Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Project Honolulu and Exchange servers

Recently Microsoft announced a new web-based server management console, it’s called Project Honolulu. Looking at the documentation and screenshots this is going to be a huge step forward from the native sever management consoles that we have seen from Server 2008-2016.

A technical preview of Project Honolulu is already available for download: Project Honolulu can be used to manage servers with Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and Server 2016. However, there is a requirement to install PowerShell v5 on those older servers. From the documentation:

Honolulu requires PowerShell features that are not included in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2. If you will manage Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 with Honolulu, you will need to install Windows Management Framework (WMF) version 5.0 or higher on those servers.

Unfortunately Microsoft does not support installing newer versions of WMF on servers that have Exchange installed. The Exchange Supportability Matrix says the following about the supported versions of WMF on servers running Exchange:

Version of Windows Management Framework built into the release of Windows Server you're installing Exchange on.

This means that installing PowerShell 5 on Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2 is not supported for servers running Exchange, effectively making it impossible to use Project Honolulu to manage Exchange servers. The only exception is Exchange 2016 running on Server 2016 because this OS was released with PowerShell v5 natively and meets the Project Honolulu requirements.