Exchange Edge Server Role Installation

Exchange Logo

With the release of Exchange 2013 SP1 Microsoft (re)introduced the Edge Server Role, missing from the RTM release, which can be used in front of on-premises Exchange deployments or in hybrid deployments with Office 365.

Exchange Edge Role – Requisites

Exchange Edge Server role can be installed on the same OS as the other Exchange roles – Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2.

It is important to note that Microsoft does not support installation of the Exchange Edge Role on servers running Windows Server Core so if you’re installing on a Windows 2012/Windows 2012 R2 server you need to convert your machine to full Windows mode before proceeding.

Once the OS has been correctly configured you need to satisfy some requirements in terms of DNS Name resolution and configuration, here is a list of the requirements:

  • The Exchange Edge server must be able to resolve the Mailbox server name
  • The Mailbox server must able to resolve the Edge server name

Finally it is important to assign a DNS suffix to the Exchange Edge server like in the example below:

Exchange Edge - DNS Suffix

Software requirements to deploy the Edge server are pretty simple you only need to install the AD LDS component with the following command:

Install-WindowsFeature ADLDS

Success Restart Needed Exit Code Feature Result
------- -------------- --------- --------------
True No Success {Active Directory Lightweight Directory Se...

WARNING: To create a new AD LDS instance on server, log on to the destination server and then run the Active Directory
Lightweight Directory Services Setup Wizard. For more information, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=224859.

Like with the previous versions of Exchange it is advisable that the server hosting the Edge Server Role is placed in a DMZ and not joined to the domain for security reasons with the following being the ports requirements:

  • TCP Port 25 Inbound/Outbound between the Exchange Edge and the internet for standard mail traffic
  • TCP Port 25 Inbound/Outbound between the Exchange Edge and internal network
  • TCP Port 50636 from the internal network to the Exchange Edge to allow EdgeSync

Exchange Edge Role – Installation

To install the Exchange Edge server download Exchange 2013 (SP1 or later) media files, for the post I will be using Exchange 2013 CU8, unzip them in a convenient location and launch the setup.exe file to start Exchange installation and at the Server Role Selection page select the Edge Transport role:

Exchange Edge - GUI Install

From this point on the installation is identical to that of any other Exchange server role.

Alternatively you can install the Edge role using the unattended command line setup, from an elevated command line or PowerShell window use the following command:

setup.exe /m:install /r:et /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 8 Unattended Setup
Copying Files...
File copy complete. Setup will now collect additional information needed for installation.
Languages
Management tools
Edge Transport Role

Performing Microsoft Exchange Server Prerequisite Check

    Configuring Prerequisites                                                   COMPLETED
    Prerequisite Analysis                                                       COMPLETED

Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server

    Preparing Setup                                                             COMPLETED
    Stopping Services                                                           COMPLETED
    Copying Exchange Files                                                      COMPLETED
    Language Files                                                              COMPLETED
    Restoring Services                                                          COMPLETED
    Language Configuration                                                      COMPLETED
    Exchange Management Tools                                                   COMPLETED
    Edge Transport Role                                                         COMPLETED
    Finalizing Setup                                                            COMPLETED

The Exchange Server setup operation completed successfully.
Setup has made changes to operating system settings that require a reboot to take effect. 
Please reboot this server prior to placing it into production.

As instructed reboot the server for all the changes to take effect.

Once the server is back online you’ll be ready to start the configuration of EdgeSync so to allow the Edge server to perform recipients lookup and implement domain security via mutual authentication.

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