Operations Manager – Creating an Exchange Server

In our last article we set up a dashboard. In this article we will create an exchange server, add it to Active Directory, and configure our exchange server to use alerts generated from Operations Manager.

Core-requisites

We will need a new virtual server running Server 2008R2 SP1 with up-to-date patches, and added to the domain. I named the server Exchang1.

Make sure the new virtual server uses a static IP Address and has dns configured on the server (in our case the DC) running Active Directory. The server must have a Forward and reverse dns entry. There are several hotfixes and patches that need to be installed to your server if you are running Server 2008R2 pre SP1, in this case it would be easier to upgrade your server to Service Pack 1. Install the vmware tools (if you are using vmware).

I have also created an additional 2 virtual machines running Windows XP and connected to the domain. This way I can make sure that exchange is working correctly and users can send email to each other.

Prerequisites for Exchange install

In this example we are going to install Exchange 2010 on a Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.Exchange 2010 needs .NetFramewortk 3.5 SP1 and Powershell V2. If these haven’t been in stalled on your system install them now.

Before Exchange can be installed we need to install some Windows components.

Install the 2007 Office System Converter: Microsoft Filter Pack. In our case we will use FilterPackx64.

Open PowerShell via the icon on the task bar or go to: Start, All Programs, Accessories, Windows Powershell, Right mouse click to select Run as Administrator, and Windows Powershell. Be sure that PowerShell opened with an account that has rights to install Windows components/features.

Run the following command: Import-Module ServerManager

This installation will be a single exchange server, serving all of our needs. A typical install with the Client Access, Hub Transport, and Mailbox roles run the following command in powershell:

Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework,RSAT-ADDS,Web-Server,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Metabase,Web-Net-Ext,Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console,WAS-Process-Model,RSAT-Web-Server,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Dyn-Compression,NET-HTTP-Activation,RPC-Over-HTTP-Proxy -Restart

This will start the installation of the above specified services.

For a full matrix of the required Windows components with regards to the Exchange server roles see: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691354(v=exchg.141)

Now run:

Set-Service NetTcpPortSharing -StartupType Automatic

To enable port sharing on the server that will be running Exchange. Reboot the exchange server.

Active Directory server preparations work

in case of failure, or anything unusual it’s a good idea to back up your domain controller before making changes to it. I exported my Virtual machine using VMware’s export function and saved it on my local host as an ova file. This way if there is a failure in extending the schema, or I need to restore functionality back to the way things were working I can use this full backup.

In Active directory, just for testing I created the following OU’s and users:

Marketing   – Sally a member With a password

IT, – Jake  a member With a password

Sales, Clint  a member With a password

Madmin (in the users group)  – Domain admins, Schema admins, Dns admins, Enterprise Admin

This is how my ad looks after

This is how my ad looks after

Madmin (in the users group)  – Domain admins, Schema admins, Dns admins, Enterprise Admin

More accounts to be added in order for Operations Manager to deliver alerts. 

 Active Directory setup for exchange

The active directory domain controller needs to be set up in order to accommodate exchange. Insert the Exchange Server 2010 ISO. Now open a command prompt as a system administrator.

Run the following commands to prepare Active Directory for the install of exchange. Wait for each process to finish before adding the next process.

Setup /PrepareLegacyExchangePermissions

Setup /PrepareSchema

Setup /PrepareAD /OrganizationName: BluePalace  

<you can put in your own Organization name instead of using BluePalace>

Setup /PrepareAllDomains

 

The Domain has now been set up to install Exchange.

AD setup has been completed

AD setup has been completed

Installation of Exchange on your Exchange Server

Insert the Exchange ISO into your exchange server. Open mmc, and load users and computers. Add your user account to the Administrators group and restart the server.

