Everyone knows its a good idea to automate your installations of Exchange. It provides a solid, repeatable process by which to deploy your infrastructure – and it takes less time – win/win!.
One area that I have witnessed repeatedly over the last 12 months or so is organisations automating their OS build and Exchange build, but deploying the Exchange pre-requisites manually. This obviously leads to inconsistencies in the built out environment.
Since Windows Server 2008 we have been able to automate the pre-requisites deployment with “servermanagercmd” and appropriate xml files for each role. However, in Windows Server 2008 R2 this method is deprecated.
Instead of “servermanagercmd” in Server 2008 R2 and SP2 we use a powershell cmdlet “add-windowsfeature”
As a quick example, if you are installing the Client Access, Hub Transport and Mailbox roles onto a single server, the following PowerShell commands will take care of the pre-requisites for you…
This is discussed in more detail, including the features required for each specific role here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691354(EXCHG.140).aspx#WS08R2
Posted by Neil Johnson, MCS UK, MCM Exchange 2007