Exchange 2013 – Points To Note

MS Exchange

As there are number of questions being posted in various forums regarding the various topics in Exchange 2013, I have summarized the points to remember before planning an Exchange 2013 deployment – whether it is in a lab or as part of the TAP.

  • There are only two server roles in Exchange 2013 – CAS and Mailbox. CAS is a protocol proxy and helps in user authentication.
  • No more EMC, just EAC and Shell.
  • All clients connect to the CAS server in 2013.
  • There is NO Edge role in 2013 Preview. The same applies when Exchange 2013 gets RTM’d. There “may be” an Edge role in SP1. The recommendation is to use Exchange 2010 SP2 Edge if necessary.
  • Two multi-role Exchange 2013 servers along with a Layer 4 load balancer are the minimum for HA of all roles.
  • Layer 4 load balancers are recommended for 2013. They are cheaper as well. Layer 7 LBs can be used, though they don’t do any better than Layer 4 ones.
  • CAS 2013 is stateless, nothing remains in memory, disk etc. This eliminates the need for affinity and hence layer 7 load balancers are not required.
  • UAG cannot publish CAS 2013 at the time of writing. A fix is expected in SP1 of 2013. TMG will work fine though.
  • There is no CAS array namespace required in 2013.
  • There is NO public folder access via OWA 2013 in Preview, same will be the case in RTM.
  • OWA is available offline when used with a browser that supports HTML5.
  • 2013 mailboxes can access public folders hosted on Exchange 2010 or 2013. 2010 mailboxes can only access 2010 PFs.
  • Installation recommendation is to have Mailbox role installed first (reverse of 2010).
  • Outlook 2013 works out of box. Outlook 2010 and 2007 needs an update to connect to Exchange 2013.
  • Outlook 2003 and earlier are not supported with Exchange 2013..
  • Exchange 2013 does not support MAPI access (RPC). Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTPS) is the only method by which Outlook can connect, internally & externally.
  • 2013 does not support SSL Offloading in Preview (for TAP customers). Same will be the case in RTM.
  • No more public folder databases in 2013, but PFs still exist. They are stored in Public Folder Mailboxes! And yes, no more PF replication, as DAG takes care of it.
  • The database is still ESE, but the engine is integrated with FAST and provides better search.
  • Managed Store in 2013 for failure isolation on a database level.
  • You don’t need to have a CAS server in the same site as the Mailbox.
  • Basic malware protection is built into 2013 server.

If you come across more interesting one-liners about Exchange 2013, please let me know via comments and I will update the post.

Other Popular Articles

MS Exchange

Keep Track Of Exchange 2013 Database Failovers

MS Exchange

Playing With Exchange 2013 Performance Logs

MS Exchange

Tackle .Net Framework 4.6.1 On Exchange Servers

  1. I want to install CU 2013 patch on server in quite or silent mode by using command line,

    How to install all features through command line.

    I tried below command line option, but failed to proceed.

    Setup.exe /mode:Install /r:CA,MB,ET /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

    Please guide us to install it through batch file.

  2. As per your above point

    You don’t need to have a CAS server in the same site as the Mailbox. ? My question How outlook & other non mapi client will connect to Exchange Server.

  3. “Outlook 2013 works out of box. Outlook 2010 and 2007 needs an update to connect to Exchange 2013.”

    I am trying to connect using Outlook client to my Exchange 2013 server but to no avail. Error: “The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action”

    Any suggestions?

  4. Hi,
    We are migrating from exchange 2007 with a legacy 2003 public folder hanging on for dear life. The question is… When we migrate can we still bolt in the exchange 2003 public folder server. You may ask why we have it, that would be what i would have asked first. Well back in the day some good old programmers decided to write the main sales force application and hardcoded in public folder folders etc hence we cannot remove yet. This will be phased out but not yet as it is too expensive.

  5. Hi Rajith ,

    How to configure cas on exch2013..find the details.

    1.Ipaddress : (ADS,DNS)
    2.Ipaddress : (Member of,Exch2013)
    3.Ipaddress : (Member of,Exch2013) (Vip address of LB) And addeed ‘A’ record on


  6. In Forest/Child configuration, Child Domain PrepSchema is no longer required, or temporarily moving the FSMO Master Schema role to child domain. “Setup /PrepareAllDomains” from Forest Domain server address this issue.

