Prerequisites of installing Exchange 2016

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Exchange 2016 consists of two roles, Mailbox server role and Edge Transport server role. Before you install new Exchange 2016 in your organization there are many prerequisites that you need to prepare and go through. In this post, I will show prerequisites of installing Exchange 2016.

Prerequisites of installing Exchange 2016

Prerequisites of installing Exchange 2016

There is a nice hardware requirement calculator which is an Excel sheet provided by Microsoft. You can download and use it too. Hardware prerequisites of installing Exchange 2016 Mailbox and Edge Transport server: –

  • Memory: – The minimum memory required is 8GB for Mailbox server and 4GB for Edge transport server. The recommended memory you need to have for per Mailbox server instance is based on number of mailboxes and databases that are running on the server. For example, if you have 200 mailboxes in one mailbox database in single Mailbox server then the server needs to have {min memory + {number of mailboxes * 5MB RAM)} which will be {8 GB + (200 * 5MB)} = (8GB +  1000MB) = 9GB. When you increase the number of database, you also need to increase the memory. For every 10 additional mailboxes add 2 GB of memory. For example, if you are going to have 15 mailbox database in single Mailbox server then the minimum memory required will be 8 + 2 = 10GB RAM.
  • Storage: – For installation of Exchange 2016 mailbox server role, you need at least 30GB on drive where you install Exchange. Exchange 2016 installation requires .NET Framework 4.5.2 or higher. The storage capacity for Mailbox server can depend upon mailbox quotas, database whitespace and recoverable items folder. In Exchange database, whitespace is the free space in the mailbox database. When you delete a mailbox or an item inside a mailbox, the size of the database won’t decrease but will still have free space called whitespace. Most of the time, 15MB/mailbox can be database whitespace per mailbox. When you create a new mailbox database, you need to provide storage locations for mailbox database and logs. Mailbox database is where the mailboxes will be stored and in the logs folder transaction logs will be stored. It is best practice to store mailbox database and transaction logs in same volume with DAG high availability. So if you have 200 mailbox and you want to limit the quota size to 2GB per mailbox then the required storage will be {(no. of mailboxes * quota) + ( no. of mailboxes * whitespace)} = {(200 * 2GB) + (200*15MB)} = (400GB + 3000MB ) which is 403GB. So you would go for 512GB HDD minimum storage.
  • CPU: – Exchange 2016 requires 64-bit architecture processor. It can be Intel or AMD. For more processing speed, look out for more CPU cores and CPU cache.

Operating system requirements for installing Exchange 2016 are: –

  • Installation of Exchange 2016 Mailbox server role or Transport server role is supported in Windows Server 2012 or later. It is not supported in Server 2008. The installation is supported on Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter.
  • Exchange 2016 management tools can be installed on Windows 8, Windows 10, Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2.

Exchange 2016 supports coexistence with following previous version of Windows Servers: –

  • Exchange 2010 – Supported with update rollup 11 for Exchange 2010 SP3 including Edge Transport server.
  • Exchange 2013 – Supported with CU10 or later update.

Exchange Server 2016 can be installed on Windows Server virtual machine. The virtual machine can be on Hyper-V or VMware or other virtualization technology validated by Microsoft. Virtual machine snapshots are not supported for Exchange servers so don’t take snapshots of virtual machines running Exchange server.

These are some prerequisites of Exchange 2016 server. You can now install Exchange 2016.

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Bipin is a freelance Network and System Engineer with expertise on Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, VMware, and other technologies. You can hire him on UpWork. Bipin enjoys writing articles and tutorials related to Network technologies. Some of his certifications are, MCSE:Messaging, JNCIP-SEC, JNCIS-ENT, and others.

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