Welcome again! This is the second post in the 6 part series that will explain and help you understand the prerequisites for Exchange Server 2010. In the first part, I explained the various server roles in Exchange Server 2010.
Every application that you try to install will have its own share of needs and requirements for it to be able to perform at an optimum level. Exchange Server 2010 is no different, before we jump right into implementing Exchange, we need to understand what are the prerequisites that will help us install it seamlessly.
Active Directory Infrastructure
Exchange Server 2010 relies on an Active Directory Infrastructure to do its job. So, the absolute two necessities that need to be taken are that you need to have a AD domain and DNS infrastructure. Within an AD domain we need to make sure that we have at least one Domain Controller which is a Global Catalog Server.
64-bit Operating System
From the inception of Exchange right through the Exchange Server 2003, it has always been an 32-bit application. Well, this technology was able to handle the mails in the past, organizations today have a more demanding messaging requirements.
Nowadays the messaging requirements of an organization require one to be able to access emails through the internet with ever increasing message traffic.
This led to Exchange Server 2010 to be a 64-bit application only. By using 64-bit architecture, it has enhanced processor and memory utilization. This performance gain will help organizations be able to connect to their mailboxes with different mail connecting clients. This is critical as more and more organizations will take advantage of Outlook Web App (OWA) and Active Sync.
Hence, it can be installed only on 64-bit Operating System. It could be Windows Server 2008 running with Service Pack 2 or later.
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
The Microsoft .NET Framework is a Microsoft Windows component that allows the ability to build, deploy, and run Web Services and other applications. All the new products that come from Microsoft now rely more and more with .NET framework in some capacity or the other.
Windows Server 2008 R2 ships with .NET framework 3.0, be sure to apply the updates from Windows update and get the latest version of .NET framework. The latest version is .NET framework 4.5.1.
Windows Remote Management 2.0
Well, this is the part that I love absolutely. The Exchange Management Shell is a command line interface that helps you manage your Exchange organization effectively without relying on the GUI.
The Windows Remote Management (WinRM) 2.0 is the transport mechanism that enables your local version of Windows PowerShell to connect to remote Exchange servers, be it in the next room or in a different country.
Windows Powershell V2
PowerShell is an extensible command-line shell and scripting language from Microsoft that integrates with the .NET Framework to allow administrators to perform just about any task in an Exchange environment from a command line. From simple to complex, scripts can be written using the PowerShell scripting language to save administrators from time consuming and repetitive tasks.
Windows Server 2008 R2 ships with Powershell V2 by default. Though, I would recommend to use Powershell V3 at least.
Windows Powershell V2 introduces several new features over its predecessors. They are:
- PowerShell Remoting — Allows scripts and cmdlets to be executed on a remote machine, or several remote machines.
- Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) -- GUI-based PowerShell host that provides an integrated debugger, syntax highlighting, tab completion, and up to eight PowerShell consoles.
There are many more advantages, but I have mentioned the two most important ones.
Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0
Internet Information Services (IIS) remains a critical component that allows users to connect to Exchange services over the Internet using Outlook Web App (OWA), Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) and ActiveSync. It is installed by default in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Okay, that was a long list of prerequisites. I know it was, but it’s better we take care of this now, rather than breaking our head later.
The next section will take you through to the Active Directory requirements for Exchange Server 2010.