Deploying an Exchange 2013 Hybrid Lab Environment in Windows Azure (Part 10)

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:


In part 9 of this article series revolving around what the Windows Azure service is all about as well as how you deploy an Exchange hybrid deployment in Windows Azure, we deployed an additional two new virtual machines and configured a load balanced set for the HTTPS and SMTP endpoint since these servers are to act as Exchange 2013 servers.

In this part 10, we will continue where we left off in part 9. That is we will add the virtual Exchange servers to the domain as well as install Exchange 2013 bits on them.

Let’s get going…

Preparing the Virtual Servers for Exchange 2013

We have reached the point where we are going to establish a remote desktop connection to the first virtual machine (AzureLabEX1) we created in the previous part of this article series. To do so highlight the virtual machine and then click “Connect” in the action pane in the bottom of the Windows Management Portal page as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1:
Clicking Connect in the action pane in the bottom of the Windows Management Portal page

The browser dialog box will appear asking whether you wish to “Open”, “Save” or “Cancel” the RDP. Again, if you wish to store the RDP config file in a local folder, click the little arrow to the right of the “Save” option.

Let’s verify we received an IP address and DNS have been configured accordingly. We can do so by opening Windows PowerShell and typing “IPCONFIG /ALL”. Note that the computer has been assigned an IP address of “” and that the DNS server is “”. As explained earlier on, this is because the first server started in the used virtual network will be assigned an address ending with “.4” as the first three addresses are used internally by Windows Azure. The reason why the DNS server is also set to “.4” is because we registered “” as the DNS server in Windows Azure.

Figure 2:
IPConfig /All output

Time to add the server to the “” domain. Since the Server Manager should already be open, let us click on “WORKGROUP” > “Change” and specify the domain ( to which the servers is to be added and then restart the virtual server.

Figure 3: Adding virtual server to the domain

After the virtual server has restarted, we can now login using the administrator account for the “” domain.

Figure 4: Providing the virtual machine credentials

We can now move on and install the prerequisites for Exchange 2013. In this article series, we use multi-role Exchange 2013 servers, so we need to use the following PowerShell command to install the required Windows Server 2012 R2 features:

Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

Figure 5: Installing Exchange 2013 Prerequisites

With the required Windows Server 2012 R2 features installed, we need to restart the virtual once again.

Figure 6: Exchange 2013 Prerequisites installed and restart required

In addition to the Windows Server 2012 R2 features we just installed, we also need to install the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit binaries.

We have now prepared the first virtual server for Exchange 2013. Now you should repeat the above steps on the second virtual server.

Preparing the Active Directory Forest for Exchange Server 2013

With both virtual servers prepared for installation of the Exchange 2013 binaries, let us get the Active Directory forest prepared as well. More specifically, we need to extend the Schema, prepare the Active Directory and Domain(s).

We can do this from any server with the AD DS role installed, but since this role is already installed on our AD DS servers, we will use one for those for this purpose. So let us log on to an AD DS server.

Extending the Schema with Exchange 2013 Attributes and Classes

Open a Command Prompt window and point to the directory holding the Exchange 2013 binaries. Then issue the following command:

Setup /PS /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Figure 7: Command used to extend the schema

After a few minutes, the schema will have been extended with the necessary Exchange 2013 attributes and classes.

Figure 8: Schema successfully extended with Exchange attributes and classes

Preparing Active Directory for Exchange 2013

With the Schema extended, let us now prepare the Active Directory itself. We do so by issuing the following command:

Setup /PrepareAD /ON:AzureLab /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Figure 9: Preparing the Active Directory for Exchange 2013

After a few minutes, the Active Directory will have been prepared.

Figure 10: Active Directory successfully prepared for Exchange 2013

Finally, we need to prepare any domains in our Active Directory. We do that by issuing the following command:

Setup /PrepareDomain /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseterms

Figure 11: Active Directory Domains successfully prepared for Exchange 2013

After a few seconds, the domain(s) will have been prepared.

To verify, we can open ADSIEDIT and connect to the “Schema” partition. As shown in Figure 12, we can see the Exchange specific attributes and classes confirming the schema has been extended.

Figure 12: Schema partition

In addition, we can connect to the Configuration partition and verify the Exchange organization has been provisioned (Figure 13).

Figure 13: Configuration partition

Lastly, we can verify whether the Exchange security groups have been created by connecting to the Domain partition as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14: Exchange Security Groups shown in the Domain partition

Installing the Exchange Server 2013 Binaries

Okay, it is time to install Exchange 2013 binaries on the two virtual servers. So let us switch to the first virtual server shall we.

We use Exchange 2013 SP1 RTM bits in this article series.

Launch the Exchange Setup and let the setup wizard check for updates and then click “next”.

Figure 15: Exchange Setup Wizard – Check for Updates?

On the “Downloading Updates…” page, click “next”.

Figure 16: Exchange Setup Wizard – Downloading Updates

After the setup file copying process, setup will initialize and we will be brought to the Introduction page.

Click “next”.

Figure 17: Exchange Setup WizardIntroduction Page

Next up is the “License Agreement” page, which you of course read carefully (especially for a lab environment right?).

Click “next”.

Figure 18: Exchange Setup Wizard – License Agreement page

On the “Recommended Settings” page, select “Use Recommended Settings” unless you for some strange reason want to perform them manually after installation.

Click “next”.

Figure 19: Exchange Setup Wizard – Recommended Settings

On the “Server Role Selection” page, select “Mailbox” and the “Client Access” role as we wish to use Exchange 2013 multi-role servers.

Click “next”.

Figure 20: Exchange Setup Wizard – Server Role Selection

On the “Installation Space and Location” page, leave the default and click “next”.

Figure 21: Exchange Setup Wizard – Installation Space and Location page

On the “Malware Protection Settings” page, select “No” and click “next”.

Figure 22: Exchange Setup Wizard – Malware Protection Settings

A readiness check will now be performed and in a basic lab environment at this one, it should complete without issues.

Click “install”.

Figure 23: Exchange Setup Wizard – Readiness Check

Let the Exchange Setup wizard go through the respective installation steps.

Figure 24: Exchange 2013 binaries being installed

When the installation has been completed, click “finish”.

Figure 25: Exchange Setup Wizard – Setup Completed

Finally reboot the server.

Now repeat the above steps on the second virtual server.

This concludes part 10 of this multi-part article in which I provide you with an explanation of what Windows Azure is and how you configure an Exchange 2013 hybrid lab environment in Windows Azure.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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