Installing Exchange 2010 in 20 Minutes or Less

This morning I set out to install Exchange 2010 on Server 2008 R2 and I was amazed I actually had this up and running within 20 minutes of booting my guest virtual machine. I have not looked in to many of the technical advantages of R2 over R1 for Exchange yet, but I can say that the installation requires a lot fewer prerequisite installs than on Server 2008 R1. Here's a quick guide to getting up and running on R2 with all the server roles installed.

  • Install a Server 2008 R2 RTM server. I'd recommend using Enterprise Edition so you can add a 2nd Exchange server later and test out the DAGs. I had a Sysprepped image I was able to boot up and join to the domain very quickly.

  • Copy the Exchange2010-RC1-x64.exe file to your server and run it. Choose a location to extract the files to.

  • Open a command prompt with administrative privileges and navigate to the folder where you extracted the Exchange files.

  • Issue the command: servermanagercmd.exe -ip scripts\exchange-all.xml

  • Ignore the warning about servermanagercmd being deprecated and restart the server when the installation completes.

  • Open the Services MMC.

  • Change the Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service startup type to Automatic. The prerequisite check for the CAS role requires this to be set.

  • Open a command prompt with administrative privileges and navigate to the folder where you extracted the Exchange files.

  • Issue the command: setup

  • Click Choose Exchange language option and then click Install only languages from the DVD.

  • Click Install Microsoft Exchange.

  • Click Next.

  • Accept the license terms and click Next.

  • Select Yes to enable error reporting and press Next.

  • Select Custom Exchange Server Installation and press Next.

  • Select the Mailbox Role, Client Access Role, Hub Transport Role, Unified Messaging Role and Management Tools. Press Next.

  • Name the Exchange organization and press Next.

  • Select No for Outlook 2003 clients or Entourage (pre-Web Services edition) and press Next.

  • Check the box Client Access server role will be Internet-facing, enter your public URL (mail.domain.com) and press Next.

  • Select the option to join the CEIP and press Next.

  • After the prerequisite check completes click Install.

  • You can see my installer completed in about 12 minutes, which is pretty damn cool. This was a VM with 3 GB of RAM with its VHD on a RAID 10 set. Imagine if this was a production machine with a real amount of RAM.

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