Community Blog Running Microsoft Exchange Server with Alibaba Cloud ECS

Running Microsoft Exchange Server with Alibaba Cloud ECS

This article describes how to run Microsoft Exchange Server with an Alibaba Cloud ECS instance.

By Kelvin Galabuzi


Microsoft Exchange Server is an exchange email server developed by Microsoft, exchange email hosting and it runs on Windows Server Operating Systems.

What Is Exchange Server?

Exchange is Microsoft's groupware server, originally developed for corporate customers. Like other groupware solutions, it includes communication and organizational features. Email accesses Microsoft Exchange via the Exchange Web Services API (EWS). It joins the other family of account types supported by Email, including Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Outlook, Office365, and more…

What are the Exchange Server Versions?

Microsoft Exchange Server comes in different versions. The latest version is Exchange Server 2019 CU11 Nov21SU, where CU stands for cumulative updates made to that specific version of Exchange Server.

This article will cover setting up Exchange Server 2019 on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition image using an Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance.


Microsoft Exchange Server comes with multiple components that you need to set up to have an efficient and highly available email solution.

Before setting up Microsoft Exchange Server on an Alibaba Cloud ECS instance, make sure to meet the following prerequisites:

  1. An Alibaba Cloud Account with a valid payment method
  2. Access Exchange Server 2019 Media to install the application
  3. Ensure network connectivity between your Exchange Server and your Active Directory Environment

Set up an Alibaba ECS Instance for Exchange Server

The following step-by-step guide explains how to set up an Alibaba Cloud ECS instance for Microsoft Exchange Server.

  • Step 1: In the Alibaba Cloud ECS console, select Create Instance:


  • Step 2: Next, select your payment method, region, and Instance type:


Note: Choose the right instance size in Alibaba Cloud ECS. Exchange Server has high-level memory requirements to run efficiently.

  • *Step 3: Assign the Windows Server Image and Disk space required for your Exchange Server and click Next:


  • Step 4: Configure the required network settings for the ECS Instance, such as the VPC, IP address settings, and Security groups. Then, move to the next page:


  • Step 5: Set up the System Configurations, such as the login credentials, and set the instance and hostname.
  • Step 6: Next, configure the grouping options, such as Tags, Resource groups, and Deployment sets. Then, you can move on to the preview section and proceed to set up the Instance.
  • Step 7: After the instance creation, we can head over to the Alibaba ECS Instances console and confirm that we have our Instance running.


  • Step 8: Next, you can connect to the Instance using an RDP Connection manager, such as the Windows Remote Desktop Connection tool. Alternatively, you can use the Web-based login console on Alibaba Cloud.


Note: The Microsoft Exchange Server must be a member server of your Active Directory environment to install successfully.

Install Exchange Server 2019

The following step-by-step guide explains how to install Microsoft Exchange Server 2019.

Install-WindowsFeature 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, RSAT-ADDS


  • Step 3: Prepare the Schema. Navigate to the Exchange Installation media path and run the following command:
Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms_DiagnosticDataON


  • Step 4: Prepare the Active Directory, running the following command:
Setup.exe /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms_DiagnosticDataON /PrepareAD /OrganizationName: "testlabs"

Note: Make sure to change the OrganizationName parameter specific to your environment.


  • Step 5: Prepare the Domains, running the following command:
Setup.exe /PrepareAllDomains /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms_DiagnosticDataON


  • Step 6: On the Exchange Installation media, select the Setup file to start the installation:


  • Step 7: Select Connect to the Internet and check for updates and click Next:


  • Step 8: Select Use recommended settings and click Next:


  • Step 9: Select the required Exchange Server role, which is the Mailbox role in this case. Select the check box to install the Exchange server required roles automatically and click Next:


  • Step 10: Specify the path for the Exchange Server installation and click Next:


  • Step 11: Disable the malware protection settings and click Next:


  • Step 12: The Exchange Server setup will perform the required checks to ensure that all necessary components are available on the system before you can continue with the installation process. Click Install.


  • Step 13: Finish the installation and launch the Exchange Admin Center:


  • Step 14: Finally, log in and start managing your Exchange Server environment:


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