Microsoft Exchange 2016 | From 0 to 1st email

This is not one of my ordinary posts, I just want to share the clean install experience of Microsoft Exchange 2016 on a Windows Server 16 TP3 for those who want to set a lab and practice. For my lab I used a Windows Server 16 TP3 promoted to Domain Controller, Domain mylab.lab and DNS.

Exchange Setup, since 2013, allows us to select if we want the setup wizard to enable all required Windows Roles & Features automatically. The only prerequisite is to install the Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime from:

The Microsoft Exchange 2016 installation can be downloaded from:
Next we can start the Microsoft Exchange 2016 setup, using the setup.exe at the installation media.

Accept the agreement and click next

Select “recommended Settings” and click next

Select “Mailbox Role” and “Automatically install Windows Server roles that are required to install Exchange Server” and press next

Select the path for  the installation and press next

Name the Exchange Organization or leave it default. If you want to split the premissions between Active Directory and Exchange Organization select the “Apply Active Directory split permissions security model to the Exchange organization”. If Active Directory and Exchange have the same Administrators then leave it default (unchecked) and press next

Chose if the malware service will be active or not and press next. 

wait the Readiness Checks to complete and press install

Wait the Setup progress and finally once the setup is completed press finish

The Exchange Setup is completed. Below are the minimum steps to start sending emails.

Open the Exhcange Admin Center. At my lab I used the https://localhost/ecp and login

Go to “mail flow” and click the “send connectors”10

At the “Send Connector” wizard type a name and select “Internet”. This will create a connector that will send emails to the internet.

Next select the “MX record associated withrecipient domain”

Next at the “Address space” click the + and at the “add domain” dialog add “*” to the FQDN to configure the connector to send all emails.

Next select the Exchange Server for Source server and press finish

Once the connector is created, press the “edit” button (the icon with the pen) to edit the connectord

And at the “scoping” tab add the FQDN that the server will provide for HELO/EHLO, for the lab i added “mail.mylab.lab” and press save

Now we are ready to send our first email. We can open OWA with the administrator account and send an email to the outside world. Probably it will be delivered to the spam/junk folder of the receipient 🙂

One final step to enable our Exchange to receive emails from the outer world we need to configure the default receive connector.

Go to “mail flow”, click the”receive connectors”, select the “Default Frontend servername” connector and click edit

Go to the “security” tab and check the “Anonymous users” and click save

Of cource we need to add a Port Forwarding rule to the external firewall for the ports 25 and 443 to the Exchange Server’s internal IP.

Now we have a fully functional Microsoft Exchange 2016 server that sends and receives emails.


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