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Exchange 2013 RTM CU1 Soon

Originally, MS will  deliver Exchange 2013 RTM Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) by the end of this quarter.  Unfortunately, we are not going to meet that goal. We know that many of you will be disappointed as a result of this statement. We understand your pain, however, the decision to delay is due to an issue we found in our final test pass coupled with feedback from members within our Technology Adoption Program community.

Specifically, we found an issue with Exchange 2010 coexistence. The issue actually had an easy workaround, but we made a decision; instead of burdening you with a configuration change on all of your Exchange 2010 Client Access servers, we decided to take a code change in Exchange 2013 and solve the problem so that you will not have to make any additional configuration changes. Given that the goal of CU1 is to enable coexistence with legacy versions of Exchange, we felt this was the right decision; after all, we want to ensure that your upgrade to Exchange 2013 and your coexistence period goes as smooth as possible.

As previously mentioned, Exchange 2013’s update strategy is different from previous releases; we are uncoupling security updates and reducing the number of updates we release. In addition to those changes, we will continue to evaluate issues as they are identified during development (even during the final test pass) and if we determine that the vast majority of on-premises customers are affected, we will do everything we can to mitigate the issue prior to release, even if that means delaying the release.

We regret the impact that this delay has on our customers, and as always, we continue to identify ways to better serve your needs through our regular servicing releases. The release date for Exchange 2013 RTM CU1 is currently planned for April 2nd. We will let you know if that date changes, as well as, post an announcement when the download is live.
For More Information: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2013/03/25/exchange-2013-rtm-cu1-status.aspx
The download URL : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj983803(v=exchg.150).aspx

Configuring Active Directory (AD DS) in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 introduces a plethora of new features with a key emphasis on Cloud integration being the buzz word in the industry over the last 24 months.  Windows continues to grow and mature as an operating system with the latest iteration being more secure, reliable and robust and more importantly making it easily inter-operable with other systems.

This post will focus on promoting windows 2012 as the first domain controller in a new Forest.  Even though the logical steps haven’t really changed dramatically since the introduction of Windows 2008, the interface has! especially with the new metro look.  So let’s begin our journey with Windows Server 2012 as this will be the first of many articles on configuring different components that Windows Server 2012 has to offer.

Adding the Active Directory Domain Services Role

From the Dashboard click on “Add roles and features”.  You will be presented with the “Before you begin screen.  Click Next.  In the “Installation Type” screen click on “Role-base or feature-based installation”.
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You will be presented with the following screen asking you to select a destination server.  This is a new feature of Windows 2012 where you have the ability to deploy roles and features to remote servers and even offline virtual hard disks.

In our case, we are selecting the current server from the server pool.
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Click Next

We are now back in familiar territory (if you have worked with Windows 2008 Server) and we will select the “Active Directory Domain Services” and DNS Server if it hasn’t already been provisioned.
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Click on Add Features

Click Next

If you want to add additional features, you can do so from the next screen, otherwise click Next
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You will now be presented with the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) screen outlining some information about AD DS and its requirements.  You will notice that DNS is a MUST and has always been the case.

Click next

You now provided with a summary of installation selections

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Upon completion you will be presented with an installation succeeded message.
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Click Close.

Back in Server Manager, you will notice that AD DS has been added to the left navigation tree.  Click on it and then click on More on the right navigation pane where it states that Configuration is required for Active Directory Domain Services.

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You will now be presented with the All Servers Task Details, in which you will click on Promote this server to a domain controller under Action.

The Deployment Configuration screen appears and we will select “Add a new forest” as this is the first domain controller.

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Enter your Root domain name and then click Next.

The following screen will then appear in which you will enter and select your Domain Controller Options.

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You will then get the below warning in which you can ignore for now.

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Click Next

The NetBIOS domain name will then be inputted automatically.

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Click Next

Confirm or change the locations of your database folder, log folder and SYSVOL folder.

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Click Next

Review your selections and then Click Next.

If all of the prerequisites checks have passed successfully, you will be able to click on Install to proceed.

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Click Install

The installation will now proceed and you will see the progress being displayed.

The computer will most likely restart on its own to complete the installation so don’t be alarmed if it does.  You will receive a brief warning advising so.

Upon restart, you should be able to login using your domain credentials for the user administrator.

So let’s add our first user!  We can do so via the new Active Directory Administrative Center or via the well known Active Directory Users and Computers.  For something different, lets try the former.

Once Server Manager has launched, click on Tools > Active Directory Administrative Center

You will be greeted with the below Welcome screen.

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Click on your domain on the left navigation pane, in my instance it is Exch2013 (local).

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Select New User.  The below screen appears in which you will fill in the necessary details.

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Click on OK

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As you can see it is relatively straight forward configuring your first domain controller in a new forest using Windows Server 2012, in particular if you have had experience with Windows Server 2008

what’s new and the new architecture of Exchange 2013

I have found these 2 videos on Tech-Net

The first video shows what is the new features in exchange 2013 and you can see the video here

The second video talks about:
1- New architecture of exchange 2013
2- High availability
3- Co-existence with exchange 2007 and exchange 2010
4- Upgrade path from exchange 2007 and exchange 2010

You can check the second video here

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