There is still a place for Exchange On-Premises

With nearly all of my engagements involving Exchange Hybrid and Office365 it felt somewhat retro to perform a fresh Exchange on-premises setup.   There are still requirements out there to setup on-premises Exchange organisations, mainly due to client security and hosting requirements.  It’s been a while since I’ve setup an Exchange Organisation from scratch, so it’s good to revisit the procedures.

The small client environment which I was engaged to setup is for a relatively short term, so we evaluated the use of Exchange 2019.  The requirements of which for this particular setup are somewhat heavy.  The mailbox server RAM requirement alone is 128GB per server.  I’ve done some research around this, including setting up Exchange 2019 in a lab environment, and it installs without any issue on a server running 24GB RAM.  Real world use will be something different though.  The only problem I could foresee is if a support call is required with Microsoft, then if the server does not meet the requirements, then this could cause a sticking point with support.  After all of the evaluation, the hardware available, the product support lifecycle, and project requirements, then we went ahead and installed Exchange 2016 Standard on-premises (of course on Windows Server 2016, as it can’t be installed on Windows Server 2019)

A relatively simple setup of Exchange 2016 Mailbox and Exchange 2016 Edge servers with Edge subscription was performed and is now running nicely.  It’s also been a while since I’ve setup an Exchange Edge server, with the prevalence of cloud based 3rd party mail hygiene products also performing edge functionality, then Exchange Edge is not often configured.

I don’t envisage a repeat of new organisation setup very often, so it’s good to do this once in a while.  I did find it useful to use my Azure subscription to iron out any queries I had in during the setup too.