Saturday, August 4, 2018

Installing Exchange Server 2019 Preview on Windows Server 2019 (Core and GUI)

Amongst other big changes, such as the lack of the Unified Messaging role from Exchange Server 2019, the biggest announcement has to be the fact that this is the first version of Exchange that can be installed on a Windows Server Core (either 2016 or 2019)!

So, without further ado, let’s look at how we install the Preview version of Exchange 2019 on a Windows Server 2019 Core as well as on a Windows Server 2019 with a GUI (Desktop Experience).

Preparing Windows for Exchange
After downloading the ISO or Hyper-V image from the Windows Insider Preview website, install the OS as you would normally. In this case, I am using Hyper-V server on a Windows 10 machine. After the OS is installed, the first step is to change the default Administrator’s account password:

Once this is done, we can either use SConfig.cmd or PowerShell to configure the server’s name, domain, network and other settings:

To use PowerShell instead, run start powershell from the command line, which will open a PowerShell window:

Using PowerShell, we can use the Get-NetIPAddress cmdlet to retrieve the network adapters on the server, and then New-NetIPAddress and Set-DNSClientServerAddress to configure it. For example:
New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceIndex 5 -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -DefaultGateway
Set-DNSClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex 5 -ServerAddress “”

To rename and join the server to the domain, we could use the following cmdlet:
Add-Computer -DomainName -NewName EX1 -DomainCredential nunomota\admin

Note that these PowerShell cmdlets can be used to configure both the Core and on the Desktop Experience versions of Windows Server.

Windows Features and Additional Software
We will let Exchange Setup configure the required Windows Features it needs, but there are two we have to install beforehand as they are required for Microsoft UCMA 4.0 and to prepare Active Directory:
Install-WindowsFeature Server-Media-Foundation, RSAT-ADDS

Next, we need to enable file sharing on our Core server, so we can copy some required files to the server. This can be done using the following cmdlet:
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="File and Printer Sharing" new enable=yes

Next, from another workstation, download the following software and copy it over to the server:

To install Visual C++, navigate to the location where you copied the file to, and simply run vcredist_x64.exe:

Now we need to install UCMA (Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0), which comes in the Exchange 2019 media itself. On the Core server, start by mounting the Exchange ISO file:
Mount-DiskImage C:\full_path\ExchangeServer2019.iso

Once this is done, go to the UCMARedist folder, and run Setup.exe to start the installation:

Finally, restart the server:
Restart-Computer -Force

Exchange Installation (Core)
After restarting the server, re-mount the Exchange ISO image and run an unattended installation as you normally would. We can either prepare Active Directory and the Domains separately or let the Setup do everything. In this case, let’s do everything separately.

First we use the /PrepareSchema switch to extend the Active Directory schema:

Next, the /PrepareAD switch to prepare Active Directory:

Then we use /PrepareAllDomains to prepare all the Active Directory domains:

Finally, we can install Exchange, and all the required OS components, using the same method we are used to with previous versions:
.\Setup.exe /Mode:Install /Roles:Mailbox /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms /InstallWindowsComponents

Once the installation completes, we can launch the Exchange Management Shell using LaunchEMS command from the command line:

Done! From here, we can manage this server using a variety of methods such as the Exchange Management Shell, Exchange Admin Center, remote PowerShell, and all the Windows management tools.

Exchange Installation (GUI)
As for the Desktop Experience version of Windows, we can obviously install Exchange unattended, or follow the installation wizard, which is pretty much identical to Exchange 2016:

Once installation has complete, we have the usual links in the Start menu:

We have our Exchange Management Shell:

And the Exchange Admin Center:

From a user perspective, they get the “new” Outlook in the Web :)

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