What do you need to configure to build Exchange Server 2013 home lab ?

Hi All,

Can anyone here please share me your thought and knowledge in building the Exchange Server 2013 SP1 home test lab that can actually send email out to the world / internet ?

I'm currently studying the certification hoping that I can pass it by doing some stuff from home with Virtual Machine.

Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Luciano PatrãoConnect With a Mentor ICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

If you will install this in a VM, then main tasks:

First you need to have a fully working Internet domain(with an MX record)

Then you need a MX record for that domain

Create VM for Exchange 2013

Then you need to install the Exchange 2013

Hope this can help you

Steve MConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Jail listed all the correct steps above, but missed one important one you need an Active Directory Domain controller, and few other little things as well, install AD before exchange.

How to Configure Active Directory on a Home Network:

You'll need to set up DNS on that AD server too.  
You'll only need one DC and one Exchange server for exchange 2013, older versions split the roles up so you'll have to follow the guide for that version.

You may have a dynamic IP assigned to home, so you'll have to keep an eye on that to ensure that if it changes, you'll have to update your host record in your external DNS for your mailbox server.

You'll also have to do some port forwarding on your home internet router likely.  port 25 inbound will need to forward to your CAS/MBX server (which would be the same server as your mailbox server likely). if you want to use OWA from outside, you'll have to forward https (port 443) to your CAS server as well.

Good luck, have fun.
Steve MConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Actually, I should share this link with you: I used this guide to setup my first Exchange 2013 lab.  it's a pretty good guide, follow it in order, uses Powershell a lot, which is a great thing to get used to these days.  Enjoy!


Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Cool, at least if I don't get the public DNS MX records, it should be working for internal lab or within the test lab VM.

is that guide possible ?
Steve MConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yup - it would still work internally, but mail just wont flow outside.

Domains are pretty cheap at $10-15/yr and you can usually create your MX record with your registrar.  or use a service like No-IP that will monitor your dynamic IP changes and always route your mail, again very inexpensive at $20/yr.

Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
do I have to buy my own domain to make the email address to be something that I'd like to use ?
Steve MConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yup. Unless you already own a domain.  You need an email address of some kind obviously, so simply buyinga cheap domain that you can adjust the mx record for in dns is likely easiest.  I guess you could also set up a pop connector in exchange to get mail from a Gmail account or something but i don't have any experience with that to help you configure it.

For 10 or 15 bucks a year a domain is a cheap way to have a real exchange test environment.

Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
For the purpose of the test lab server, do I need to have static IP from my ISP ?
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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