December 3, 2008

VMWARE Server – Installing Exchange 2007 SP 1 Using CCR on Windows 2008 RTM – Part 1…

One of my most popular blog topics is based around how you can use VMWARE Server to test Exchange 2007 as a CCR cluster using Windows 2003 Server – all articles in under this topic are located here:

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I wrote the above mainly to provide others whom are considering the jump to Exchange 2007 with some help, but also to share my own thoughts about my own Exchange 2007 migration. Since the articles above Microsoft have (rather nicely) released the RTM version of Windows Server 2008 which I am sure many of you have picked up upon.

Now as you might expect, Windows Server 2008 introduces a number of changes to key features (such as clustering, and IIS for example) and how you would go about installing them – so I have decided to update my articles on creating a CCR cluster. Again I plan to do a three to four part guide.

In this article I would like to go through the installation of Windows 2008 MNS Cluster (its sexy, but different but the same – I know that perhaps that last statement does not make sense at the moment, but as we progress I hope that it will).

Firstly I need to point out that I will not be going through the installation process of Windows 2008 in this article (I have another post planned for that) – therefore after I have suggested the initial VMWARE configuration the article will make the following assumptions:

  • That you already have a test domain with a at least a single Windows 2003 SP2 Domain Controller
  • That you have installed Windows 2008 RTM Enterprise Edition onto the Nodes of your CCR cluster
  • That you have already run Exchange 2007 SP1 command “ /PrepareAD”
  • If you have more than one domain controller in your environment that you have allowed for the Schema Changes to replicate


Initial VMWARE Guest Configuration;

Before you install Windows 2008 within VMWARE you need to ensure that your Virtual Machine configuration is up to Scratch, for information the version of VMWARE server that I have been using is 1.0.3 Build – 44356 however you can also now download version 1.0.4 (build 56528) neither has specific support for Windows 2008 – however I have found that by using the following configuration it works flawlessly.

VMWARE – Hardware Configuration for Each CCR Node:

In order to create a functional CCR Implementation using Windows 2008 under VMWARE server I suggest the following specification of Machine – remember that when running through the configuration Wizard, when asked What Operating System is going to be installed – ensure that you choose Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition x64:

Memory: 2048 (does work with 1024 per node)

Processors: 2 (represents a percentage of allocation from the physical processors in the Host machine)

Hard Disk:

The Hard Disk configuration is the biggest departure from my original articles (as the space requirements on your virtual host has gone up significantly):

System Disk [C:\] – SCSI 0:0 = 15 GB – this is the minimum recommended for Windows 2008

Binaries Disk [B:\] – SCSI 0:1 = 6.5 GB – for the Exchange Setup Binaries – you can reduce this or just not have this drive if you intend to use the DVDROM

Exchange Installation Disk [S:\] – SCSI 0:2 = 6.5 GB – You will not have enough space on C:\ for both Windows and Exchange with a 15 GB partition – therefore you can make C:\ larger or in my case give Exchange its own installation drive.

Exchange Database Disk [X:\] – SCSI 0:3 = 2.5 GB – This I use for the Exchange databases.

Network Interfaces:

Ethernet: Bridged so that it has visibility on the Public Network

Ethernet 2: Custom – mapped to VMNET 2 (which is also used by the second node) this means that traffic on the interface is between the CCR nodes only.

Summary of Hardware:

As you can see the main change is Hard Disk space (you will need about 25% more disk space over and above the recommended amounts that I suggested in my last articles on this topic) as Windows 2008 has a much greater footprint than Windows 2003.

The following picture is a summary of the configuration that I have for my CCR nodes within my Test Lab:


Installing Windows 2008 – Brief Overview:

As mentioned before I do not intend to cover this in great detail within this article (as I have a dedicated post planned for this later on) – however for those of you whom have installed Windows Vista it will be very straight forward.

