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Home lab env for microsoft exchange migration

Posted on 2017-08-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2017-08-24
Hello Experts. I am interested in setting up a home lab env using vmware workstation 11.0, for microsoft exchange. I would like to set it up so that i can have mailflow going to and from the internet. Im not quite sure how i can set up the network to do this. My residential isp blocks smtp. Is there another way of going about this? Do i need to register a domain and have public dns with someone like godaddy? My current env is 2 domain controllers, 1 exchange 2010 server hosting the mailbox and hub transport role, 2 servers for CAS, and 1 edge server. So i need external connection on the edge. My end goal is to migrate from exchange 2010 to 2013 then to o365 for practice. Please assist. Thanks in advance.
Question by:Newguy 123
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Accepted Solution

Jose Ortega earned 1000 total points
ID: 42252571
1. Register a Domain (any domain with a registrar)
   This will give you a "public DNS" which you should know your public IP (https://www.whatismyip.com.
 In that domain, you should create a MX record (host @, ttl3600, type=mx and value = yourpublicip)
 you need also to set up a "A" record with the name "mail.yourdomain.com" and another "CNAME" called autodiscover to you "mail.yourdomain.com"

2. Install WS2012R2 and add ADDS. and then elevate the server to a Domain controller (yourdomain.com, this is the simplest way) you can also have (yourdomain.local) or any other but it gets more setup.
    Set up, autodiscover and mail records in your "internal DNS" the one that it's installed with the Active Directory

3 Install pre requisites of exchange 2013/6 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691354%28v=exchg.150%29?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

since it's virtualized you can check this link as well

4 Install Exchange server
5. Enter the https://mail.yourdomain.com/ecp go to servers/certificate and create a request for an external certificate (you can use an internal SSL or external I'd recommend the external since every single device would trust it.
6. Configure SCP using my script in here

 .\setall.ps1 -urlpath "https://mail.yourdomain.com" -set

Open in new window

7 Add external connector to send emails to the internet

8. you need to open the ports SMTP and HTTPS  ports 25 and 443 permissions should be accessible from the outside world.

I think that covers all for now.

(you need to add the SPF record so google/yahoo validates your email and don't get it as spam).
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

Alan earned 500 total points
ID: 42252572
Hi Newguy 123,

You say upfront that your ISP blocks smtp - to get this working with the outside world, you need to contact them and get that unblocked.

You don't say which direction smtp (port 25) is blocked, but if outgoing then you won't be able to send email to anyone in the outside world, and if incoming, then you won't be able to receive.

Unless you do that, you will only be able to send / receive email within your lab setup.

If they won't unblock, then the only around that is to change to an ISP that will.

LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Ajit Singh
Ajit Singh earned 500 total points
ID: 42263200
Build Your Own LAB: Deployment & Migration to Microsoft Office 365 Cloud:

For Exchange migration, this guide will provide you with some important things to consider in order to achieve: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/34360.how-to-plan-the-perfect-exchange-migration.aspx 

Hope this helps!

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