Exchange 2010 Preparing the Environment

In my last blog, I laid out the basic steps of performing a migration to Exchange 2010. Since the most probable customers choosing to migrate will have Exchange Server 2003, the direction of the migration will be based on the following environment:
- A single domain Windows Server 2003 Active Directory environment with the highest domain and forest functional levels.
- A single Exchange Server 2003 SP2 server. This will host OWA with forms based authentication. Thus, it has SSL enabled with the CNAME of mail.shogun.local. (Shogun is my test lab domain name. Long story.)
- A workstation running XP and Outlook 2003. Using a latter version will not have any impact on the migration. There are features of Exchange 2010 that will not be available using Outlook 2003. We’ll upgrade this down the road to play with those.

In addition to these operating systems, the prospective Windows Server 2008 server may need to be in place as well. To prepare the environment, the schema will have to be modified, permissions will be modified and various other configurations will be performed on a domain controller. The Exchange 2010 RC is compiled only for 64 bits. Customers may not have a domain controller running a 64 bit version of Windows Server 2003. So you will have to have a 64 bit platform to run the preparation steps.

If you are going to use the Windows Server 2008 server, you will also need to install the Active Directory management tools which includes ldifde.exe. The following command in bold will install these tools:
c:\exchange 2010>ServerManagerCmd -i RSAT-ADDS

Start Installation...
[Installation] Succeeded: [Remote Server Administration Tools] Role
Administration Tools.
[Installation] Succeeded: [Remote Server Administration Tools] Active Directory
Domain Services Tools.
Warning: [Installation] Succeeded: [Remote Server Administration Tools] Server
for NIS Tools. You must restart this server to finish the installation process.

Warning: [Installation] Succeeded: [Remote Server Administration Tools] Active
Directory Domain Controller Tools. You must restart this server to finish the ins
tallation process.


Success: A restart is required to complete the installation.

Another requirement is PowerShell 2.0. This is not available on Windows Server 2008 installations. This is not available on the installation bits for the Exchange 2010 RC version either. PowerShell 2.0 doesn’t appear to be released at an RTM release. The setup.exe program sends you to a web site to download the "Core PowerShell & WinRm for Vista and Windows Server 2008" x64 :

There are a series of preparatory commands which are run on the Active Directory forest using the Exchange 2010 tool:

- /PrepareLegacyExchangePermissions (/pl) prepares “legacy Exchange permissions in every domain in the forest containing Exchange Enterprise Servers and Exchange Domain Servers groups.”
- /Prepareschema (/ps) modifies the schema as other installations of Exchange have done in the past.
- /PrepareAD (/p) creates the organization structure in Active Directory if not already there. In addition, it creates the Microsoft Exchange Security Groups organizational unit and the groups that go into it. And lots more!
- /PrepareDomain (/pd) primarily sets permissions on the domain for the newly created groups. This is run on all domains which will have an Exchange server in it.

The first two, /pl and /ps are executed within the /p command so you could execute just that one. Also, the first one /pl is also executed by /ps. The reasoning for separating the commands is to allow different users to run them on at a time. /Pl and /pd require a member of the Domain Admins group. /Ps requires a user account that is a member of the Schema Admins and the Enterprise Admins group. /P requires just a member of the Enterprise Admin group. So the separation can assign specific parts to appropriate parties.

Running the command results as follows:
c:\exchange 2010> /preparelegacyexchangepermissions

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Unattended Setup

By continuing the installation process, you agree to the license terms of
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. If you don't accept these license terms,
please cancel the installation. To review these license terms, please go to

No key presses were detected. Setup will continue.
Preparing Exchange Setup

Copying Setup Files ......................... COMPLETED

No server roles will be installed

Performing Microsoft Exchange Server Prerequisite Check

Organization Checks ......................... COMPLETED

Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server

Updating legacy permissions ......................... COMPLETED

The Microsoft Exchange Server setup operation completed successfully.

The other commands look very similar in how they run. I ran them in succession as a member of the Enterprise Admin & Schema Admin groups without much difficulty.

Now, the Exchange environment is now properly prepared to allow the installation of Exchange 2010. In the next blog, we’ll run through the typical installation with plans on adding and additional Exchange server to provide high availability of the MB, CAS and HT services in the future.


Alex said…
I think this problem calls for especial decision just like the next with the help of a program. For example I would advise the next tool, which I found out at a soft forum some days ago. I'm sure it is able to manage many complicated problems related to ms exchange - how to recover mails from exchange db.

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