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Exchange 2007 prerequisites and custom server role installation

Find out about Microsoft Exchange 2007 migration and server role prerequisites, and learn step-by-step how to perform a custom server role installation.

When migrating to Exchange Server 2007 from previous versions of Exchange, there's more to the installation process than a simple upgrade. Server roles play a larger part in Exchange Server 2007, and the Exchange 2007 installation process varies considerably based on which server roles you plan to deploy. This tip begins with an outline of Exchange 2007's installation prerequisites and a brief introduction to its server roles, including the Hub Transport, Mailbox, Client Access, Edge Transport and Unified Messaging Server roles. It then explains step-by-step how to execute a custom Exchange 2007 server role installation and perform critical updates.


Exchange 2007 prerequisites and custom server role installation

 Part 1: Understanding Exchange 2007 server roles
 Part 2: Performing a custom Exchange 2007 server role installation

Part 1: Understanding Exchange 2007 server roles

There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing to migrate to Exchange Server 2007. First, the server will run only on a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003. There also are several prerequisites that must be met before you can install Exchange Server 2007. The majority of these prerequisites deal with various patches and add-on components that must be downloaded and set up before installing Exchange 2007. Required components also vary, depending on the server roles that you're deploying. Table 1 lists these prerequisites and links to download them online.

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Component

Mailbox

Hub Transport

CAS

UM

Edge Transport

Cluster

Administrative tools

Windows Server 2003 SP1/2  
.NET Framework 2.0

.NET Framework Update

MMC 3.0

PowerShell

MSDAPS.DLL update

X

X

X

X

X

TCP/IP update

MountMgr.sys update 

X

X

X

X

X

Required for shared disk clusters

X

Fileshare Witness Update

X

X

X

X

X

Required for CCR clusters

X

Windows Media Encoder Update

X

X

X

X

X

X

Voice Codec

X

X

X

X

X

X

SXML 6.0

X

X

X

X

X

X

ADAM 1.0 SP1

X

X

X

X

X

X

Table 1. Exchange Server 2007 prerequisites and components.

You may have to download many different updates. One timesaver that I use is to download all prerequisite files to a USB flash drive. I rename each file to reflect the order in which the component must be installed. When I need to install Exchange Server 2007 onto another server, I insert my flash drive and run the updates in order.

Before installing Exchange Server 2007, you must have a basic understanding of its roles. For detailed information on Exchange Server 2007's server roles, I recommend reading Admin 101: Server roles in Exchange Server 2007. Following are brief explanations of all of the server roles in Exchange Server 2007.

  • Hub Transport Server
    Exchange Server 2007 was designed so that every message passes through the transport pipeline. This allows greater control over email delivery and messaging related to compliance. Because the transport pipeline is implemented through the Hub Transport Server role, you must have at least one of these roles in each Exchange organization. This role can share a server with any other role, except the Edge Transport role.

  • Mailbox Server
    Servers hosting the Mailbox Server role can contain both mailbox stores and public folder stores.

  • Client Access Server
    Exchange 2007 servers hosting the Client Access Server (CAS) role act as OWA front-end servers. The CAS functions similar to Exchange Server 2003 counterparts. Before you can install the Client Access Server role, you should install Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).

  • Edge Transport Server
    A new server role in Exchange Server 2007 -- the Edge Transport Server -- is completely isolated from the rest of the Exchange organization. The Edge Transport Server performs various message hygiene functions on inbound SMTP email. While I recommend having an Edge Transport server on your network, it's optional. Because this server must be isolated from the rest of the Exchange organization, the Edge Transport Server role cannot run in conjunction with any other server roles.

  • Unified Messaging Server
    Unified messaging (UM) is a new feature in Exchange Server 2007. UM allows voice messages and faxes to be stored in Exchange mailboxes. The Unified Messaging Server role requires specialized hardware.

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Part 2: Performing a custom Exchange 2007 server role installation

When you install Exchange Server 2007, you have the choice to perform either a typical or custom installation. A typical installation doesn't allow you to select the server roles that you want to install – the Mailbox, Client Access and Hub Transport Server roles will be installed automatically. I recommend performing a custom Exchange 2007 installation. To do so:

  1. Insert the Exchange 2007 installation CD and double click on Setup.exe. Windows will display the Exchange Server 2007 Setup screen. There are three steps that must be performed prior to installing Exchange 2007. If you've already installed the prerequisite files listed in Table 1, then the first three installation steps will be in gray text (Figure 1).
  2. Exchange Server 2007 Setup screen
    Figure 1. Three steps must be performed before installing Exchange Server 2007 (Click on image for enlarged view.)

    While this screen only lists three pre-installation tasks, there are quite a few more prerequisites. This is because Setup doesn't check that all of the prerequisites have been met until later in the installation process; a few basics are covered upfront.

  3. After performing the three Setup tasks, click Step 4 -- Install Microsoft Exchange. Windows will launch the Exchange Server 2007 Setup Wizard.
  4. Click Next to bypass the Welcome screen and you will see the license agreement prompt. Accept the license agreement and click Next. You'll see a screen asking you if you want to enable error reporting. This function forwards any errors that may occur to Microsoft for analysis. Whether you enable this or not is a personal choice.
  5. Next, the Installation Type screen (Figure B) asks you if you want to perform a typical or custom installation. If you choose to perform a typical installation, Setup will install the Mailbox, Hub Transport, and Client Access Server roles, as well as various management tools.
  6. Exchange Server 2007 installation type
    Figure 2. During a typical installation, you don't have the option to select server roles. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

  7. Select Custom Exchange Server Installation, and then Next. You will be taken to the Server Role Selection screen (Figure 3). You must select the checkbox corresponding to the role that you want to install.
  8. Exchange 2007 server role selection
    Figure 3. Select checkboxes that correspond to the roles that you want to install. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

    These instructions are based a presumption that you will install a Mailbox Server. If this is the first Exchange 2007 server in your organization, then you'll also want to install the Hub Transport Server role.

    More Exchange 2007 resources:
    Tutorial: A primer on Exchange 2007 server roles

    Tutorial: Understanding Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

    Step-by-Step Guide: Test driving Exchange Server 2007

    Exchange Server 2007 Resource Center

    Tutorial: Managing Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 in mixed mode

    My Exchange organization currently has a Hub Transport Server role installed, so I won't install another one. While you can have multiple Hub Transport Servers in an organization, you typically would only deploy one Hub Transport Server per site. The remainder of this installation works the same way, regardless of whether or not you install the Hub Transport Server role.

    The management tools and any server roles are installed automatically. Before moving on, verify that the installation path, shown at the bottom of the Server Role Selection screen, points to the location in which you want to install Exchange Server 2007.

  9. Click Next and Setup will perform a readiness check to verify that your server meets all prerequisites for the selected server roles. Assuming that the readiness check completes without errors, click Install.
  10. When Setup completes, you will see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 4. Review this screen to ensure that no errors have occurred, and then click Finish.
  11. Finalize Exchange Server 2007 installation
    Figure 4. Verify that no errors have occurred before finishing the installation process. (Click on image for enlarged view.)

  12. The last step is to install critical updates for Exchange Server 2007. Click on this link and Setup will take you to Microsoft's Windows Update Web site.
  13. While bringing an Exchange organization up-to-date is important, this step isn't critical. Most organizations that are large enough to deploy their own Exchange servers most likely will have a WSUS server available for updates. I recommend applying Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) immediately after installation is complete. Once SP1 is installed, the WSUS server can handle any other required updates.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at http://www.brienposey.com.

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This was last published in March 2008

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