In the first part of this series I took you through the process of installing both the Operating System and Software pre-requisites for Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2008 R2. In this part I would like to conclude by taking you through the (rather simple) process of installing Exchange 2013 itself.
Furthermore I would like to take you through some of the aspects of the new Exchange Administration Centre (EAC) which replaces the previous Exchange Management Console.
Installing Exchange 2013 – Video Overview
Below is the second part of my video overview series. In this part I go through how you can finalise your Exchange 2013 installation.
NOTE: The Exchange 2013 RP – can only be installed into a “green field” directory environment – e.g. It will not co-exist with Exchange 2007 or 2010 ~ so don’t try this as the install will fail with an Error: “All Exchange 2010 servers in the forest must be running Exchange 2010 SP3”.
Ok, so how do I drive this puppy?
One of the first things that you will notice is the lack of a definitive link to administer Exchange Server from within the Start Menu (see below). In Exchange 2013 the concept of the MMC based Exchange Management Console and the Web Based ECP (Exchange Control Panel) are gone.
These have been replaced with a new Web Based interface called the Exchange Administration Centre (or EAC for short). The EAC will take some getting used to for those who are used to MMC configuration in previous versions of Exchange – but those who have come from Lync backgrounds are likely to take to it well as conceptually the management concept I would say is very similar to managing Lync 2010.
The EAC is designed to allow for tighter integration between On-Premises, Online and Hybrid deployments through a single interface – as well as allow for better demarcation of roles through RBAC and simplify the deployment of the Exchange Management Tools.
But how to you access it? as it does not appear in the Start Menu!
You will need to open up Internet Explorer and type in the following: https://<yourserver>/ecp – if you would like to confirm the administrative URL’s you open the trusty Exchange Management Shell and type in:
Get-ECPVirtualDirectory | FT name,*url* –AutoSize
The output of this command should look like the following:
When you enter in the URL into your browser a page that looks like the following should open asking you to enter your Credentials:
When you have logged in you will be presented with the following:
One of the things that I like about the new EAC is that it is not “cluttered”. In previous versions of Exchange (2007 and 2010) I personally found that the MMC based interface could present you with too many options – or indeed hide the specific option that you were after in a location that did not make sense.
However, that being said – I am not completely sure at the moment if the new EAC will force more Exchange administrators towards the Exchange Management Shell (not necessarily a bad thing).
For example; I have not been able to find a means in the new Interface to “bulk create” mailboxes for existing AD accounts – which you could do in the old Exchange 2010 / 2007 MMC – but you never know it might make it into the RTM!
I have provided a very quick overview (ramble) of the Exchange 2013 EAC for your viewing below:
Sex, Drugs and Exchange 2013 Rolls
Well, perhaps not the sex and drugs (unless of course you are some kind of depraved Exchange admin that lives on the edge ~ no pun intended).
Some of the biggest news to come out in the Exchange 2013 Preview is that there are now only two Server Roles:
- Client Access
The other roles (UM and HT) have been consolidated down onto one of the above (HT to CAS and UM to Mailbox).
The Mailbox Server role is the storage and UM end of business for Exchange 2013. The Mailbox role provides resilient storage for mailbox and PF data. In Exchange 2013 – whilst it maintains it key storage element and acts as an end point for client connections from the CAS servers – it also handles all Unified Messaging requests and services.
It is still important to note that the mailbox server role is only a responding end point to client requests which are proxied by the CAS Servers – no client connects directly to a mailbox server (unless, of course you have the CAS and MBX role on the same hardware – but even then none of the mailbox related services are connected to directly).
It is recommended that if you plan to split your roles out, install the Mailbox Server role first.
Client Access Server
The CAS role performs a number of functions which include (from Microsoft):
- Provides a unified namespace, authentication, and network security.
- Handles all client requests for Exchange.
- Routes requests to the correct Mailbox server.
- Proxies or redirects client requests for legacy servers, such as Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 Client Access.
- Enables the use of layer 4 (TCP affinity) routing – this is of particular interest as it means that Load Balancers which do not support affinity or affiliation can be used with Exchange (Windows NLB anyone?)
Perhaps one of the best new features is the last bullet point above – in essence, due to the architecture changes it does not matter which CAS you have connected to when using Outlook. One of the best explanations for this I have found is here.
Aside from the the above, the CAS servers in 2013 provide the following “Front End” Transport Services:
- Protocol level filtering Performs connection, recipient, sender, and protocol filtering
- Network protection Centralized, load-balanced egress and ingress point for the organization.
- Mailbox locator Avoids unnecessary hops by determining the best Mailbox server to deliver the message to.
- Load-balances client and application SMTP requests.
Another big change here to be aware of is that all Outlook client access is now provided via RPC over HTTP(s) – and MAPI is purely used for backend Mailbox Server communication. So if you are manually configuring mailboxes you will need to be making use of the Exchange Proxy settings within the Outlook mail control panel:
Living on the Edge – What Happened to Edge Transport?
The Edge role is not present in the release preview of Exchange 2013 where I believe the intention is to release it a little later post RTM within a Service Pack. In the interim, and certainly for the 2013 release preview you can use the Exchange 2010 SP2 Edge transport role in your environment.
Where are Public Folders in OWA?
Unfortunately the implementation for Public Folder Mailboxes for OWA was not complete at the time of the RP release – they are likely to be added within the first Service Pack for Exchange 2013.
What’s in the Tool Box?
You might also notice that on your Exchange Server, within the Start Menu under Microsoft Exchange 2013 there is an “Exchange Toolbox” entry:
At the moment this is where a number of very familiar tools live (Details Template Editor, Remove Connectivity Analyser, Queue Viewer and Tracking Log Explorer) – see below
Has Powershell changed?
Changed would perhaps be the wrong word, visually it is still the same – from from a backend point of it has been given a major overhaul as part of the Windows Management Framework v3. From a Exchange Management Shell cmdlet perspective – Exchange 2013 introduces a shed load of new commands (about 200 from what I can see) to manage your environment with.
I hope that you have liked this overview – and if you are hungry for more Exchange 2013 related goodness – have a look at the following sites who have been churning out some really brilliant stuff: