Planning and deployment

Applies to: Exchange Server 2013

Do you need guidance doing an Exchange install? This article provides guidance for planning a deployment of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 as well as links to articles that you'll need during deployment.

The following sections contain links to information about planning for and then deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.


Make sure you read the Release notes for Exchange 2013 topic before you begin your deployment. The release notes contain important information on issues you might encounter during and after your deployment.

Planning for Exchange 2013

Use the following links to access information to help you plan the deployment of Exchange Server 2013 into your organization.


See Establish a Test Environment later in this topic about installing Exchange 2013 in a test environment.

  • Mailbox and Client Access servers: Learn about the Mailbox and Client Access server roles that are included with Exchange 2013.

  • Exchange 2013 system requirements: Understand the system requirements that need to be satisfied in your organization before you can install Exchange 2013.

  • Exchange 2013 prerequisites: Learn which Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2012 features and the other software that needs to be installed to perform a successful installation of Exchange 2013.

  • Exchange Server Deployment Assistant: Use this tool to generate a customized checklist for planning, installing, or upgrading to Exchange 2013. Guidance is available for multiple scenarios, including an on-premises, hybrid, or cloud deployment.

  • Active Directory: Read this topic to learn about how Exchange 2013 uses Active Directory and how your Active Directory deployment affects your Exchange deployment.

  • Anti-malware protection: Read this topic to understand anti-malware protection options for Exchange 2013.

  • Exchange Server Hybrid Deployments: Read this topic to help you with planning a hybrid deployment with Microsoft Office 365 and your on-premises Exchange 2013 organization.

  • Planning for high availability and site resilience: Read this topic to help you with planning to achieve your high availability and business continuity requirements.

  • Integration with SharePoint and Lync: Read this topic to learn about integrating Exchange 2013, Microsoft SharePoint 2013, and Microsoft Lync 2013 to enable cross-product archiving, hold, and eDiscovery; site mailboxes; authentication; Lync presence; and more.

  • Planning for Unified Messaging: Read this topic to learn more about planning for Exchange 2013 Unified Messaging.

  • Exchange 2013 storage configuration options: Read this topic to learn about the storage architectures, disk types, and storage configurations supported by the Exchange 2013 Mailbox server role.

  • Exchange 2013 virtualization: Read this topic to learn more about how you can deploy Exchange 2013 in a virtualized environment.

  • Multi-tenancy in Exchange 2013: Read this topic to learn more about how you can configure Exchange 2013 to host multiple and discrete organizations or business units that ordinarily don't share email, data, users, global address lists (GALs), or other commonly used Exchange objects.

  • Exchange Development Technologies: This topic contains important information about Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that are available for applications that use Exchange 2013.

Establish a test environment

Before installing Exchange 2013 for the first time, we recommend that you install it in an isolated test environment. This approach reduces the risk of end-user downtime and negative ramifications to the production environment.

The test environment will act as your "proof of concept" for your new Exchange 2013 design and make it possible to move forward or roll back any implementations before deploying into your production environments. Having an exclusive test environment for validation and testing allows you to do pre-installation checks for your future production environments. By installing in a test environment first, we believe that your organization will have a better likelihood of success in a full production implementation.

For many organizations, the costs of building a test lab may be high because of the need to duplicate the production environment. To reduce the hardware costs associated with a prototype lab, we recommend the use of virtualization by using Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V technologies. Hyper-V enables server virtualization, allowing multiple virtual operating systems to run on a single physical machine.

For more detailed information about Hyper-V, see Server Virtualization. For information about Microsoft support of Exchange 2013 in production on hardware virtualization software, see "Hardware virtualization" in Exchange 2013 system requirements.

Deploying an installation of Exchange 2013

The deployment phase is the period during which you install Exchange 2013 into your organization. Before you begin the deployment phase, you should plan your Exchange organization. For more information, see the Planning section earlier in this topic.

Use the following links to access the information you need to help you with deploying Exchange 2013.

Understanding Exchange 2013 Setup

You can use different types and modes of Exchange 2013 Setup to install and maintain the various editions and versions of Exchange 2013.

Exchange editions and versions

Exchange 2013 is available in two server editions: Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. These are licensing editions that are defined by a product key. For more information, see Exchange licensing FAQs.

Types of Exchange Setup

You have the following options for Exchange 2013 Setup:

  • Exchange Setup UI: Running Setup.exe without any command-line switches provides an interactive experience where you are guided by the Exchange 2013 Setup wizard.

  • Exchange Unattended Setup: Running Setup.exe with command-line switches enables you to install Exchange from an interactive command line or through a script.

Setup.exe is available from the Exchange 2013 DVD or the downloaded source files.

Modes of Exchange Setup

Setup for Exchange 2013 includes several installation modes:

  • Install: Use this mode when you're installing a new server role or adding a server role to an existing installation (maintenance mode). You can use this mode from both the Exchange Setup wizard and the unattended install.

  • Uninstall: Use this mode when you're removing the Exchange installation from a computer. You can use this mode from both the Exchange Setup wizard and the unattended install.

  • Upgrade: Select this mode used when you have an existing installation of Exchange and you're installing a cumulative update or service pack. You can use this mode from both the Exchange Setup wizard and the unattended install.


    Exchange 2013 doesn't support in-place upgrades from previous versions of Exchange. This mode is used only to install cumulative updates or service packs.

  • RecoverServer: Use this mode when there has been a catastrophic failure of a server, and you need to recover data. You must install a server using the same fully qualified domain name (FQDN) as the failed server, and then run Setup with the /m:RecoverServer switch. Don't specify the roles to restore. Setup detects the Exchange Server object in Active Directory and installs the corresponding files and configuration automatically. After you recover the server, you can restore databases and reconfigure any additional settings. To run in RecoverServer mode, you can't have Exchange installed on the server. The Exchange server object must exist in Active Directory. You can only use this mode during an unattended installation.


You must complete one mode of Setup before you can use another mode.

For more information

IPv6 support in Exchange 2013

Exchange admin center in Exchange 2013

Exchange 2013 language support

Exchange 2013 readiness checks