Prepare Active Directory and Domains for Exchange 2016

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Prepare Active Directory and domains for Exchange 2016

The first step in getting your organization ready for Exchange 2016 is to extend the Active Directory schema. Exchange stores a lot of information in Active Directory but before it can do that, it needs to add and update classes, attributes, and other items. If you’re curious about what’s changed when your schema is extended, check out Exchange 2016 Active Directory schema changes.

Before you extend your schema, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The account you’re logged in as needs to be a member of the Schema Admins and Enterprise Admins security groups.
  • The computer where you’ll run the command to extend the schema needs to be in the same Active Directory domain and site as the schema master.
  • If you use the DomainController parameter, make sure to use the name of the domain controller that’s the schema master.

 

Lets Start by Extending the Active Directory Schema

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt window and go to where you downloaded the Exchange installation files.
  2. Run the following command to extend the schema.

Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Lets Continue by Preparing Active Directory

Now that the Active Directory schema has been extended, you can prepare other parts of Active Directory for Exchange 2016. During this step, Exchange will create containers, objects, and other items in Active Directory that it’ll use to store information. The collection of all of the Exchange containers, objects, attributes, and so on, is called the Exchange organization.

Before you prepare Active Directory for Exchange, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The account you’re logged in as needs to be a member of the Enterprise Admins security group. If you skipped step 1 because you want the PrepareAD command to extend the schema, the account you use also needs to be a member of the Schema Admins security group.
  • The computer where you’ll run the command needs to be in the same Active Directory domain and site as the schema master. It’ll also need to contact all of the domains in the forest on TCP port 389.
  • Wait until Active Directory has replicated the changes made in step 1 to all of your domain controllers before you do this step.

When you run the command below to prepare Active Directory for Exchange, you’ll need to name the Exchange organization. This name is used internally by Exchange and isn’t normally seen by users. The name of the company where Exchange is being installed is often used for the organization name. The name you use won’t affect the functionality of Exchange or determine what you can use for email addresses. You can name it anything you want, as long as you keep the following in mind:

  • You can use any uppercase or lowercase letters from A to Z.
  • You can use numbers 0 to 9.
  • The name can contain spaces as long as they’re not at the beginning or end of the name.
  • You can use a hyphen or dash in the name.
  • The name can be up to 64 characters but can’t be blank.
  • The name can’t be changed after it’s set.

When you’re ready, do the following to prepare Active Directory for Exchange. If the organization name you want to use has spaces, enclose the name in quotation marks (“).

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt window and go to where you downloaded the Exchange installation files.
  2. Run the following command:

Setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:”<organization name>” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

After Setup finishes preparing Active Directory for Exchange, you’ll need to wait while Active Directory replicates the changes to all of your domain controllers. If you want to check on how replication is going, you can use the repadmin tool. repadmin is included as part of the Active Directory Domain Services Tools feature in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012. For more information about how to use the tool, see Repadmin.

Prepare Active Directory domains

The final step to get Active Directory ready for Exchange is to prepare each of the Active Directory domains where Exchange will be installed or where mail-enabled users will be located. This step creates additional containers and security groups, and sets permissions so that Exchange can access them.

If you have multiple domains in your Active Directory forest, you have a couple of choices in how you prepare them. Select the option that matches what you want to do. If you only have one domain, you can skip this step because the PrepareAD command in step 2 already prepared the domain for you.

Prepare all of the domains in my Active Directory forest

 

To prepare all of your Active Directory domains, you can use the PrepareAllDomains parameter when you run Setup. Setup will prepare every domain for Exchange in your Active Directory forest for you.

Before you prepare all of the domains in your Active Directory forest, keep the following in mind:

  • The account you use needs to be a member of the Enterprise Admins security group.
  • Wait until Active Directory has replicated the changes made in step 2 to all of your domain controllers. If you don’t, you might get an error when you try to prepare the domain.

When you’re ready, do the following to prepare all of the domains in your Active Directory forest for Exchange.

  1. Open a Windows Command Prompt window and go to where you downloaded the Exchange installation files.
  2. Run the following command:

        Setup.exe /PrepareAllDomains /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

 

Now your environment is ready to start the Exchange 2016 installation.

Next Post I will cover Installing First Exchange 2016 Mailbox Server.

 

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