Autodiscover in Exchange

Autodiscover is a feature in Exchange Server 2010 and higher which is being used by Outlook 2007 or higher. Due to the number of question I get on Autodiscover I’ve created a number of blog posts that explain the Autodiscover functionality:


Autodiscover is a very useful feature in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 that makes it possible to automatically create Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 profiles.

Continue reading Autodiscover in Exchange

Building Hosted Exchange – Part III

In my earlier blog posts Building Hosted Exchange Part I (overview) and Building Hosted Exchange Part II (Active Directory) I explained the basics and how to configure Active Directory for a multi-tenant environment. In this posting we’re going to continue with the Exchange part of the multi-tenant environment.

Exchange 2010 SP2

In the previous post I used a simple Powershell script to create the Organization Units in Active Directory for three different companies that will be hosting in our sample environment. Besides the creation of the OU’s the script also sets the appropriate permission on the OU’s. The structure looks like this: Continue reading Building Hosted Exchange – Part III

Building Hosted Exchange – Part II

In my previous blog post I tried to explain why Microsoft is following the partner model for hosted environment. If you fully understand the Microsoft guidance document and really want to build it yourself instead of using a 3rd party Control Panel vendor (which I always recommend) I’ll try to outline the various steps that need to be done.

Please note that this blog post is published ‘as is’ and is my personal belief on how stuff can be done. You still have to test everything in a lab environment before building things in production. I cannot, will not nor take any responsibility about your environment when things go wrong!

Continue reading Building Hosted Exchange – Part II

Building Hosted Exchange 2010 – Part I

There’s quite a lot of demand in the market to build a hosting environment (multi tenant) based on Exchange 2010. In the past there was hosted Exchange (in Exchange 2003) and Address List Segregation (Exchange 2007) and the /Hosting option in Exchange Server 2010. The latter is no longer recommended by Microsoft and Microsoft now recommends to use an Enterprise deployment of Exchange Server 2010 SP2, combined with Address Book Policies (ABP) and a 3rd party Control Panel providing the ‘glue’ to get the various parts together.

Microsoft released a number of articles and whitepapers on the future of Exchange hosting and some guidance documents regarding building a hosting environment and migrating from an old platform to a new (Exchange 2010 SP2) platform: Continue reading Building Hosted Exchange 2010 – Part I

Unattended Setup Exchange 2010

Installing prerequisite software

Before installing the actual Exchange Server the prerequisite software needs to be installed as well. Microsoft has a couple of XML files that can be used with the command-line version of Server Manager, ServerManagerCmd.exe

These XML files can be found in the directory D:\Setup\ServerRoles\Common (where “D” is the installation source, i.e. your DVD or network share) and are named Exchange-Serverrole.XML:


You can start installing the prerequisite by opening a command prompt and execute the following command:

ServerManagerCmd.exe –ip Exchange-Cas.XML

This will install the prerequisite software for the Exchange 2010 Client Access Server. Although the server not always requests to I personally always recommend rebooting the server after installing the prerequisite software.

Preparing Active Directory

To prepare Active Directory for Exchange Server 2010: /PrepareExchangeLegacyPermissions

(this step only needs to be performed when upgrading from an earlier version of Exchange) /PrepareSchema /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:<< name>>

(the /OrganizationName switch can be omitted when upgrading from an earlier version of Exchange) /PrepareDomain

Install the Exchange Servers:

To install Exchange 2010 servers from the command line using the application a number of switches are available:

/mode, can be install, uninstall or upgrade

/role, can be (a combination of) CA, HT, MB, UM, MT (MT = Management Tools)

/UpdatesDir – location on disk where the setup can fine update (i.e. Update Rollup fixes) that will be included when installing Exchange Servers. This does not work when upgrading servers (unfortunately)

/LegacyRoutingServer – The Exchange 2003 SMTP server the Hub Transport Server is using to create a Legacy Routing Group Connector (only used for the 1st Hub Transport Server in an existing Exchange 2003 environment)

/LanguagePack – location on disk where the setup application can find the Language Pack files. Of course these need to be downloaded first

/ExternalCASServerDomain – The external URL the Client Access Server is using for clients accessing the server from the Internet (CAS Server only)

/EnableLecayOutlook – Creates a Public Folder database needed for Outlook 2003 clients (Mailbox Server only)

To install a combined CAS and HUB server: /mode:install /role:CA,HT /UpdatesDir:\\InstallShare\ExchangeUpdates /LanguagePack:\\InstallShare\ExchangeLanguagePack\LanguagePackBundle.exe /

To install a Hub Server and connect it to Exchange 2003: /mode:install /role:HT /UpdatesDir:\\InstallShare\ExchangeUpdates /LanguagePack:\\InstallShare\ExchangeLanguagePack\LanguagePackBundle.exe /

To install a Mailbox Server: /mode:install /role:MB /UpdatesDir:\\ InstallShare \ExchangeUpdates /LanguagePack:\\ InstallShare \ExchangeLanguagePack\LanguagePackBundle.exe /EnableLegacyOutlook


Use an answer file

It is also possible to use an answer file for the unattended setup with the /Answerfile:c:\answerfile.txt option. you can use the following options in the answer file:












More information can be found on Microsoft TechNet:


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