Can I Add Remove Exchange Server 2013 Roles ? Watch out!

With the all new architecture, Exchange Server 2013 RTM now only has 2 Primary Server Roles; Client Access and Mailbox. This however took a slight change of path with the Messaging team finally deciding to add Edge Transport role to the stack as well. Still, comparing to the previous Exchange Server versions, this is a totally different architecture in terms of almost everything.

One major thing that someone should very well focus on is the design. You should be pretty much sure on what roles that you are going to assign for your servers with the options of;

  • Install Standalone Server Roles*
  • Combine Server Roles

*Edge role cannot be collocated/combined with any other server role.

Now even with the above option, there is a tricky point for you when it comes to installing and uninstallation of the roles.

  1. You CAN install one exchange server role (MBX/CAS), and later add the other  role(CAS/MBX) to the existing server.



  1. You CANNOT remove a server role  in a multi-role server with both CAS and MBX installed.


This scenario should be taken quite seriously since there should be no room for any changes once you install both roles. So let’s say what if you came across in a situation like this? Well, the only option is to remove/uninstall the server completely and re-deploy. Which! is going to be a pain for sure!


The above is valid for the following Exchange Server 2013 versions as mentioned here;

  • Exchange Server 2013 RTM
  • Exchange Server 2013 CU 1
  • Exchange Server 2013 CU 2

If it’s still the same for CU 3 and SP1? Well, I shall post ASAP and if you were able to check it out, let me know.




Step by Step Guide for Installing Exchange Server 2013 Preview

Update(2014-11-07): Covers the RTM installation.

The following section describes a step-by-step guide for the installation of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2013 Preview. The installation considers a single server deployment of Exchange Server 2013 with the Mailbox and Client Access Server roles collocated. Additional details of the topology and architecture of the lab environment which was used in the installation is described here;

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