Deploy Exchange 2010 with the Deployment Assistant
By Katie Kivett
With the Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant, you can create Exchange Server 2010 on-premises deployment instructions that are customized to your environment. The Deployment Assistant asks you a small set of questions, and based on your answers, it provides a checklist with instructions that are designed to get you up and running on Exchange 2010. In addition to the online version, you can even print a PDF of your checklist.
Instead of searching through the Exchange 2010 library for help, the Deployment Assistant (ExDeploy) gives you just enough customized content to deploy Exchange 2010.
ExDeploy currently supports the following upgrade scenarios: from Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, and a mixed Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 environment. And, of course, the Deployment Assistant can help you with a new Exchange 2010 installation.
And, here's an example of what you'll see after you answer the initial set of questions for the Exchange 2003 Upgrade option. Notice the checklist on the left? That's your custom deployment checklist.
Why have a Deployment Assistant?
To give you a little background about ExDeploy, we created it because we heard concerns from our early adoption Exchange 2010 customers about transitioning from Exchange 2003 and/or Exchange 2007. One key area of concern is that IT administrators face complex migration steps (multiple firewall rules, multiple certificates, multiple external URLs/ports for clients, and more). Complexity like this means opportunities for configuration mistakes, which causes deployments to stall—not to mention a lot of frustration. This feedback and our desire to help streamline the deployment experience were the genesis of the Deployment Assistant.
And, as of the end of March 2010, in addition to English, the Deployment Assistant is also available in Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Spanish.
Does it really work?
Many customers have tried out ExDeploy and have provided a lot of feedback that has helped us tune the content and validate that there is a need for what ExDeploy offers:
The Deployment Assistant is awesome, it's a very nice and easy Assistant that provides a step-by-step operations to make a smooth transition from older exchange versions. Very nice indeed and good work.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for such a great tool, it was extremely useful and time saving!!! Please, continue with such tools for another products and solutions (groups of products)!!!!
This is brilliant. It is ideal for all us admins in small companies who have to be a "jack of all trades" and can never dedicate our entire working time to learning one product such as Exchange. I'd love to see Microsoft continue this type of help feature into other product area's such as Active Directory, SQL, SCCM, etc. It could do with asking a few more questions to get the end steps even shorter/more relevant (like are you using external certificates) but that's probably just me being lazy. Thanks a lot for this great tool though. It'll help my Q1 move to Exch2010 to no end!
I think it is an excellent tool. I recently used it to create a video on transitioning from Exchange 2007 to 2010, and I followed the points one at a time through the video right up to the point that I uninstalled my 2007 server. It worked perfectly thanks to all the information that the Deployment Assistant provides.
It’s a very good tool. I’ve used it twice so far, really nice.
Katie Kivett - Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Exchange User Assistance Help