Key things to remember however during the install of Windows 2008 RTM are:

  • Make sure that you choose the 15 GB partition as the install location for Windows 2008
  • You are not asked (at least not in the MSDN, EA or Select copies) to provided a Serial Number as part of Setup – this is required when Windows has booted and you activate the product with Microsoft (for those of you whom have installed Windows Vista this will be familiar).
  • Setup Does not ask you to provide a Computer Name – it will generate one automatically, you will need to change it post setup.
  • You are no longer required to configure Networking as part of setup – this is done when Windows is installed
  • The RTM Version of Windows 2008 also contains SP1 for Windows 2008


Preparing your First CCR Node for Exchange 2007 SP1:

In this section I would like to provide some suggestions as to how you can configure Windows 2008 in preparation for the Installation of Exchange 2007 SP1:

  • Rename your server from the default name (usually WIN-xxxxxxxxxxxx) to your company standard

In Windows 2008 I have found that this can be done entirely from the command line (which is really cool) by following this sequence:

When you server has booted open a Command Prompt [ START -> RUN -> CMD ] then type the following:

serverManagerCMD -i powershell – see below:


This will (obviously install Powershell for Windows 2008) – when PowerShell has installed type in:

start powershell

This will then open the Powershell Window.

In the Powershell window type in the following commands:

$newName = “”

$curName = gwmi win32_computerSystem – computer “.” (or you can give the actual name that was assigned by setup)


Below is an example of the commands that I used on my server and the output.


When you have completed the commands Restart your server.

  • Ensure that your Disks are partitioned up correctly:


Although disk management functions pretty much the same in Windows 2008 as it did in Windows 2003 – however getting access to the Disk management tools is slightly different as it getting the disks ready for use – the following is a quick overview of how to configure your disks (and indeed the configuration that I have used in my VMWARE environment:

From the Start Menu (if using the classic view) go to [ Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Server Management ] (you can also use the Computer Management snap which is also located in Administrative Tool if you wish to see an interface identical to Windows 2003) – from the Windows that appears in the left hand side you will see and option called “Storage” – Expand “Storage” and choose “Disk Management” – see below:


When you click on the “Disk Management” option the main window will change to look like the following (you will notice the disk configuration detailed below does not match that specified above – this is because I have taken the screen dumps from my Windows 2008 Hub Transport as I had already built the CCR cluster – however the key thing is that the process is the same):


On the disk that you wish to configure right click (as above) and choose the “Online” option – then choose the disk again by right clicking and then choose the “Initalize Disk ” option – see below:


Upon clicking on the “Initalize Disk” option you will be presented the (familiar) dialog box below:


For the purposes of my (and perhaps your VMWARE setup I recommend choosing MBR (Master Boot Record) – then click “OK”. You will be returned to the parent screen – here you can “Right click” on your Disk and then from the context menu that appears choose “New Simple Volume” – run through the Wizard (as you would in Windows 2003) and then Format the Drive (as you would in Windows 2003).

If you are following the setup above under VMWARE you should end up with a Disk Manager which looks like the following:


  • Disable IPv6 (Unless you are using it):


I have found that if IPv6 is enabled (and you are not using it) whilst Exchange Setup is running you will receive a Warning telling you that one of more interfaces in you Exchange server are using DHCP – this will almost certainly be because IPv6 is enabled as a protocol on your network adapters – in order to disable IPv6 follow these steps:

From the Windows 2008 Desktop Right click on the “Network” icon and then from the context menu that appears choose the “Properties” option – see below:


When you have clicked on the “Properties” option you will be presented with the following screen:


From the right hand side of the screen choose the “Manage Network Connections” option which will open up the following Window:


Here you be presented with the Network interfaces that are installed on your server – Right click on each interface and from the context menu that appears choose the “Properties” option which will display the following dialog:


From the list of displayed protocols – un-tick the “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” and then click on the “OK” button.

  • Ensure that you have configured the HeartBeat Interface:


Although there has been a major upgrade to Clustering in Windows 2008 – the basic components and principles required to create a functional cluster are the same – remember that CCR clusters use MNS (Majority Node Set) therefore the following hardware requirements need to be met:

  • Each node should have local disks that match one another
  • A Public LAN connection
  • A HeartBeat connection

In order to configure the HeartBeat Connection follow these steps:

In the Configuration of your VMWARE Guest you will have added an interface which corresponds to VMNET 2 (you second node should also have an interface which is configured on VMNET 2 – this will allow for private communication between the nodes).

