With Exchange 2016 in public preview–and many folks already downloading the bits–it was time to sharpen our pencils and write a 2016 install series.
The goal of this series is to help you introduce Exchange 2016 into your existing 2010/2013 lab.
How to install Exchange 2016 in a lab
In this series we will:
- Review lab recommendations
- Review Exchange 2016 requirements
- Building the VM / OS
- Install Exchange 2016 prerequisites
- Extend the Active Directory schema
- Install Exchange 2016
- Configure a simple Exchange 2016 namespace
- Create and process a certificate request
- Move the database
- Move test users
Don’t try this in production
Exchange 2016 will not be released until later this year. You never want to test preview code in a production environment. Always use a lab.
Labs can be inexpensive. If your PC has enough RAM and disk space Hyper-V might be a perfect fit. Hyper-V comes included with Windows 8 and greater and it’s very feature-rich. I ran a lab this way for some time.
If you don’t have space then consider an external USB 3.0 or eSATA drive. I have a number of colleagues that run successfully this way. Some laptops let you swap out their optical drive for a secondary hard drive. Either way, internal or external, a second hard drive is a nice way to keep things organized. For an extra boost, you may want to consider a solid-state drive. I currently own a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD and I am thoroughly impressed with it.
If you are going to run multiple Exchange servers from your primary PC then I would recommend one minor tweak–startup settings. If you are running a few VMs and have set them to start with the OS you could be in for an incredibly long boot process (even with a solid-state drive). My recommendation–have those VMs not start with the host OS. You can do this by modifying the properties of each VM. Either turning off auto-start or setting a sizeable delay will do the trick.
If you have money to spend you may want to consider buying a refurbished server from an auction site. An HP DL 380 G5 with 16GB of RAM and a couple of hard drives goes for around $100 these days.[Read more…] about Install Exchange 2016 in your lab (Part 1)