Go to your drive, and select setup.exe and Run as Administrator.

default first screen for exchange install

default first screen for exchange install

Select Step 3: Choose Exchange language option, now select Install only languages from the DVD

option

This will bring you to step 4. Select Step 4: Install Microsoft Exchange. This will close the autoplay screen and copy some files from the ISO to a temporary directory on your server. Select Next at the Introduction Screen.

introduction screen

introduction screen

Select I accept the terms in the license agreement. Select Next to continue.

exchange license

On error reporting select No and select Next to continue.

error reporting

Select the Typical install. Select Next to continue.

typical exchange install

typical exchange install

We are going to call the organization BluePalace. Select Next to continue.

name organization

We will not be using Outlook 2003, so select No at this prompt. Select Next to continue.

no outlook 2003

no outlook 2003

This exchange server will not face the internet. Select Next to continue.

non internet facing

Select No to customer improvement program. Select Next to continue.

exchange customer improvement program

exchange customer improvement program

Readiness checks will be performed on your environment. After this has completed, select Install to begin Installing Exchange. If you receive any errors, check your DNS settings or check your firewall settings (between your server and your domain controller).

exchange pre-requisites check

exchange pre-requisites check

After hitting install, go get a cup of coffee as it may take awhile to install.

exchange installed

exchange installed

Exchange has installed successfully.

Select Finish, to launch the Exchange Management Console.

Post Setup steps in Exchange

Log into your active directory server, and add some users into the Server Mangement group in the Microsoft Exchange Security Groups.

For example;

post setup AD

Check for the latest windows updates and restart your exchange server.

post exchange install

There are some more post set up steps to get everything working correctly.

In the exchange console, select Microsoft Exchange On-Premises, Organization Configuration, Hub Transport.

Select the Accepted Domains tab. Select New Accepted Domain (right side of screen), and type in your domain. In this case we will use BluePalace. Select Next to continue.

new accepted domain

 

Select Finish to continue.

new accepted domain2

This is what it should look like after:

Accepted domains

Go under to the send connectors Tab. Right mouse click and select New Send Connector. Give this send connector a name, select Internal (as this send connector will send emails inside. Select Next to continue.

new send connector

On the address space dialog box, select Add. Enter “*” in the address,  select the checkbox Include all subdomains and select OK.

wildcard

Select Next to continue. On network settings, leave it at the defaults and select Next.

Post steps if it works.

 

 

Recipient configuration setup

Select the Recipient configuration tab. Right mouse click and select New Mailboxes, Select the first setting User Mailbox. Select Next to Continue.

new mailbox

 

Select the second option, Existing users. Select the Add button. Select all of your existing AD users. In my example I have the following selected;

select all AD

Select OK. Select Next to Continue. On the alias settings, just leave it at defaults and select Next.

alias

Click New to create the Mailboxes for the AD users.

create boxes

Now, lets test exchange and make sure it actually is working.

Testing of Exchange

Now let’s test exchange to see if users can email each other in our new exchange environment.

Using the accounts we have created mailboxes for, log in as Sally. Open Outlook on Sally’s XP client. Select Next to Continue.

SallyonXP

 

Select Yes to Configure an Email account and select Next. Active directory will look up the users email account.

email accounts

Sally has found her account. Now just select Next to continue.

addnewaccount

Select Yes on the Security alert.

no cert

 

Select Finish to open Outlook.

acct added

Now, send everyone an email.

send emailtoeveryone

Log into to your second windows XP box as Clint, and set up his emailbox. Upon login, see if clint received an email.

Success!

received email

Now send an email from clint to Sally and check your first windows XP box (the one Sally is logged into) and see if it arrives. If Sally can see clint’s email everything is working correctly.

Customization of Exchange

Before customization of exchange I made a backup of it to ensure any new changes I make, don’t completely break my working version of exchange.I would like to customize exchange in order to send emails outside of my test lab. This way when I set up alerts in Operations Manager I can actually see them with my current gmail account.

I am customizing exchange to send my gmail account emails that should go to the inside. I had to follow an article located at:

to do it. I used the following settings to get emails in my test lab to go to my gmail.

http://community.mxtoolbox.com/blog/integrating-microsoft-outlook-and-exchange-with-google-apps/

 

 

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