Planning and Migrating a Small Organization from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013 (Part 7)

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


The latest instalment in this series, part 7 continues with setup and configuration of the base servers, one for our staging Exchange 2010 server and one for our destination Exchange 2013 server. As with the previous article we reduce the work required by configuring each server with very similar settings. In this part of the series we’ll configure page file settings before moving onto installation of Exchange pre-requisites, culminating in preparing the installation files for subsequent JetStress tests and full install.

Getting the servers ready for Exchange

Depending on the base Windows Operating System you choose, you will have to perform different tasks to prepare the servers for Exchange installation. Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013 both have a slightly different list of supported operating systems, too.

Exchange 2010 supports way back from Windows 2008, through to Windows 2012. Exchange 2013 however supports one version on – Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 R2. This has the unfortunate side effect that you can’t use the latest version of Windows Server for both Exchange servers.

In our series we’ll use Windows 2012 for the Exchange 2010 staging server and Windows 2012 R2 for the Exchange 2013 server.

Configuring Page file sizes

Page file sizes for each Exchange Server must be configured correctly. Each server should have the page file configured to be the amount of RAM, plus 10MB. For Exchange 2010 this value is always tied to the amount of RAM, and for Exchange 2013 the guidance is the same, up to a maximum of 32GB + 10MB.

To configure the Page file size, right click on the Start Menu and choose System:

Figure 1: Accessing System settings

The system information window should open within the control panel. Choose Advanced system settings, as shown below:

Figure 2: Editing advanced system settings

Next, the System Properties window will appear, with the Advanced tab selected. Within Performance, choose Settings:

Figure 3: Opening the performance settings

We’ll then adjust the Virtual Memory settings and perform the following actions:

  • Unselect Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  • Set a page file size of the RAM, plus 10MB for each server, for example:
    • 8GB RAM = 8192MB RAM = 8202MB page file
    • 24GB RAM = 24576MB RAM = 24586MB page file

You’ll see the result of this for our Exchange 2013 virtual machine illustrated below:

Figure 4: Configuring the page file size to meet requirements

After making this change on both Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013 servers, you may be asked to reboot. You don’t need to do so at this stage as we will be installing some pre-requisites to support the Exchange installation, and in the case of the Exchange 2013 server we are still a little while away from actually installing Exchange 2013.

Configuring Exchange 2010 prerequisites

We’re not too far away from installing Exchange 2010 itself, but before we do so we will need to accomplish a few tasks, in particular making sure the correct pre-requisites are installed, and running JetStress testing on both Exchange 2010 and 2013 servers.

We’ll begin by installing the prerequisites for Exchange 2010 on LJD-E1401, the server that will house our intermediary version of Exchange.

Although Exchange setup can install OS pre-requisites for us, as part of standard setup we will install the pre-requisites in advance. This is partly to ensure the experience is predictable (sometimes Exchange setup will require a reboot if we allow it to install pre-reqs) and more importantly to enable us to prepare the Active Directory schema in advance of full Exchange setup.

We can use the following command, from an elevated Windows Powershell prompt to install the prerequisites all at once:

Add-WindowsFeature   NET-Framework-Core,RSAT-ADDS,Web-Server,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Metabase,Web-Net-Ext,Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console,WAS-Process-Model,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Dyn-Compression,NET-HTTP-Activation,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Client-Auth,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Http-Redirect,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Static-Content,Web-WMI,RPC-Over-HTTP-Proxy

Figure 5: Installation of Windows pre-requisites for Exchange

After installation of pre-requisites (and a reboot, if required) the next step is to install both the Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack, and SP1 for the Office 2010 filter pack.

The Microsoft Office 2010 filter pack can be obtained from this link.

After download, launch the installer. You should be prompted to install Microsoft Filter Pack 2.0:

Figure 6: Installation of the Office 2010 Filter Pack

Assuming you are happy to do so, accept the licence agreement and install the Filter Packs with the default settings:

Figure 7: Accepting software licence terms

After installation you will be informed that the install completed successfully:

Figure 8: Confirmation of installation

Next we will install Service Pack 1 for the filter pack. This is a small download available from this link.

After download, simply run the executable downloaded. We’ll see this labelled as Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 at installation time, rather than Filter Pack 2.0 – that’s OK, it’s simply a case of inconsistency on Microsoft’s part:

Figure 9: Installation of Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1

As with the initial Filter Pack installation no special options are required, and after a brief installation, it should complete:

Figure 10: Confirmation of installation

We’ll also download the components needed for Exchange 2010 install. At the time of writing, the latest update to Exchange 2010 is Service Pack 3, with Update Rollup 5. Exchange 2010’s Service Packs are slipstreamed installers, which means that you can and should install direct from the Service Pack download, available from this link.

After download, we’ll run the executable to extract the Exchange installation files. Where you download to doesn’t matter too much – however as we’ll be running some tasks from the command line later on, make sure you are somewhere you can easily get to from a command prompt:

Figure 11: Extraction of Exchange setup files

After extracting Exchange 2010 SP3 ready for install, we can also download Exchange 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 5 from this link.

After download, we can move the update installer to a special location within the Exchange 2010 SP3 install files, the updates folder. This will ensure that Update Rollup 5 is automatically installed for us as we run Exchange 2010 SP3 setup, saving us a small task later on:

Figure 12: Preparing Update Rollups for automatic installation

As we won’t be installing Exchange 2010 until we’ve completed JetStress testing, we’ll leave the installation files as is. Keep them handy though as we’ll need a few files from these locations when using JetStress.

Configuring Exchange 2013 prerequisites

While we’re at it, and so we can run JetStress, we will install the prerequisite components needed for Exchange 2013. We’ll start with the OS pre-requisites which, just like Exchange 2010, are best installed via PowerShell; with Exchange 2013 this becomes more helpful as there is quite a few more OS pre-requisites to install.

To install the pre-requisites, launch an elevated PowerShell prompt, and execute the following command:

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

After installation of the components a reboot is required before we can install the other pre-requisite needed for Exchange 2013 installation, the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API Core Runtime, version 4.0. This is available for download from this link

After download, launch the installer. After copying a number of files required, the installer provides information about the components it will install as part of the Core Runtime setup:

Figure 13: Installing the UC Managed API 4.0 Core Runtime

No special configuration is needed after install as it’s a supporting component used within the Unified Communications components of the Mailbox role.

Our final pre-requisite is to download and extract the Exchange 2013 installation files themselves. Each cumulative update or service pack for Exchange 2013 is a full, slipstreamed install; therefore you never need to (or ever should) install Exchange 2013 RTM and apply CUs or Service Packs. At the time of writing, the latest update for Exchange 2013 is Service Pack 1, available to download from this link.

As cumulative updates are released approximately every quarter, there is likely to be a subsequent update, so ensure you check for the latest update to download and install from rather than SP1.

After download, run the self-extracting executable and choose an appropriate location to extract files to. Just like Exchange 2010, we will run some command-line tasks therefore it’s worth making sure the location you choose is easy to access from a command prompt:

Figure 14: Extracting Exchange 2013 components

After extraction of Exchange 2013 installation files we’re good to go with our pre-requisites.


In part 7 of this series we’ve completed the base installation and configuration of both of our Exchange servers. Both virtual machines are prepared and ready to go for Exchange installation. However we will hold off and ensure we’ve properly tested the underlying storage to ensure it meets requirements. We’ll perform these tests in the next part of this series using JetStress.

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

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