Pro-Exchange,Lync & Office 365
Belgian Microsoft Unified Communications Professionals
Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Lync Server & Office 365
Exchange 2010 on Windows 2008 Server R2 Server Core ?

Yesterday at the Exchange 2010 Roadshow someone asked a question whether Exchange 2010 is supported on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core? Now that’s an Interesting question!

Now that Windows 2008 R2 Server Core looks like to have support for the prerequisites of Exchange 2010 it might just work?

Exchange 2010 Prerequisites
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691354.aspx

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Remote Management (WinRM) 2.0
  • Windows PowerShell V2
  • IIS 7
  • ASP.NET

    What is new in Windows 2008 R2 Server Core
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd883268(WS.10).aspx

  • A subset of ASP.NET in the Web Server role
  • A subset of .NET Framework 2.0
  • A subset of .NET Framework 3.0, including Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)
  • A subset of .NET Framework 3.5, including WF additions from .NET Framework 3.5 and .NET Language-Integrated Query (LINQ)
  • Windows PowerShell, including cmdlets for Server Manager and the Best Practices Analyzer

     

    The supported operating system list does not mention Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core!
    So officially it is not supported to install Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core!

    The following table lists the supported operating systems for Exchange 2010
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

    Operating system on a computer that has a 64-bit processor One of the following:

    • 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 Standard with Service Pack 2 (SP2)
    • 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with SP2
    • 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
    • 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

     

    But because we are very curious whether not supported also means does not work we want to try to install it anyway and see if it works :)

    Install .NET Framework and Powershell onto the Server Core
    Now we can install the prerequisites for Exchange on Server Core
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691354.aspx#WS08R2

    Let’s try to add the necessary windows components for the default Exchange 2010 installation (Hub/Cas/Mailbox)

    image

    The install fails because RSAT-ADDS is not found so let’s delete that from the list and try again…

    image

    The install fails because Web-Legacy-Mgmt-Console is not found so let’s delete that from the list and try again…

    image

    The install fails because RSAT-Web-Server is not found so let’s delete that from the list and try again…

    image

    The install fails because RPC-Over-HTTP-Proxy is not found so let’s delete that from the list and try again…
    (Note that CAS Server will probably not work because of this error)

    image

    So the install of System Components worked when we left out all Management Console components and the RPC Over HTTP Proxy
    So far so good (partially anyway)

    Now let’s see if we can run setup…

    image

    Setup runs but the windows is blank so probably needs components not available on Server Core

    So let’s try to do it via the Exchange 2010 setup.com command line

    image

    Prerequisites were fine but the install fails :(
    The following error was generated when "$error.Clear(); install-ContentIndexingService -HubOnlyFilterRegistration" was run: "Object reference not set to an instance of an object.".

    So there seems to be a problem with the indexing service not interacting with setup correctly

    Setup failed but the HUB role was installed but none functional, it is listed in the console (the CORE server)

    image

    Trying to uninstall the HUB role also generated an error

    Uninstall did not work and generated the very same error at intall time so I could not uninstall the Hub role :(
    I had to forcibly remove the Server from the Active Directory Configuration partition with ADSIEDIT.MSC

    So I rebuild the Server Core completely and tried to install the Mailbox role only…

    image

    Same error as installing Hub role, ContentIndexingService failed :(

    Conclusion:
    Installing Exchange 2010 on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core is not supported and does not work because install does not succeed
    Most likely because Microsoft did not test any of the scenario’s on Server Core and also because there is only a subset available of some components used by Exchange 2010.

    • Prerequisites are met so install can continue
    • The RPC over HTTP Proxy required for CAS role is not available in Server Core
    • The Content Indexing Service install required for Mailbox & Hub role does not work on Server Core

    So at this time it is not possible to install Exchange 2010 on Server Core but then again that may change in the future


    Posted 12-09-2009 1:49 by Johan Delimon
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