Deploying an Exchange 2013 Hybrid Lab Environment in Windows Azure (Part 8)

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


In part 7 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 created the required virtual network and then deployed the two virtual machines that are going to be acting as AD DS servers.

Let’s get going…

Connecting to the AD DS Server via Remote Desktop

We have reached the point where we are going to establish a remote desktop connection to the first virtual machine (AzureLabADDS1) we deployed in the previous part. 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

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

If you wish to use your favorite RDP Manager to access your virtual machines in Windows Azure, that’s possible too. You just need to bear in mind you must use the random port number that was assigned the public endpoint on the respective virtual machine. For this reason, it would be easiest if you imported the RDP config files to your RDP Manager.

Figure 2: RDP config file – warning

In this article, I will just select “Open”, which will prompt us for the credentials to authenticate with. Here, we need to use the credentials we specified when we created the virtual machine.

If the authentication fails, try to prepend the username with “” or “<servername>”.

Figure 3: Providing the virtual machine credentials

When we have authenticated successfully, we will be logged on to the server and presented with the familiar “Server Manager”. Click “Local Server” in the left pane.

Notice the computer name and that the respective computer’s IP address has been assigned using DHCP (as expected).

Figure 4: Server manager

Click “File and Storage Services” in the left pane. Here we can see that we, in addition to the system partition (C:), also have a 20 GB “D:” drive. Word of advice: Never store any data on this drive. It is a temporary non-persisted disk, which is not saved in the Windows Azure Storage blob (storage account). The drive is primarily used for the page file.

Now, minimize the “Server Manager” and open a Windows PowerShell prompt.

Figure 5:
Extra disk (temporary disk)

In the Windows PowerShell prompt, type “IPCONFIG /ALL”. Note that the computer has been assigned an IP address of “” and that the DNS server also is “”. 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 6:
IPConfig /All output

Switch back to the “Server Manager” and click “Manage” > “Add Roles and Features” in the upper right corner.

Figure 7: Launching the Add Roles and Features wizard

In the “Add Roles and Features Wizard”, click “Next”.

Figure 8:
Add Roles and Features Welcome page

Under the “Select installation type” page leave the defaults as is and click “Next”.

Figure 9:
Installation Type page

Again, leave the defaults as is and click “Next”.

Figure 10:
Destination server page

On the “Select server roles” page, tick “Active Directory Domain Services” and “DNS Server”.

Figure 11:
Selecting server roles

The dialog box shown in Figure 12 will appear. Click “Add Features”.

Figure 12: Features required for Active Directory Domain Services

The DNS Server requirements dialog box will now appear. Again, click “Add Features”.

Figure 13: Features required for DNS Server

The selections will now be validated against the server configuration. Since it normally is not best practice to use a non-static (although in our case persistent) IP address, we will get the warning shown in Figure 14.

We can ignore this and click “Continue”.

Figure 14: Validation results warning

Back on the “Select server roles” page, click “Next”.

Figure 15:
Select server roles

Leave the defaults as is and click “Next”.

Figure 16:
Select features page

On the “DNS Server” page, click “Next”.

Figure 17:
DNS Server page

And click “Next”.

Figure 18:
Active Directory Domain Services page

Now confirm the installation by clicking “Install”.

Figure 19:
Confirming installation

After a couple of minutes, the AD DS and DNS Server roles will have been installed.

Figure 20:
Installation in progress

It is time to promote the server to a Domain Controller. Click the flag in the upper right corner and select “Promote this server to domain controller”.

Figure 21: Promoting AD DS server to Domain Controller

Select “Add a new forest” and enter the domain name in the text box.

Click “Next”.

Figure 22: Specifying the domain name for which the server should be domain controller

Leave the forest and domain functional levels as is and enter the directory services restore mode password.

Click “Next”.

Figure 23: Fores and Domain Functional level and specifying the DSRM password

You will get a warning about a delegation zone for the DNS server cannot be created as there is no parent zone.

Click “Next”.

Figure 24: Warning about missing delegation

Accept or modify the NetBIOS domain name as required and click “Next”.

Figure 25: NetBIOS Domain Name

Unless you have added a data disk (not the temporary disk that is added by default!) for the purpose of holding the database, log files and sysvol folder leave the defaults as is and click “Next”.

Figure 26: Database, Log files and Sysvol paths

Click “Next”.

Figure 27: Options Review page

Hopefully all prerequisites should pass successfully despite the warnings.

Click “Install”.

Figure 28:
Prerequisites Check

When the installation has completed, the server will reboot in order to apply the changes.

Figure 29: Restarting the server

When the server is up and running again, reestablish a remote desktop connection to the server this time using the Active Directory administrative credentials.

Figure 30: Providing Active Directory admin credentials

We have now configured the first virtual machine as a domain controller.

Figure 31: First Server configured as Domain Controller and DNS Server

Repeat the above steps on the second server. This time you should just make sure you add the server as a domain controller to an existing forest.

Figure 32:
Second Server configured as Domain Controller and DNS Server

We have now deployed the two AD DS servers.

This concludes part 8 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:

1 thought on “Deploying an Exchange 2013 Hybrid Lab Environment in Windows Azure (Part 8)”

  1. Hello,

    Great article! is there are newer version? Azure looks a little different now. And Part 8 seems to be missing.

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