I am testing MS exchange 2010 SP1 for our firm. It's new exchnage installation as we don't have any previous versions. I installed Exchange 2010 with SP1 on Windows server 2008 SP2 (64-bit) with typical settings which has 3 server roles: hub transport, mailbox server, client access. But now I got stuck how to finish basic configuaration to get email flow from/to my server. I really appreciate any response to help me with the next steps..

Thank you in advance for any replies...

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    Seeing as how this is a new server, I would Install Server 2008 R2 instead of Server 2008. Its not exactly related to the question, but I would stay away from Server 2008 since it is the Vista of Microsoft Servers. – BLAKE Mar 15 '11 at 17:54
  • Hi Black, Thank you for your comment. I will consider that my deployment... Thanks again.. – Hemal Mar 17 '11 at 13:13

This is by no means an easy question, and there is no "standard way" to do a "basic setup" in Exchange, which is quite a complex product and definitely needs some study before deployment.

That said, the main points you should look into are:

  • Accepted domains (in Organization Configuration): these are the SMTP domains your server will manage messages for. You should define at least one authoritative domain for your public DNS domain.
  • E-mail address policies (in Organization Configuration): this tells Exchange how to create addresses for your users. The most basic setup here is to give each user an address in the form username@default.smtp.domain.
  • Mailboxes (in Recipient Configuration): your users will of course need one, in order to be able to actually use Exchange.
  • Send connectors (in Organization Configuration): these tell Exchange how to deliver outgoing messages; you will need at least one of them, configured for delivery of Internet e-mail to external domains.
  • Receive connectors (in Hub Transport server configuration): this is the SMTP server listening on your server for incoming messages; this will not by default accept incoming external e-mail, because it would want an Edge server in this role; if you want this server to directly receive e-mail from the Internet, you will need to allow anonymous connection to the default receive connector on your Hub Transport Server.
  • Firewall: you will need to allow incoming SMTP traffic (TCP port 25) from one external public IP address to your server's private one, by means of NAT; and you will of course also need to let your server establish outgoing SMTP connections to external addresses.
  • DNS: I assume you already did this, otherwise you will need to configure the MX record for your public DNS domain to point to the public IP address whose TCP/25 port is then forwarded to your Exchange server.

This should get basic mail flow going; then you'll have to look into the two other most important points of Exchange configuration: storage and web services; but talking about that here too would really make this answer too lenghty and complex.

I strongly suggest you read a book or two about Exchange... it's quite a complex beast. Really.

  • Hire someone on elance.com or another freelance website to spend an hour or two helping you with the missing pieces, then read the book(s) as @Massimo recommends. – Bret Fisher Mar 15 '11 at 17:24
  • Hi Massimo, Thank you for the detailed info. I'm going to dig more into exchange 2010 and try it out.. Thank you again... – Hemal Mar 15 '11 at 17:30

It would be helpful to know more about what specifically you've set up. Have you configured an MX record in DNS? Have you created any mailboxes? Transport rules? Etc. Exchange is a pretty complicated server to set up, and if you're just winging it without any previous experience with mail servers, or at least some reading materials, you are likely to be frustrated and disappointed.

So, if you can ask more specific questions, you may get more specific answers. :^)

  • Hi Rob, Thank you for the reply. You are right, I have to be more specific next time. I tried to follow MS technet documentation about the post installation tasks but bit confused with it. How do I setup my existing dns server for exchange? And Do I need edge transport server? – Hemal Mar 15 '11 at 16:17

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