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Building an Exchange 2013 LAB Environment using Windows Server 2012

Image of Andy Grogan
Andy Grogan
AD flowchart

In the previous two parts of this series I took you through building a Windows 2012 server on Hyper-V Server and then in the second part took you through the process of installing Active Directory Domain Services.

In this part of the series I would like to take you through the process of installing and configuring Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services on your domain controller.

By the end of this article, our test lab will be one fourth complete – and looks like the following schematic:

Active Directory flowchart

You might be thinking – Andy, why are we installing this? Well the answer is simple: in our end Exchange 2013 test lab we are going want some SSL certificates generated for the OWA and Autodiscover services, rather than the self signed ones that are assigned after Exchange setup. Within the domain environment that we create; any SSL certificates that are generated from the Enterprise Root CA will be automatically trusted by the Exchange Servers and clients within that domain.

This means that we can generate as many certificates with as many Subject Alternative Names (SAN’s) as we like, without having to invest in any commercial certificates. If you should wish to install commercial certificates, you can skip this part and move onto part 4 when it is released.

Installing the Enterprise Root CAS

Rather than screenshot the entire process of configuring Active Directory Certificate Services – I thought that it would be easier to put together a quick video overview which is located below. Follow the steps outlined in the video overview customising them where needed to suit your own needs.

Within the video there is a Powershell script which is used to install the Certificate Service binaries – below you will see the script:


In the next part of this blog, I will cover the build of you Exchange 2013 Servers on Windows 2012 and explain the various prerequisites that you will need for a successful install.

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