentation.
Select an option for the Customer Experience Improvement Program and click next
Some final readiness checks will be made
Depending on the server resources in your lab, this next step can take a bit of time to complete. In my lab, this took at about 15-20 minutes on a VM with 4 vCPUs and 4GB of RAM.
Windows Firewall Configuration – CAS Server
Before installing your CAS, you need to modify the Windows Firewall to allow Exchange to access the registry of the Client Access server. When splitting the servers roles like this (CAS and Mailbox on independent servers) you’ll need to make sure that the Windows Firewall on the CAS server allows TCP port 139 inbound. On the CAS, perform the following steps:
- Open Control Panel\Windows Firewall
- Click Advanced Settings
- Click Inbound Rules
- Click New Rule…
- Select Port and then Next
- Select TCP and in Specify local ports, type 139. Click Next
- Select Allow this connection and click Next
- Click Next again to accept the default selections
- Enter a name and description for the new rule and flick Finish
Command Line Install – CAS Server Role
Command line installations have changed a bit as well. Now that we’ve got the Mailbox Server role installed with the GUI, lets deploy the CAS using a command line installation. To perform the install, use the following command from an elevated prompt:
Setup.exe /mode:Install /role:ClientAccess /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
Unlike previous versions of Exchange, setup.com is not used, and we can now use setup.exe to perform the install from the command line. Alot of the previous switches, such as mode, and role, still work, as shown above. The most interesting addition is the /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms switch which automatically accepts the Exchange 2013 Preview licensing terms. For full details, check out Install Exchange 2013 in Unattended Mode in the TechNet documentation.
After the installation is complete, you can manage Exchange 2013 with the shell, or through the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), which is a new web based management tool. The Exchange Management Console is no longer part of the product in Exchange 2013. To run the EAC, navigate to http://cas_server_name/ecp
Many of the configuration screens are very similar to what you would see in EMC. If you’re familiar with Exchange 2010 then you should be able to find your way around in here quite well.
Accessing a Mailbox from Outlook Web App
After the installation is complete, you’ll want to head over to OWA and send yourself an email to make sure your Exchange Server 2013 Preview is fully functional. You’ll still navigate to the CAS for this, e.g. http://cas_server_name/owa
As you can see from the screen shot, OWA has been completely overhauled. The user interface now supports the use of touch screens, enhancing the experience with tablets and smartphones. You can even go “offline” with OWA and access your mail without a connection to the server.
There’s so much more to talk about with Exchange Server 2013. Keep your eye on this blog and follow me on twitter for updates. To get started with Exchange 20103 and build your own lab, head over to the TechNet Evaluation Center and Download the Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Preview.