Installing Exchange Server 2016 in co-existence with Exchange 2010

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Many Exchange Server 2010 administrators are looking for an upgrade to Exchange 2016, considering the imminent end of Microsoft support for the older version. What they keep them cautions is the complexity of the upgradation task, and the lack of awareness about tools that help them in the attempt. For a complete reference on Exchange Server 2016 installation and deployment, one can download this step by step PDF guide – How to Install Exchange Server 2016.  Here, the attempt is to give an introductory idea on upgrading from Exchange 2010 environment to 2016, and achieving co-existence between the two environments.

In this guide we will take you through the steps needed to upgrade from Exchange 2010 to 2016 in co-existence.

  1. Prepare Exchange 2010 for co-existence with Exchange 2016

For co-existence with Exchange 2016, make sure that all Exchange servers in the organization run on Exchange 2010 SP3 or later (with Update Rollup 11). Knowing the details of your Exchange organization is necessary for successfully deploying Exchange 2016. Make sure you know details of the following:

  • AD forest root
  • Names of internal Exchange 2016 and 2010 computers
  • Names of internal Exchange 2016 and 2010 Edge Transport computers
  • External and Internal FQDNs (Exchange 2016) for Outlook on the web and Exchange admin center
  • External and Internal FQDNs (Exchange 2016) for Outlook Anywhere, Offline Address Book, Exchange Web Services, and Exchange ActiveSycn
  • Internal FQDNs (Exchange 2016) for Remote Windows PowerShell
  • AutoDiscover FQDN (external)
  • Service connection point FQDN (internal)
  • User principal name domain

NOTE: Be sure to assign default offline address books for all existing Exchange 2010 mailboxes.

  1. Ensure system requirements and pre-requisites

Check the system requirements and pre-requisites prior to the deployment to avoid potential issues. Make sure you follow these parameters:

  • Processor– 64 bit supported (Intel –x64 architecture or AMD- AMD 64 platform)
  • Operating System – Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter (Management tools are additionally supported by 64 bit editions of Windows 10/8.1).
  • Memory – 8GB for Mailbox server and 4GB for Edge Transport server
  • Disk space – 30GB (where Exchange 2016 is to be installed)
  • Email client – Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 (KB2965295), Outlook for Mac (2011, for Office 365)
  • Additional requirements – .NET framework 4.5.2, Windows Management Framework 4.0, Microsoft Unified Communications Managed (UCMA) API 4.0
  1. Install Exchange 2016 Mailbox Server role

It’s easy to install Exchange 2016 Mailbox Server role using the installation wizard. Simply logon to the system where you’re installing Exchange, access the installation files (download and keep in a network location for easy access), and double-click the Setup.exe (use Run as administrator option to override UAC) to start the installation.

Suggestions: Install Exchange 2016 on servers at internet facing sites first (let the very first one be the site where AutoDiscover requests arrive), followed by the internal sites.

The important points to remember in various steps are (given in the order of pages):

  • Check for Updates page: It is recommended to select the option Connect to the Internet and check for updates (also, it can be done manually later after selecting Don’t check for updates right now on this page).
  • Introduction page: Provides links to helpful information.
  • License Agreement page: Obviously, one will have to accept the license agreement; selectI accept the terms in the license agreement.
  • Recommended settingspage: select Use recommended settings, to report on errors and hardware usage; otherwise select Don’t use recommended settings (this selection can be changed later).
  • Server Role Selection page: It’s important—select Mailbox role. With this, management tools are automatically installed.

For convenience, select the option ‘Automatically install Windows Server roles and features that are required to install Exchange Server’. In that case, the required perquisites will be installed automatically (sometimes, rebooting may be required).

  • Installation Space and Locationpage: Can choose to install on the default location or on a different location.
  • Malware Protection Settings page: It is recommended not to disable the malware scanning.
  • Readiness Checks page: To fix errors if any are reported. Use the ‘retry’ option till it changes to ‘Install’ by clicking which the setup can be installed.
  • Completion page: To complete the installation.

After the successful installation, restart the computer and verify the Exchange installation (using Get-ExchangeServer cmdlets in Exchange Management Shell).

  1. Install exchange 2016 Edge Transport Server role

First of all, configure the primary DNS suffix where the Edge Transport role is going to be installed (it can be done from the Control Panel).


Because of security considerations, Edge Transport server role is deployed outside the AD forest (in the perimeter network). The steps for installation and verification are identical to those for Mailbox Server role except for the role selection (here, select Edge Transport role, on the Server Role Selection page).

  1. Create a mailbox in Exchange 2016 and make it a member of Organization Management Role group

Create a new user in Exchange 2016 for testing purposes and for convenience. This new user can be created from the Exchange admin center (https://Ex2016/ecp?ExchClientVer=15f). Sign in using the account used for the installation, create a new user and add the new user to Organization Management role group.

  1. Configure services

Next step is to configure various services in Exchange. The services to be configured are: external URLs, internal URLs, certificates, Outlook anywhere, service connection point, and DNS records. Be sure to also move the arbitration mailbox and remove the legacy subscription of Edge. The information is summarized below.

Configure various services in Exchange 2016
Action Short description Brief comments
Configure and verify external URLs Configure and verify the settings for Exchange admin center, Outlook Anywhere, Exchange ActiveSync, Exchange Web Services, Offline Address Book, Outlook on the web, and availability service Exchange admin center (EAC) is


Configure and verify internal URLs It is recommended to use the same URL for internal and external
Configure and verify certificates It is essential for services like Outlook Anywhere and Exchange ActiveSync. Purchase new SSL certificate, or re-use the one existing on Exchange 2010
Move arbitration mailbox Here, move system mailboxes that store:

·         Administrator audit log

·         eDiscovery Search meta data

·         Unified Messaging data

This action can be done from EAC.
Configure and verify Edge subscription It is configured between Mailbox Server and Edge Transport Server on the site It is done for Exchange 2016
Remove legacy

Edge subscriptions

Remove the Edge subscription between Exchange 2010 Edge Transport server and Hub Transport server Now mail flow will be through Exchange 2016 Edge Transport server
Configure Outlook anywhere Do this only If you were using Outlook anywhere on Exchange 2010 Exchange 2016 has ‘Outlook on the web’
Configure service connection point Update the service connection point object configuration
Configure and verify public and internal DNS records This directs users to Exchange 2016 Mailbox Server


  1. Move Exchange 2010 mailboxes/public folders to Exchange 2016

This is a very important part of the Exchange 2016 deployment. If you are only moving small mailboxes then it is relatively easy to move them to Exchange 2016 using EAC (from Recipients > Migration). To migrate public folders, simply download scripts, prepare source (Exchange 2010) server and public folders, create CSV files, create public folder mailboxes on the destination (Exchange 2016) and then perform the migration. In the final stage, downtime is to be expected. Experienced Exchange administrators with plenty of technical knowledge and time at their disposal may find this way to be adequate enough for their needs. Many organizations prefer an easier and quicker way – automated solutions for this. Such solutions simplify the process and give administrators more control over how the migration is performed, mitigating the risks of downtime.

  1. Final steps…

License the Exchange server and verify that the new environment is working properly.  After this, you can remove Exchange 2010 from your environment.


To upgrade directly from Exchange Server 2010 to Exchange Server 2016, you must simply ensure you meet the minimum system requirements (hardware and software) and do some careful pre-migration planning. Similarly, migrating mailboxes and public folders doesn’t have to a difficult or time consuming process. A quick look at some of the third-party solutions like, LepideMigrator for Exchange reveals numerous options that are not only powerful, but are also cost-effective.

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