  7. Hi Raj,

    This is more related to Exchange 2010 but useful to know, Exchange 2010 SP2 is not supported by Microsoft in a pure 2012 AD Domain / Forest nor is it supported installing Exchange 2010 SP2 on Windows Server 2012 (this of course does not mean its not possible just not supported by MS). Support will be added in when SP3 (the last service pack) for Exchange 2010 is released which will be in Q1 at this stage its unknown IF SP3 will support an installation of 2010 within a 2012 Domain / Forest though it is known that it will support running Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2012 (I don’t see a reason why it should not!)

    Hope this helps other folks!

  8. Might be worth mentioning that SP3 is needed for Ex2010 co-existence with Ex2013. Great to see the CAS role being stateless now. From a network perspective that makes deployment much simpler. Begs the question now..Will MS retract their statement re: MS NLB on Ex2010 which obviously doesn’t scale well. But for Ex2013 now that its stateless i can see no reason why this shouldn’t be supported or be a great, cheap alternative to a hardware load balancer.


Leave a Comment

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

Windows Copilot is Microsoft’s take on making life easier for Windows users using the power of AI. This article explains how to disable the feature using Intune, if your organization is not ready yet to walk into the AI world.

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

We need to create a Configuration Profile for Windows devices in the Intune portal to disable Windows Copilot. Below are the steps that we need to create the profile.

Launch the Intune Portal and login as a Global Admin or Intune Admin.

Navigate to Devices -> Windows -> Configuration Profiles.

Windows Configuration Profile Intune

Click on Create -> New Policy.

Select Windows 10 & later as the platform and Settings Catalog as the profile type & click on the Create button.

Settings Catalog Intune CoPilot

Give the policy a meaningful name & description and click Next.

Policy Name Disable CoPilot

Within the configuration settings, click on the Add Settings option.

Add Settings Disable CoPilot

Search for ‘copilot’, Windows AI will come up as the category. Click on Windows AI and the Turn off Copilot in Windows (User) setting will come up. Check the box and click Next.

Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune
Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune Summary 1

Specify scope tags if required and click Next.

Select tags CoPilot Intune

Select who this policy should apply to in the Assignments section. I have selected to add all users. If you want to test the setting, you can create a test group and select that group here.

Similarly, you can also exclude certain group from disabling AI (say IT team) if required.

Add all users disable copilot intune

A summary of selected settings will be displayed. Click on the Create button to setup the policy to disable Windows Copilot.

Create configuration policy disable CoPilot Intune 1

Wait for the replication to complete in the cloud backend and login to your machine. Your chatty Copilot should now be disabled.

Disable Windows Copilot On Windows 11 Pro

Follow the steps below to disable Copilot on a personal Windows 11 Pro machine (say your own laptop).

Search for ‘group’ in Windows 11 and click on Edit Group Policy option.

Group Policy Windows 11 Disable Copilot

Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Copilot.

Windows Copilot GPO setting

Double click on Turn off Windows Copilot setting on the right pane.

Select Enabled and click OK.

Turn off copilot gpo Windows 11 Pro 1

Close the Group Policy Editor. This will disable Windows Copilot on a Windows 11 Pro machine.


We have learned to disable Windows Copilot using Intune and Group Policy on Windows 11 machines.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

Domain controllers are the backbone of any Active Directory domains in the Microsoft world. Any Windows server can be promoted to be a domain controller. In this article, we will go through the steps of promoting a Windows 2025 Server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025

The latest version of the server operating system has been named Windows Server 2025. You can start with a 2025 Server & create an AD domain or you can promote a member server that is already a part of a domain.

The Windows Server 2025 needs to be installed on a machine before it can be promoted to be a domain controller.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

If you have been working with Windows servers long enough, everything starts with the Server Manager app. Promoting a server to a domain controller is no different.

Launch ‘Server Manager’ & click on Add roles and features.

Windows 2025 Server Manager

You land on the summary page that explains what is required to run this wizard successfully. Click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Add Remove Roles

Select Role-based or Feature-based installation and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Role Based Install

Select the server that needs to be promoted and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Destination Server

Select Active Directory Domain Services (second option) and click on Add Features.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services

Go with the default options for features that need to be installed.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services Features

A summary of AD DS pops up next, click next to continue.

