Announcing Exchange Server 2016 Preview!
Microsoft has provided documentation on the latest version of Exchange here:
Exchange Server 2016
Here are the various requirements for Exchange 2016:
(This is for the server on which Exchange 2016 will be installed)
- x64 processor - no GHz specified so probably any new (or recent) server.
- 8 GB RAM for the Mailbox role (4 GB for Edge role).
- Paging File - recommendation is still physical RAM plus 10 MB (maximum 32 GB).
- Disk space: 30 GB (with several hundred extra MB for various purposes). This is for the Exchange install and does not count size of mailbox databases.
Operating system (for the Exchange 2016 server)
- Windows 2012 or 2012 R2 (Standard or DataCenter)
- Management Tools can be installed on the above server OS and on Windows 8.1
- Forest Functional Level - Windows 2008 or above.
- Do not install Exchange 2016 on a domain controller. It is not clear if this will be discouraged (but supported as in previous versions) or not supported at all.
- Do not disable IPv4. Sooner or later we will have IPv6-only networks but this is not supported at this time.
Coexistence with previous versions of Exchange
- Exchange 2010 SP3 RU9 (some sources state RU10)
- Exchange 2013 CU8 (some sources state CU9)
Preview supports co-existence with Exchange Server 2010 SP3 RU10 and 2013 CU9
Active Directory upgrade operations
So, having added the RSAT ADDS tools, I navigate to the location of the Exchange 2016 setup file...
and execute the following command (click to enlarge):
setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
Next, we prepare "Active Directory" (as if the schema was not part of Active Directory...) with the following command:
setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:MYNET /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
Note: if we installed Exchange 2016 in an existing Exchange environment, we would not have to specify the organization name.
Note: this operation requires membership in the Enterprise Admins security group.
Note: in a single forest/domain environment, we do not have to prepare the domain separately with additional commands.
Installation of Windows Features
Next, we install several Windows features with the following command:
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
Note: we can copy and paste from the Microsoft Technet article referenced above (or from my blog post). No need to type the names of all the above features manually!
Installation of pre-requisite software.
We then install the following two software items:
- .NET Framework 4.5.2
- Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit
In my situation, .NET 4.5.2 was already installed on both the domain controller and the future Exchange server when I installed Windows updates. So I only need to install "UCMA":
Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime
We simply download the file and execute it, which results in something like this:
First, I execute the setup.exe file that we used earlier to upgrade Active Directory. This time, I simply double-click on it. The first screen prompts us to "Check for Updates". I opted to check for updates later (yes. even though the first option is selected in my screenshot):
Note: we click "Next" on each screen as needed.
Setup copies files...
And we can read the introduction to Exchange 2016:
We accept the license agreement (if we want to continue):
We select some settings here for feedback to Microsoft:
We then select the server role. As mentioned earlier, of the previous Cleint Access, Hub Transport and Mailbox roles, only the Mailbox role remains (besides the optional Edge role which would be installed in a DMZ):
We select the location where Exchange 2016 will be installed. For this first look at the product, I'll simply install it on the C: drive with the Windows 2012 R2 operating system:
Here is an example of a conversation on this problem:
Since this is only a first look at the product (and I was becoming impatient) I finally deleted the values (there were two) in this registry key:
Even then, I had to reboot once more to continue.
The computer needs to be restarted before Setup can continue
Finally, I can proceed (the message below is informative and will not block the installation):
Setup progesses. Notice that the former Client Access role is now installed as a simple service (this is also true for the former Hub Transport and Unified Messaging roles):
If all goes well, we should see this screen at the end:
Comments - and problems encountered
I was able to open the EMS and execute various commands, for example:
As the reader can see, I was able to open the EMS and execute some commands. On the other hand, I was never able to open the EAC. Besides the expected certificate error...
This error prevented me from using the EAC:
That is where I stopped for the time being.