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Exchange Install On AD/Yes or no?

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  • Exchange Install On AD/Yes or no?

    We are shortly getting Exchange 2010, for which i will be doing the install. Do I need to install Active Directory on the new exchange server?.

    At present our config is something like this

    2x Windows 2003 R2 Standard Domain controllers

    We will put in

    1x Exchange 2010 server running Windows 2008 R2 64bit

    Will we need to replace one of the Windows 2003 Domain controllers and upgrade to 2008?. Or can we install AD on the Exchange server before we put 2010 on?.

    From experience i had a few years ago it didnt like to be installed on an AD server. Is this still the case?


  • #2
    Re: Exchange Install On AD/Yes or no?

    Exchange (all versions) is SUPPORTED on a DC, it is however not the recommended configuration and it should be a member server if possible.

    You do not, AFAIK, need to upgrade to 2008/R2 DCs to support Exchange 2010.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
    Cruachan's Blog


    • #3
      Re: Exchange Install On AD/Yes or no?

      Exchange 2010 will support Windows 2003 DC's SP1 and later. But the DC must be a GC and must hold the schema master role.
      And do not make a DC an Exchange server. MS support this configuration but it can cause a number of complexitys.


      • #4
        Re: Exchange Install On AD/Yes or no?

        If you already have two domain controllers then I wouldn't even consider installing Exchange on to another DC.
        When Exchange is installed on a DC it will only use that DC for its functionality. Given the load Exchange puts on a DC (it is one of the heaviest users of a DC) that would mean the other two are pretty redundant.

        In the event of a recovery, it complicates the process somewhat, because you have to deal with the DC recovery first, then Exchange. Whereas a member server recovery can be done in a couple of hours.

        Simon Butler
        Exchange MVP

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