Have you ever tried installing Exchange 2007/2010 without minimum planning ? Have you tried to install some exchange roles and forgot about some of the prerequisites ? I’ll be honest : the answer is YES !!. Each time i perform an installation, i’m always missing a component not installed (and not to mention the required windows updates to be downloaded and installed). This can be time consumming given that you will need to re-run the setup procedure from the beginning.
Exchange 2007/2010 setup routine has been improved (over the previous version of Exchange) and check for you that the prerequistes are indeed installed. It’s a pitty that the Setup routine does not perform the installation of missing components automatically. This would have been much more user friendly.
In order to speed up some deployment, I’ve started writing some batch files in order to install the required components. Then, the Exchange team came up with some XML Files that can be dowloaded here and published information on how to use them.
In Exchange 2010, similar XML Files are included in the source files. If you look in your Exchange 2010 file structure, you should see a folder called scripts that would contains some XML Files. Using this XML Files, you will be able to easy install prerequistes for most common scenarios (individual roles or combined) roles. This was already an improvement. However, you still need to perform some operations manually (ex: start NetTCPPortSharing Service and set it to automatic).
Some smart people have been busy writing some scripts to ease the pre-installation tasks. I’ll would mention here some of them. Some perform the basic installation others go a step further and try to install also the required Windows Updates and other required components :
This script perform a basic installation of the Exchange 2010 pre-requisites
This script is basically an improved version of the previous one and allow you to download updates as well
As you can see, there are some options available out there that can help you automate your Exchange deployment. The solution might not be perfect for you but you can always use these scripts as a start and create your ultimate automated pre-setup installation script for your environment.
Exchange 2010 SP1 might improve again the way the installation routine is performed but in the mean time and if you need to support Exchange 2007 in your infrastructure, it might be a good idea to keep in mind these useful scripts
Till next Time