Disclaimer:

All the information in this blog post is subject to change as Exchange Server 2013 is still under construction. Although it’s not very likely that big changes will occur between now an RTM, it might.

With Exchange Server 2013 Preview, it seems that Microsoft is “pushing” customers towards using Server 2008 or later. Not that I think that that is a bad thing, in the contrary! However, I still see customers that have Windows Server 2003 deployed and are using them as main Domain Controllers/Global Catalogs.

As per documentation, it seems no longer supported for Exchange Server 2013 Preview. You need at least one DC/GC running Windows Server 2008 or higher.

Although the Schema Master can still be Windows Server 2003, it seems logical to me that you’d rather standardize entirely on Server 2008, perhaps shortly even on Server 2012.

Below is an overview of the requirements for Active Directory:

Active Directory Forest Level: at least Windows Server 2003 or higher.

Schema Master: required for updating the AD schema for Exchange Server 2013 Preview

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition with SP2 or later (32-bit or 64-bit)

Global Catalog: each AD site that has a Exchange Server 2013 Preview installed, requires at least one server running:

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter RTM or later
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter RTM or later

Domain Controller: each AD site that has an Exchange Server 2013 Preview installed, requires at least one server running:

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise SP1 or later
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter RTM or later
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise SP1 or later (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter RTM or later

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