Using the process that is detailed above navigate to the Network Connection properties – see below:


Locate the connection which is configured on VMNET 2 – rename it to “HeartBeat_Connection” – then right click on it and from the context menu that appears choose “Properties” which will bring up the following Dialog Box:


Un-tick the following items:

  • Client for Microsoft Networks
  • QOS Packet Scheduler
  • File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
  • Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) – should already have done in the previous step
  • Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver
  • Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder


Then select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on the “Properties” button which will open up the following dialog box:


Provide a private added for Node 1 (for example – where Node 2 can be Do not provide an DNS server information – then click on the “Advanced” button which will open up the following Dialog:


Click on the “DNS” tab then configure it to look EXACTLY like the above example – when done click on the “WINS” tab – which will change the screen to look like the following:


Again on this tab configure all of the options to Match the above example – when done click on OK until all settings have been applied

  • Copy the installation media required to your server:


You will remember that during the configuration of the Disks (both at VMWARE guest level and from within the Disk Manager) we created a Disk called “B:\ – Binaries” – I recommend that you copy all Exchange SP 1 Media to this drive (or an alternative location if you have enough space)

  • Join your Node to the Domain:


This can be done via the GUI Interface, however, I now find it easier to use PowerShell for this task – ensure that prior to beginning this step that the DNS configuration is correct in order for you to join the domain:

From the Start Menu [ Start -> Run ] and type PowerShell then in the PowerShell window that appears type the following commands:

$localMac = Get-WmiObject Win32_computerSystem

$localMac.JoinDomainorWorkGroup(“,” ”,””,$null,3)

See below for those commands entered into Powershell and the Output that you should see:


After you have seen the Output as per above reboot your server.

  • Install and Configure the Clustering Service on your node:

Open a Windows Command Prompt and type in the following command:

ServerManagerCMD -i Failover-Clustering

This will then install the clustering service – when it has finished navigate to [ Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Failover Clustering Management ] – see below:

The New Cluster server manager will open – see below:

From the “Actions” menu (located in the right hand side of the screen) choose the “Create a Cluster” option which will present you will the first dialog box of the Create new cluster wizard – see below:

You can tick the “Do not show this page again” and then click on the “Next” button which will then move you onto the next stage:

Using either the “Browse” button or type the name of your first cluster node to form the cluster – when happy click “Next”:

On the Validation warning screen (above) choose the “No. I do not require support from Microsoft for this cluster….” option and then click “Next”:

On this screen (above) you need to provide a unique name for your cluster AND an IP address for the cluster (you will notice that the cluster installation Wizard is now subnet aware) – provide an IP address and then click on the “Next” button – see below:

The above is the cluster configuration confirmation screen – review the selections that you have made and if you are happy with them click on the “Next” button:

The Cluster wizard will now go away and create your cluster – when it is completed you will be presented with the summary screen above – click on the “Finish” button to complete the Wizard.

Yeee-Harrr – you have just created your first (or maybe more) Windows 2008 cluster – but, we are not finished yet – we have to configure the type of cluster this is – e.g MNS.

Prior to moving forward you will now need to create a File Share on another server which will contain the “File Share Witness” – this folder should be created using the same domain account that you used to install the Clustering Services on your node – in the case of my configuration I have placed the FSW on the Domain Controller in my lab – however best practice recommendations suggest that this Share should be located on an Exchange Hub Transport Server.

When you have completed the create cluster Wizard and created the File Share for the FSW you should return to the Failover-Cluster Management interface – see below:

You will notice that information has been populated in the tree area (located to the left of the Cluster Management Window) – right click in this area on the Name of your cluster – from the Context menu that appears choose [ More Actions -> Configure Cluster Quorum Settings ] – this will open up the following Wizard:

From the screen (above) choose the “Node and File Share Majority (for clusters with special configurations)” and then click on the “Next” button:

On the screen displayed above enter in the Path to the FSW share that you should have created earlier and then click on the “Next” button:

From the screen above confirm the changes to the configuration of your cluster and then click “Next”:

When processing has finished you will be presented with the summary screen – click on the “Finish” button to exit.

You will now have a Majority Node Set based cluster with a single node.

  • Install the Prerequisite services on the Node for Exchange 2007 SP1:

In order for Exchange 2007 SP1 to install on your Cluster Node – you will need to install a number of Prerequisite services using the ServerManagerCMD – rather than you having to type them all out I have configured them into two batch files which you should run on each cluster node:

biconExchangePreRec-1.bat – Installs some remote admin tools – requires a server reboot after completion

biconExchangePreRec-2.bat – Installs the remaining services which are required by Exchange 2007


In this article I have taken you through how you can use VMWARE to create the first Node of a Windows 2008 cluster which is capable of supporting Exchange 2007 SP1 – in the next part I would be covering the following:

  • Overview of installing the second node
  • Installing Exchange 2007 SP1 CCR
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