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This post is a Step by Step Guide to Install Exchange Server 2016. The installation considers a single server deployment of Exchange Server 2016 with the Mailbox role. Before you install Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, I recommend that you install it in an isolated test environment. The test environment will act as your proof of concept for your new Exchange 2016 design and make it possible to move forward or roll back any implementations before deploying into your production environments. When it comes to installing Exchange Server 2016, you could install it in 2 ways. The first method is more of GUI based setup where you run setup without any command-line switches. This provides an interactive experience where you are guided by the Exchange 2016 Setup wizard. The second method is you run setup with command-line switches that facilitates you to install Exchange from an interactive command line or through a script.
Here are some of the topics that I strongly recommend you to go through first before setting up Exchange 2016.
Exchange Server 2016 can be installed on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. I prefer to install it on Windows Server 2012 R2 as it is more stable. For both versions of Windows Server either the Standard or Datacenter edition can be used to run Exchange Server 2016.
Softwares required to be installed
Before you install Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, you need to prepare your Active Directory forest and its domains. In my lab setup I am installing Exchange 2016 on a server that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition. The account that is used to install exchange server is a member of Enterprise Admins group and Schema admins group. Exchange needs to prepare Active Directory so that it can store information about your users mailboxes and the configuration of Exchange servers in the organization. For Exchange 2016 setup, you need to install various Windows roles and features, .NET Framework 4.5.2 or later, and other required software. Let us start with installing Microsoft .NET framework 4.5.2 on the machine where Exchange 2016 is going to be installed. Download and install .net framework 4.5.2 and click Finish.
Open Windows PowerShell and run the following command to install the Remote Tools Administration Pack.
Prerequisites for Mailbox Server Role
In this section we will see the prerequisites that needs to be installed on a server running a standalone Exchange 2016 server with the Mailbox Server Role. Launch the Windows PowerShell (run as administrator). Run the following command to install the required Windows components. You must restart after the server to complete the installation process.
Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, 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
Prerequisites for Edge Server Role
If you are planning to install Edge server role then run the following command to install the required Windows components.
Extend the Active Directory schema
Before you install Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, you need to extend the active directory schema and prepare your Active Directory forest and its domains. Mount the Exchange Server 2016 installation Media. Launch Command Prompt (run as administrator) and navigate to path where setup files are present. Once you successfully enter the below command, the prerequisite analysis and extending AD schema steps should shows the status as Completed.
Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
Prepare Active Directory
Next step is to prepare the Active Directory. In the same command prompt that you launched, run the below command by replacing organization name with a name.
Setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:”<organization name>” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
The next step is to download and install Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime. The download link is mentioned in Softwares required to be installed section.
Additionally, run the below command to avoid the Error: The Windows component RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface isn’t installed on this computer and needs to be installed before Exchange Setup can begin.
You have now prepared your server to install Exchange Server 2016.
Installing Exchange Server 2016
Download the Exchange 2016 installation files from the Microsoft Download Center. Log on to the computer on which you want to install Exchange 2016. Navigate to the network location of the Exchange 2016 installation files. Start Exchange 2016 Setup by double-clicking Setup executable. On the Check for Updates page, choose whether you want Setup to connect to the Internet and download product and security updates for Exchange 2016. If you select Connect to the Internet and check for updates, Setup will download updates and apply them prior to continuing. If you select Don’t check for updates right now, you can download and install updates manually later. Click Next to continue.
The Introduction page begins the process of installing Exchange into your organization. Click Next to continue.
On the License Agreement page, review the software license terms. If you agree to the terms, select I accept the terms in the license agreement, and then click Next.
On the Recommended settings page, select whether you want to use the recommended settings. If you select Use recommended settings, Exchange will automatically send error reports and information about your computer hardware and how you use Exchange to Microsoft. If you select Don’t use recommended settings, these settings remain disabled but you can enable them at any time after Setup completes. Click Next.
On the Server Role Selection page, choose whether you want to install the Mailbox role or just the Management Tools on this computer. The management tools are installed automatically if you install the Mailbox server role. Select Automatically install Windows Server roles and features that are required to install Exchange Server to have the Setup wizard install required Windows prerequisites. You may need to reboot the computer to complete the installation of some Windows features. If you don’t select this option, you need to install the Windows features manually. Click Next.
If you’re installing the Mailbox role, on the Malware Protection Settings page, choose whether you want to enable or disable malware scanning. If you disable malware scanning, it can be enabled in the future. Click Next to continue.
On the Readiness Checks page, if all readiness checks have completed successfully, click Install to install Exchange 2016.
Once the setup is complete, click Finish. Restart the computer after Exchange 2016 has completed.
Let’s now open Exchange Admin Center. Open the web browser and type the below https://Exchange Server FQDN/ECP. This link should show up the Exchange Admin Center. Enter the username and password and click sign in.
You are now ready to explore the options available in Exchange admin center. Further, you could also see Exchange 2016 post-installation tasks.