Tag Archives: Virtual Directories

Deploy Exchange 2016

Exchange 2016 is the latest version of Exchange, and it’s not very different compared to Exchange 2013. When it comes to requirements, there are some differences though:

  • Domain Controllers need to be at Windows 2008 level;
  • Domain Functional Level (DFL) and Forest Functional level need to be at Windows 2008 level;
  • The Exchange servers themselves need to be running Windows 2012 or Windows 2012 R2. At the time of release Windows Server 10 is not supported.

There’s also something like Simplified Architecture. This is the Exchange 2013 Preferred Architecture, enforced on Exchange 2016. This means that there will be only one Exchange 2016 server role on the internal network, the Exchange 2016 Mailbox server. This is the same as the old Exchange 2013 multi-role server, but at this moment there’s no choice left. You have to install the Exchange 2016 Mailbox server, and you cannot opt to install a dedicated Client Access server anymore.

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Exchange 2013 SP1 SSL Offloading

One of the ‘new’ features in Exchange 2013 SP1 is SSL Offloading, although I can better say ‘re-introduced’ features since this was available in Exchange 2010 but not supported in Exchange 2013 RTM.

I’ve explained numerous time why you want to use SSL offloading in Exchange, but mainly because of performance reasons (load balancers typically have a dedicated chip for SSL decryption) and for SSL certificate management. Suppose you have 8 Client Access servers and *not* using SSL Offloading. In this case you have to manage the SSL certificate on each individual Client Access server. If you have an SSL offloading scenario you have only one SSL certificate to manage, and that’s the SSL certificate on the load balancer.

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SSL offloading with Powershell

When you’re using a (hardware) load balancer in combination with Exchange Server 2010 you might want to offload SSL from the Exchange servers to the load balancers. This way you get more options available for persistence in the load balancer.

Enabling SSL offloading in Exchange 2010 is not that difficult but it consists of several steps which can be prone to error if you have to configure this on multiple servers (which is most likely the case of course with a load balancer).

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