Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2011-11-09

Use this checklist to plan for a multi-tenant deployment of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 into your production environment. For information about installing Exchange 2010 in a test environment, see Establish a Test Environment later in this topic.


Before you begin, make sure you’re familiar with the concepts and procedures involved in planning Exchange 2010. For details, see Planning for Exchange 2010.


Multi-tenant support in Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is supported only for a single domain forest. The following configurations aren’t supported:

  • Resource forest

  • Parent-child domains

  • Discontiguous namespace

  • Disjoint namespace


In most cases, the tasks for planning a multi-tenant organization are the same as planning an Enterprise organization. Any tasks specific to planning a multi-tenant organization are noted in the Multi-tenant tasks column.

Done? Tasks Topic Multi-tenant tasks


Review the system requirements to make sure your network, hardware, software, and clients meet the requirements for Exchange 2010.

Exchange 2010 System Requirements

Exchange 2010 must be deployed in a new forest at the Windows Server 2008 functional level.


Review the Planning Roadmap to help you prepare your organization for deployment.

Planning Roadmap for New Deployments

The Exchange Deployment Assistant doesn't support multi-tenant deployments.


Review mailbox sizing requirements to design your storage.

Mailbox Server Storage Design


Establish a Test Environment

Before installing Exchange 2010 for the first time, we recommend that you install it in an isolated test environment. Doing so can help reduce the risk of end-user downtime and negative ramifications to the production environment.

The test environment will act as a “proof of concept” for your new Exchange 2010 design and make it possible to move forward or roll back any implementations before deploying your production environments. Having an exclusive test environment for validation and testing allows you to perform pre-installation checks for your future production environments. By installing Exchange 2010 first in a test environment, we believe that your organization will have a better likelihood of success in a full production implementation.

For many organizations, the costs of building a test lab may be high because of the need to duplicate the production environment. To reduce the hardware costs associated with a prototype lab, we recommend using Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V technologies. Hyper-V enables server virtualization, which allows multiple virtual operating systems to run on a single physical computer.

To learn more about Hyper-V, see Virtualization with Hyper-V.