Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Hosting Deployment… Part #1 – The First Look

For those who are planning to move from HMC to Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Hosting deployment or if you are interested in doing a multi-tenant Exchange environment, you should definitely download the bit and give it a try. It will give you a sense of how the next hosting model is going to look like and what are the things in HMC that is in there and has been improved over HMC and what's not.

What I am going to do here is to briefly talk about how to install Exchange Server 2010 SP1 in hosting mode and on a high level what are some of the things being enabled when you use this switch compared to a normal On Premise Exchange Server 2010 installation (meaning, not hosting mode).

Installing Exchange Server 2010 SP1 beta in the hosting mode is actually pretty straightforward. After you have all the Exchange Server 2010 pre-req installed, and you have installed your Domain controller and created the new forest, you run the Exchange with a /hosting switch. Something like the following,
 /mode:install /role:MB,CA,HT /organizationName:ConsolidatedMessenger /hosting

As you can see, I am installing CAS and Hub Transport on the same box (it is a test box), but note the hosting switch at the back. It is important that you have that. You also realize that when you do a /help:install, you won't find the /hosting switch being listed but it is there. Next, you just let it run and wait for the installation to complete.

Once it is installed, let me point out a few obvious things that is there that you won't see in a normal on premise Exchange deployment.

1. Sample Service Plan templates on the CAS Servers.

The files are located in <Exchange Installation Path>\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\ServicePlans on the CAS server. Here is a screenshot.

You can see there are 2 types of files here. One is the ServicePlan templates that consists of the configurations of all the options that you can apply to a mailbox and more, of course. So, think of it to be very similar to User Plan in HMC.

Then you have a CSV file, ServicePlanHostingRemap.csv that map the service plan templates to an offer and program ID.

I personally find it interesting why this isn't stored in the Active Directory as well. It would have been easier instead of having the need to manually ensure that all the files are the same in all the CAS servers.

2. Configuration Container

The configuration container definitely looks a bit different. Under the OU=Microsoft Exchange, it has an additional container called 'ConfigurationUnits'. It is empty at the moment but it won't be if a new organization is created. We will talk about that more when I talk about how to create tenant organization.

3. Additional OU in Default Naming context

Under the Domain Naming context, you can see there is an additional OU created. This OU is very similar to what the Hosting OU we have in HMC. This one is called 'Microsoft Exchange Hosted Organizations'. The container is obviously empty when you first create install the Exchange environment.

4. No Exchange Management Console.

That's right, only the powershell. So, if you are not a powershell person, I think it is time to be one because no more GUI for you. Will that change when SP1 RTM? I don't know but for most parts, I really don't think there is a need for GUI because most hosters will have their own Control Panel and most hosters have so many companies and mailboxes (for example, some hosters has like 2-3 millions objects), GUI just don't do too well in those scenarios. If you try to launch MMC and do the add-in, you will find the following,

See, it clearly said, the Exchange Management Console is not supported or in a datacenter environment.

5. Different Cmdlets and Cmdlet switches

With the hosting swtich, you will realize that you have additional cmdlets. Yeah, you have seen them in the Hosting Deployment CHM file, right? Let me give you an example the difference,

This is what I get on a On Premise Exchange 2010 SP1 installation,

This is what I get on a server installed with /hosting switch


So, you can see that some cmdlets have been removed and new one like New-Organization has been added.

6. Additional Security Groups

You may also see some security groups created that is not in the normal on premise Exchange environment. For example, Exchange All Hosted Organizations security group.

Now, I am only pointed out the obvious one right now. I will try to blog a little bit more on individual components as we go. So, what do I think about Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Hosting Deployment so far? I think the installation is definitely smoother than I expected and I like what I am seeing. There are definitely some questions remain unanswered at the moment but hey, it is a beta bit still but the beta bit has surely given me good feeling.

Next, I will talk about creating a new tenant organization, mailboxes, contacts and etc. etc.. We will go over a bit on how is tenant isolation done in Exchange 2010 SP1 beta, RBAC, OAB and Address List stamping and why I think it is better compared to what we have now in HMC.

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Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta Hosting Deployment

Comments (18)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Normann. I can't really tell why is it failing like this. almost look like it is missing files and can't copy? Check the setup log if there is any.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It should be single forest, single domain and Windows 2008 functional level.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jordan,

    Exchange 2007 AL segregation is really a very clever way doing virtual organization.

    AL Segregation in Exchange 2007 is very different as compared to this 2010 Hosting Deployment. The level of segregation at a different level. In Exchange 2007, the segregation is at AD ACL and AL but in Exchange 2010 Hosting Deployment, it is RBAC and segregation starts from the configuration context.

    Anyway, I suggest you take a look at Dave's weblog on this too,…/critical-update-exchange-2010-address-list-segregation-and-current-support-stances.aspx

    Yes, I will talk about AL and GAL in the hosting deployment for 2010. It is coming. šŸ™‚

  4. Anonymous says:

    You have to create that in a brand new environment without previous version of Exchange installed because there is significant changes on how the configurations are being stored and how organization is being created.

    In short, setup a brand new AD environment, then you should be fine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In the case of Hosting, as in migrating from HMC to E2k10 SP1 hosting, I do not expect any in place upgrade scenario will be available but I would wait for it to SP1 to release and an official guide from product team if in place is what you are looking for.

  6. Jordan says:

    Hello, thanks for yours articles ! šŸ™‚

    How did you prepare your Active Directory environnement ? A previous Exchange version was installed before ?

    I'm trying to deploy Exchange 2010 on a domain which contains Exchange Server 2007, i prepared my schema and domaine with /ps /p and /pd but when i want to deploy Exchange 2010 with /hosting switch i have the following error message : "Active Directory wasn't prepared for the hosting mode.Cleanup your AD and prepare it" but without /hosting it's works !

    It's weird šŸ™‚

  7. Jordan says:

    Ok, so in clear there is no way  to migrate from Exchange 2007 environnement to Exchange 2010 /Hosting  ?

    I appreciate your help !

  8. Jordan says:

    Yes, but in my case i'm waiting the guide to perform an update from Exchange 2007 with address segregation to 2010 hosted šŸ™‚

    I find it unfortunate that the migration from 2007 to 2010 exist but not for 2007 to 2010 hosted, maybe later there will be a way to do that.

    By the way, do you plan to talk about the AL and GAL in the future ?

  9. Yusuf Ozturk says:

    Also I told how to install Hosted Exchange 2010. I used Citrix Netscaler for load balancing. Also I told how to make mailbox server high available with DAG.…/hosted-exchange-2010

    I hope this help.

  10. Normann P. Nielsen says:


    I have followed Your guides, and thing are running great, but I cant install a second Exchange 2010 in the hosting environment, the installation just stops…

    C:UsersAdministrator.HOSTINGDesktopsp1> /mode:Install /roles:CA,HT,

    MB /hosting

    Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Unattended Setup

    Setup will continue momentarily, unless you press any key and cancel the

    installation. By continuing the installation process, you agree to the license

    terms of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

    If you don’t accept these license terms, please cancel the installation. To

    review the license terms, please go to

    Press any key to cancel setup…………….

    No key presses were detected.  Setup will continue.

    Preparing Exchange Setup

       Copying Setup Files


  11. Normann P. Nielsen says:

    I am a bit embarrased to agreeg with You ;-( Seems the copy went bad from server2server. Thanx!

  12. hussein6 says:

    Hi , is there any restriciton on the forest level for the new Domain ? when you migrate to Exchange 2010 Hosting?

    thanks in advanced

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