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Exchange 2010 System Requirements


Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Before you install Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, we recommend that you review this topic to ensure that your network, hardware, software, clients, and other elements meet the requirements for Exchange 2010. In addition, make sure you understand the coexistence scenarios that are supported for Exchange 2010 and earlier versions of Exchange.

Supported Coexistence Scenarios

The following table lists the scenarios in which coexistence between Exchange 2010 and earlier versions of Exchange are supported.

Coexistence of Exchange 2010 and earlier versions of Exchange Server

Exchange version Exchange organization coexistence

Exchange 2000 Server

Not supported

Exchange Server 2003


Exchange 2007


Mixed Exchange 2007 and Exchange Server 2003 organization


Exchange 2000 Server

You can't upgrade an existing Exchange 2000 organization directly to Exchange 2010. You must first upgrade the Exchange 2000 organization to either an Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 organization, and then you can upgrade the Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 organization to Exchange 2010. We recommend that you upgrade your organization from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003, and then upgrade from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010. For more information about upgrading from Exchange 2000, see Planning an Upgrade from Exchange 2000 and Upgrading to Exchange 2007.

Network and Directory Servers

For detailed information about the supported directory servers for Exchange 2010, see the "Supported Active Directory environments" section of the Exchange Server Supportability Matrix.

In each Active Directory site where you plan to install Exchange 2010, you must have at least one writable global catalog server and one writable domain controller running a supported version of Windows Server.

IPv6 is supported only when IPv4 is also used; a pure IPv6 environment isn't supported. Using IPv6 addresses and IP address ranges is supported only when both IPv6 and IPv4 are enabled on that computer, and the network supports both IP address versions. If Exchange 2010 is deployed in this configuration, all server roles can send data to and receive data from devices, servers, and clients that use IPv6 addresses. Exchange 2010 support is similar to support for Exchange Server 2007. For more information, see Understanding IPv6 Support in Exchange 2010.

Directory Server Architecture

The use of 64-bit Active Directory domain controllers increases directory service performance for Exchange 2010. For more information about Exchange 2010, the Mailbox server role and Active Directory ratios, see the "Active Directory Server and Mailbox Server Ratios" section in Understanding Server Role Ratios and Exchange Performance.


In multi-domain environments, on Windows Server 2008 domain controllers that have the Active Directory language locale set to Japanese, your servers may not receive some attributes that are stored on an object during inbound replication. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 949189, A Windows Server 2008 domain controller that is configured with the Japanese language locale may not apply updates to attributes on an object during inbound replication.

Installing Exchange 2010 on Directory Servers

For security and performance reasons, we recommend that you install Exchange 2010 only on member servers and not on Active Directory directory servers. However, you can't run DCPromo on a computer running Exchange 2010. After Exchange 2010 is installed, changing its role from a member server to a directory server, or vice versa, isn't supported.


The recommended hardware requirements for Exchange 2010 servers vary depending on a number of factors including the server roles that are installed and the anticipated load that will be placed on the servers. For information about minimum, maximum, and recommended hardware configurations for Exchange 2010 servers, see Performance and Scalability.

Hardware requirements for Exchange 2010

Component Requirement Notes


  • x64 architecture-based computer with Intel processor that supports Intel 64 architecture (formerly known as Intel EM64T)

  • AMD processor that supports the AMD64 platform

  • Intel Itanium IA64 processors not supported

It's supported to install the Exchange management tools on a computer that has a 64-bit processor.

For more information, see Install the Exchange 2010 Management Tools and Prepare Active Directory and Domains.


Varies depending on Exchange features that are installed

For detailed information about memory requirements for Exchange 2010, see Understanding Memory Configurations and Exchange Performance.

Paging file size

The page file size minimum and maximum must be set to physical RAM plus 10  MB

The recommended page file size also accounts for the memory that's needed to collect information if the operating system stops unexpectedly. On 64-bit operating systems, memory can be written as a dump file to the paging file. This file must reside on the boot volume of the server.

For more information about the configuration options that are available for memory dump data, see Knowledge Base article 254649, Overview of memory dump file options for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

Disk space

  • At least 1.2 GB on the drive on which you install Exchange

  • An additional 500 MB of available disk space for each Unified Messaging (UM) language pack that you plan to install

  • 200 MB of available disk space on the system drive

  • A hard disk that stores the message queue database on an Edge Transport server or Hub Transport server with at least 500 MB of free space

The minimum space requirements detailed here don't account for disk subsystem requirements for adequate performance.


DVD-ROM drive, local or network accessible


Screen resolution

800 x 600 pixels or higher


File format

Disk partitions formatted as NTFS file systems, which applies to the following partitions:

  • System partition

  • Partitions that store Exchange binary files

  • Partitions containing transaction log files

  • Partitions containing database files

  • Partitions containing other Exchange files


For more information about planning your hardware for Exchange 2010, see the following topics:

Operating System

For detailed information about the supported operating systems for Exchange 2010, see the "Supported Operating System Platforms" section of the Exchange Server Supportability Matrix.


The release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version of Exchange 2010 doesn’t support being run on computers with the United States Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliant settings enabled. If you have FIPS enabled on computers running Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange 2010 RTM will not function correctly. For more information, see Knowledge Base article 811833, The effects of enabling the "System cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing" security setting in Windows XP and in later versions of Windows.

Support for Outlook and Entourage

Exchange 2010 supports the following versions of Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Entourage for Mac:

  • Outlook 2010

  • Outlook 2007

  • Outlook 2003

  • Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition

  • Outlook for Mac 2011

If you haveclients running Outlook 2003, be aware of the following when you upgrade your organization to Exchange 2010:

  • On clients running Outlook 2003, you may notice that folder updates don't occur automatically in a timely manner. This was a known issue in Exchange 2010 RTM and SP1, but it has been resolved in Exchange 2010 SP1 Rollup Update 3. For more information about how to install an Update Rollup, see Install the Latest Update Rollup for Exchange 2010. For more background information about this issue, see Knowledge Base article 2009942, In Outlook 2003, e-mail messages take a long time to send and receive when you use an Exchange 2010 mailbox. Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 are not affected by this issue.

  • Exchange 2010 RTM: Clients running Outlook 2003 don’t use RPC encryption, which RPC Client Access requires by default. You will either need to turn off the RPC encryption requirement or configure Outlook 2003 to use RPC encryption. However, Outlook 2007 and later versions are automatically compatible with the change to RPC Client Access because they support RPC encryption by default. For more information, see Understanding RPC Client Access.

  • Exchange 2010 SP1: In Exchange 2010 SP1, the RPC encryption requirement is disabled by default. Any new Client Access Servers (CAS) deployed in the organization will not require encryption. However, any CAS servers deployed prior to Exchange 2010 SP1 or upgraded to Exchange 2010 SP1 will retain the existing RPC encryption requirement setting.

For more information, see Concern: Is having Outlook 2003 clients going to prevent me from deploying Exchange 2010?.

Hardware Virtualization

Microsoft supports running Exchange 2010 in production on hardware virtualization software. For more information, see Understanding Exchange 2010 Virtualization.

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