Windows Server 2025 AD DS

Select Restart the server automatically if required and click Install.

Windows Server 2025 AD Restart Server

You get to keep an eye on the progress of the installation.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Progress

Once the role has been installed, you will find an exclamation mark on the top right corner of the Server Manager. Click on that and select Promote this server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue

You get an error straight away (which you have never seen before) – Error determining whether the target server is already a domain controller. Role change is in progress or this computer needs a restart.

Windows Server 2025 Domain Controller Setup Error

We never needed to restart the server after installing the role in the DC promotion process. Given that it is an insider build of Server 2025, I am hoping that this will get fixed before the public release.

Restart the server, launch Server Manager and click on the Promote this server to be a domain controller option again.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue 1

I am setting up a brand new AD forest and hence I select the third option (Add a new forest) and enter my root domain name.

Windows Server 2025 Add a forest

Next window brings the option to set your forest & domain functional level and the DSRM password. In the insider build, it shows what looks like a variable (the Windows server version on which the you are working).

Windows Server 2025 Forest Functional Level

You can leave the default options in the DNS options wizard and click next.

Windows Server 2025 DNS Options

Enter the netbios name of the domain in the next window and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Netbios Domain Name

You can stick with the default paths for the AD database, log & sysvol folder or pick a location of your choice.

Windows Server 2025 AD Paths

Review the selections that you have made so far and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Options Review

Wait for the green check mark on the prerequisites page and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Pre reqs Check

Click Install in the final window & wait for the magic to happen. Once the machine gets restarted (which it will do automatically), you will have a brand new domain controller based on Windows Server 2025.

Windows Server 2025 AD Snap In


Promoting a Server 2025 to a domain controller follows pretty much the same steps as previous operating systems. The Insider build has few errors that needs to be fixed, but hey, it is an insider build!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Install Windows Server 2025 – Full Guide

Microsoft has released an insider preview of it’s next server operating system named Windows Server 2025. We will have a look at the installation steps involved in setting up a 2025 server.

Windows Server 2025

Microsoft has gone with the same look and feel of Windows 11 operating system in it’s current server operating system – Windows Server 2025. As the product is in insider preview, there might be slight changes before it hits the public shelves.

It is refreshing to see a ‘modern’ feel in the installation process of a server operating system. Gone are the days where the installation of a consumer based OS felt much better compared to it’s server counterpart.

Installing Windows Server 2025

Let’s take a look at the steps involved in setting up a Windows Server 2025 machine. First step is to download the ISO from the Windows Insider portal.

Next step is to boot the virtual / physical machine from the ISO which will kick off the installation of Server 2025.

First option to select is the language settings. Pick the one based which relates to you and click next.

Windows Server 2025 language settings

Select the keyboard settings in the next screen and click next.

Windows Server 2025 keyboard

You get the option to select whether you want to Install Windows Server or Repair the installation. The bottom left corner also has the option to go to the previous version of setup.

Windows Server 2025 setup option

You are asked to enter the product key, which is available in the Windows Insider portal.

Windows Server 2025 product key

Next option to choose is the type of image you want to install – Windows 2025 core or full blown desktop experience.

Windows Server 2025 Desktop

You need to agree to the licensing terms to move forward in the next step.

Windows Server 2025 Agreement License

Select the partition on which the server OS should be installed and click next. You also have the option to slice the partitions the way you see fit in the same screen.

Windows Server 2025 Disk Partitions

The Ready to Install window comes up, click the install button.

Windows Server 2025 Install 1

Installation of Server 2025 is underway and you get to see the progress.

Windows Server 2025 Install Progress

Once the installation is complete, you need to enter an administrator password of your choice to finalize the setup.

Windows Server 2025 Password

And there you go! You see a Windows 11 login screen staring at you ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Login Screen

After logging in, you get to set the options around sending diagnostic data to Microsoft, which I always set as ‘required only’.

Windows Server 2025 Diagnostic Data

The Windows Server 2025 desktop looks similar, doesn’t it? ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Desktop Feel scaled

Now that the server is up and running, you can promote it to be a domain controller.


The Windows Server 2025 has the same look and feel as a Windows 11 operating system. The installation options also provide that modern ‘feel’ and makes it a bit soothing to the eyes!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.