Exchange 2016 can be installed on both Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Standard and Datacenter edition of the OS are both supported for installation as Exchange 2016 itself does not rely on any specific featured offered only by one of the two editions so you have flexibility over which version you deploy in your infrastructure.
You will need a full server installation with a GUI as Windows Server Core installation is not supported for Exchange 2016.
With the new architecture there are actually three possible deployment types
- Mailbox Server role (this is the only role available in Exchange 2016)
- Edge Transport Server role (an optional role that like in older Exchange versions cannot co-exist with the Mailbox server role on the same server)
- Management tools (which installs only admin tools for example on an admin server or workstation)
Install Exchange 2016 Pre-Requisites for Mailbox Server Role
To install Exchange 2016 pre-requisites for a Mailbox Server role open an elevated PowerShell session and use the following command to install all necessary roles and features
Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation -Restart
I have used the -Restart option so that the server will automatically reboot after the role and feature installation as that is needed to finalize the configuration of the various components.
After the restart you need to download and install
Once all the components are in place you are ready to install Exchange 2016.
Install Exchange 2016 Pre-Requisites for Edge Transport Server
Exchange 2016 pre-requisites installation for the Edge role is somehow easier/faster. Open an elevated PowerShell session and run the following command
A restart is not needed but again you will need to download and install the following components
Install Exchange 2016 Pre-Requisites for Management Tools
Similarly to Exchange 2013 also Exchange 2016 uses a web-based administrative interface called Exchange Admin Center. There is nothing required to be installed on a workstation or server other than a supported web browser to access the Exchange Admin Center.
If you want to install the Exchange Management Shell rather than use a remote session (requires Windows 2012 R2, WIndows 8.1 or Windows 10) then the only pre-requisites is to install .NET Framework 4.5.2 and you will be ready to install Exchange 2016 management tools.
Once you have deployed Exchange 2016 Pre-Requisites for the chosen deployment type you can proceed and install Exchange 2016 which will be described next.