Exchange Server 2016 Implementation Resources


Hi TechNet blog readers. Long time reader, first time blogger. 🙂

As a transactional Premier Field Engineer (PFE) I work with different customers weekly. I may be in Washington, D.C. one week then Seattle, WA the next. I may work with a Fortune 500 company today and a small school district tomorrow. Despite the unique customers and locations, the content I share is largely the same. So much so, that I keep OneNote notebook of the resources I regularly share with customers for Exchange 2013, Exchange 2016, and Exchange Online. When sending a follow-up message to a customer I copy the links which would be most relevant to the customer's situation from that notebook.

Since I now have my very own TechNet blog, I figure I will take the ideal of sharing one-step further and make a post with all of the helpful Exchange 2016 resources I have gathered over the last two years.
Please note that while there is a lot of information below, that this is not an exhaustive list of Exchange 2016 resources; these are the ones that I have found the most helpful, especially when understanding and scoping an Exchange 2016 implementation/upgrade.

Background Information

Planning & Sizing

  • Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator – Excel spreadsheet which can be used to help size your Exchange environment. Note that the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator is written to help you size your environment based on the input. Many people just "Wing it" when putting in the numbers, and if you do that, you're not getting a good representation of your environment (e.g. "Garbage in, garbage out").

    I recommend downloading it and keep a copy as "Read Only", then save new revisions off it. This will help prevent unintended changes (due to stray mouse-clicks or invalid data) and allows you to save different configuration versions (e.g. one with 4TB disks, one with 8TB disks, etc).

  • Helpful calculator background resources:
  • Ask the Perf Guy: Update to scalability guidance for Exchange 2016 – Exchange team blog post explaining updated maximum hardware recommendations for Exchange 2016.
  • Exchange 2016 storage configuration options – TechNet entry detailing supported disk configurations and best practices
  • JetStress 2013/2016 – link to download JetStress for 2013/2016.
    Do not forget to run JetStress before installing Exchange! If I had a nickel for each time I had to go over disk-related issues because Exchange was deployed without running JetStress…well, I'd have a bunch of nickels.
    Also, it is recommended to run it on all of your intended Exchange servers. In addition to verifying performance requirements, it will help weed-out any potentially bad disks on a physical/DAS/JBoD deployment. It is also recommended to run on all of your SAN-backed servers to ensure they will all receive the required performance.

Deployment

Virtualization (note that 2013 resources are relevant to 2016)

Maintenance

  • Managing Database Availability Groups – TechNet entry on the subject (link directs to the Performing maintenance on DAG Members section)
    The
    StartDagServerMaintenance.ps1 and StopDagServerMaintenance.ps1 scripts have been updated to work with 2016; however, there are a couple of manual steps you will need to complete outlined on the above-noted TechNet article.

Unified Messaging

  • Upgrading UM – TechNet entry detailing upgrading UM to Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016.
  • Telephony Advisor for Exchange 2013 – TechNet entry listing supported vendors and equipment models for Exchange 2013 and 2016 UM. It is also highly recommended to check with your telephony systems' vendor/support for additional supportability details.

Other resources

I hope that this information is helpful! If there are any other resources which you have found helpful, please post them in the comments.

Paul Newell

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