Exchange 2010 Evaluation Odyssey Part I: Choosing a platform for Exchange 2010

Hello fellow techno-thrill-seekers. In my last blog post I discussed the wild ride that technology usually gives us when we try to keep up with the inevitable changes. At this point you have likely already heard that Exchange 2010 Beta has been released. You may also been one of my fellow thrill seekers who has already downloaded and installed Exchange 2010. If so, you may find this too rudimentary but I invite you to check out the subsequent blogs (forthcoming). However, if you are looking for some insight into the deployment process for Exchange 2010 Beta then you will find great references and some insight into the process that will save you from some headaches (that I have suffered on your behalf) [grin] you will want to check out this entire series where I will document my endeavors to deploy Exchange 2010 Beta and explore the latest new features.

First let me say that there are some great blogs on this topic along with some great documentation from the Microsoft Exchange Team. Still I found myself flipping between blogs and documentation and still getting unexpected errors along the way so I want to share with you the process and resources that seemed to work best for me for setting up my beta environment. I suggest that you decide early on which OS and Applications you want to deploy. This will make the process of downloading all of the necessary prerequisites much easier and keep your environment consistent. I decided to use:

Note that I have provided links to the publicly available trial editions. If you have TechNet or MSDN subscriptions you will most likely want to use those versions for your environment.

Weather you deploy on physical or virtual server you’ll need to brush up on the “Side of the box” requirements for Exchange 2010. Full details can be found at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719(EXCHG.140).aspx. Machines with not enough resources will lead to questionable results during your beta evaluation. The Basics are:

  • OS: Windows 2008 64-bit with SP2
  • Processor:  X64 or AMD64
  • Memory:  2GB – 64GB depending on role(s)
  • Disk:  1.2 GB min for Exchange install path + 500 for each UM Language Pack + 200 MB for system drive + 500 MB for transport roles

So now it is time to build servers and deploy Active Directory. Keep in mind that you will need to have a Native Mode domain to install Exchange 2010 into for the creation of universal security groups. For evaluation purposes I choose the Windows 2008 Domain mode and Windows 2008 Forest mode when deploying Active Directory Services.

In part II of this series I will review the prerequisites for Exchange Server 2010 and preparation steps for installing your first Exchange 2010 server.

-Rich Luckett

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  1. Kelly Brown Reply

    Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!