Exchange 2016 Deployment Guide and Multitenant Configuration

By | September 30, 2017
QualTech Managed Email Services with Exchange 2016 | QualTech360Exchange

This guide we have put together is a step by step configuration guide we use to deploy Exchange 2016 under our hosting services and to configure multiple tenants using their own email domain name.

I’m not going in depth in the article because you better off downloading the guide and build a lab following the steps documented.

Active Directory Preparation

Create an Exchange admin accountQualTech Hosted Exchange 2016 Email | QualTech360Exchange

The first recommendation to start the installation is to use a system account as the admin account for Exchange. This account must be in the Enterprise Admins and Schema Admin roles. This is the account we use to run the installation.

In the Active Directory create new user and add it to the roles Enterprise Admins, Organization Management and Schema Admins. The Organization Management group is created by Exchange during installation.

Extend the Active Directory schema

This is the first step of the installation of Exchange 2016. For Exchange to be deployed the Active Directory schema must be updated.

Before running this part of the installation you must make sure .Net Framework 4.6.2 or higher is installed in the Active Directory server. It looks like the only way you have to verify this is to check the registry. You should check the release number in the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4\Full. You can find the release numbers here.

My recommendation is for you to run Exchange’s wizard to do this part. The account running the wizard must be member of the Schema Admins and Enterprise Admins roles.

  • The account you’re logged in as needs to be a member of the Schema Admins and Enterprise Admins security groups.
  • The computer where you’ll run the command to extend the schema needs to be in the same Active Directory domain and site as the schema master.
  • If you use theDomainController parameter, make sure to use the name of the domain controller that’s the schema master.
  • The only way to extend the schema for Exchange is to use the steps in this topic or use Exchange 2016 Setup. Other ways of extending the schema aren’t supported.

QualTech Hosted Exchange Email Services | QualTech360ExchangeWhen you’re ready, do the following to extend your Active Directory schema. If you have multiple Active Directory forests, make sure you’re logged into the right one.

  1. Make sure the computer is ready to run Exchange 2016 Setup.
  2. Open a Windows Command Prompt window and go to where you downloaded the Exchange installation files.
  3. Run the following command to extend the schema.
  4. <drive>:\Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Prepare Active Directory

When you run the command below to prepare Active Directory for Exchange, you’ll need to name the Exchange organization. This name is used internally by Exchange and isn’t normally seen by users. The name of the company where Exchange is being installed is often used for the organization name.

See additional information in the guide.

When you’re ready, do the following to prepare Active Directory for Exchange. If the organization name you want to use has spaces, enclose the name in quotation marks (“).

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt window and go to where you downloaded the Exchange installation files.
  2. Run the following command:
  3. exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:”” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Once these steps are complete you can view the Exchange objects in the AD in Active Directory and Computers select View>Advanced Features.

Prepare all of the domains in my Active Directory forestQualTech Managed Exchange Email | QualTech360Exchange

To prepare all of your Active Directory domains, you can use the PrepareAllDomains parameter when you run Setup. Setup will prepare every domain for Exchange in your Active Directory forest for you.

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt window and go to where you downloaded the Exchange installation files.
  2. Run the following command:
  3. exe /PrepareAllDomains /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

See the guide for additional preparation options.

You can check the new Exchange schema by opening ADSIEdit from the command prompt and check Exchange’s version as shown in the picture to the right. The picture shows the version for CU3. You can check the list of versions here.

Exchange deployment

Before you deploy Exchange in the servers you setup to host Exchange you need to make sure pre-requisites Windows components are installed one of them being the .Net framework 4.6.1. Follow on page 21 of the guide.

The easiest or quickest way to accomplish this is by using Powershell:QualTech Cloud Hosted Exchange Email | QualTech360Exchange

  1. Open Windows PowerShell.
  2. Run the following command to install the required Windows components.
  3. Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Server-Media-Foundation, 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, RSAT-ADDS

After you’ve installed the operating system roles and features, install the following software in the order shown:

  1. .NET Framework 4.6.2
  2. Install the Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime from here.

Mailbox server roleQualTech Exchange Email Managed Services | QualTech360Exchange

Once the installation of the required Windows roles complete you can go ahead and run Exchange’s setup wizard to deploy Exchange’s mailbox server.

A few things to look at and to think about:

  • you can find Exchange’s setup logs in <system drive>:\ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.log
  • add additional drives to host the mailbox databases.
  • mailbox size default to 25MB per mailbox. You can change this value but be aware of it because you need to calculate the disk space you need to host each customer (and their several mailboxes) and how to distribute customers by databases.

After running the installation open Exchange’s Powershell and type Get-ExchangeServer. It should display information related to your Exchange Mailbox server deployment confirming that it has been successfully deployed.

Starting on page 23 you will be guided through the creation and configuration of the mailbox databases:

  • Create and configure mailbox databases
  • Set virtual-directory external path
  • Configure SSL certificates
  • Create send connectors
  • Configure POP3 and IMAP4
  • Configure authenticated SMTP settings for POP3 and IMAP4 clients
  • How to setup your email client
  • DMZ port configuration
  • Multitenancy
  • Deploy and configure a DAG
  • Manage database availability group membership

Hope you find this guide useful to setup and configure your Exchange environment. Leave your comments or email us at info@qualtechsoftware.com with any questions.

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