Exchange 2013 multi-tenancy, step by step

This all started because I wanted to learn something new (and useful) yesterday.

Multiple searches on the Internet gave me a lot of what I needed to get this done but no single site had everything laid out. (not complete truth, one site had great information and is the catalyst of this post)

So I decided to put together a step by step guide for the new Exchange administrator, or even a seasoned administrator moving to Exchange 2013 and needing to have distinct, separate organizations on a single server or cluster.

Here is how I set up multi-tenancy in Exchange 2013. This is all done via PowerShell Exchange Cmdlets. Powerful and verbose!

We need a container to hold all of our data, created at the root of Active Directory (A/D going forward).

On your A/D server, via PowerShell:

New-ADOrganizationalUnit -Name Habitats

First, create an Organization Unit (OU) to hold the tenant data, I am using the word ‘Tenant’ with a 5 digit sequence number in my examples. In the example you will need to replace ‘hosted’ ‘exchange’ with your local domain.

On your A/D server, via PowerShell:

New-ADOrganizationalUnit -Name Tenant00001 -Path "OU=Habitats,DC=hosted,DC=exchange"

Now we need to User Principal Name (UPN) suffixes for later.

On your A/D server, via PowerShell:

Set-ADForest -Identity -UPNSuffixes @{add=""}

If you are working remote against the Exchange server then you need to create a connection to EMS as the rest of the configuration is now with Exchange directly instead of A/D.

NOTE: This is not required if you are on the Exchange server itself. You later destroy this session at the end (documented below) but since you are on the A/D server for the above cmdlets then it is just easier to keep going with a single PowerShell connection.

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri <a class="vglnk" href="http://ex01/PowerShell/" rel="nofollow"><span>http</span><span>://</span><span>ex01</span><span>/</span><span>PowerShell</span><span>/</span></a> -Authentication Kerberos

Import-PSSession $Session

Now, add a new domain for the new tenant.

New-AcceptedDomain -Name "Tenant00001" -DomainName -DomainType:Authoritative

Create the Global Address List (GAL) for Tenant00001

New-GlobalAddressList -Name "Tenant00001 – GAL" -ConditionalCustomAttribute1 "Tenant00001" -IncludedRecipients MailboxUsers -RecipientContainer ""

If needed then create All Rooms Address List

New-AddressList -Name "Tenant00001 – All Rooms" -RecipientFilter "(CustomAttribute1 -eq 'Tenant00001') -and (RecipientDisplayType -eq 'ConferenceRoomMailbox')" -RecipientContainer ""

And time to create All Users Address List

New-AddressList -Name "Tenant00001 – All Users" -RecipientFilter "(CustomAttribute1 -eq 'Tenant00001') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'User')" -RecipientContainer ""

The All Contacts Address List

New-AddressList -Name "Tenant00001 – All Contacts" -RecipientFilter "(CustomAttribute1 -eq 'Tenant00001') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'Contact')" -RecipientContainer ""

The All Groups Address List

New-AddressList -Name "Tenant00001 – All Groups" -RecipientFilter "(CustomAttribute1 -eq 'Tenant00001') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'Group')" -RecipientContainer ""

Now for something quite useful: Offline Address Book

New-OfflineAddressBook -Name "Tenant00001" -AddressLists "Tenant00001 – GAL"

You’ll also need to create an Email Address Policy. This example also includes first.last@domain email aliasing, or you can set the primary email address to first.last@domain by using the -EnabledPrimarySMTPAddressTemplate “SMTP:%g.%[email protected]” attribute and data.

New-EmailAddressPolicy -Name "Tenant00001 – EAP" -RecipientContainer "" -IncludedRecipients "AllRecipients" -ConditionalCustomAttribute1 "Tenant00001" -EnabledEmailAddressTemplates "SMTP:%g.%[email protected]","smtp:%[email protected]" -EnabledPrimarySMTPAddressTemplate "SMTP:%g.%[email protected]"

Set-EmailAddressPolicy -Identity "Tenant00002 - EAP" -EnabledPrimarySMTPAddressTemplate "SMTP:%g.%[email protected]"

Now we need to create the Address Book Policy

New-AddressBookPolicy -Name "Tenant00001" -AddressLists "Tenant00001 – All Users", "Tenant00001 – All Contacts", "Tenant00001 – All Groups" -GlobalAddressList "Tenant00001 – GAL" -OfflineAddressBook "Tenant00001" -RoomList "Tenant00001 – All Rooms"

Optional: create a resource for rooms by creating a Room Mailbox. It is vital that we also set a Custom Attribute for the tenant

New-Mailbox -Name 'Tenant00001 Conference Room 1' -Alias 'Tenant00001_conf1' -OrganizationalUnit '' -UserPrincipalName '[email protected]' -SamAccountName 'Tenant00001_conf1' -FirstName 'Conference' -LastName 'Room 1' -AddressBookPolicy 'Tenant00001' -Room

Set-Mailbox Tenant00001_conf1 -CustomAttribute1 'Tenant00001'

Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity Tenant00001_conf1 -AutomateProcessing AutoAccept -DeleteComments $true -AddOrganizerToSubject $true -AllowConflicts $false

Almost done, we are getting to the good parts now.

Let’s create some users with their associated mailboxes.

First, we need to get a password for the user, this will prompt you for such. For the ‘username’ field you can type anything you want as it is the password attribute we want for the mailbox being created. As with a room mailbox we need to also set a custom attribute to the tenant.

$c = Get-Credential

New-Mailbox -Name 'Mike Horwath' -Alias 'tenant00001_mike' -OrganizationalUnit '' -UserPrincipalName '[email protected]' -SamAccountName 'tenant00001_mike' -FirstName 'Mike' -LastName 'Horwath' -Password $c.password -ResetPasswordOnNextLogon $false -AddressBookPolicy 'Tenant00001'

Set-Mailbox [email protected] -CustomAttribute1 "Tenant00001"

If you connected to the Exchange server from remote you should close your Session

Remove-PSSession $Session

And you now have created your first tenant organization.

You can now continue to create users and resource mailboxes via the new Exchange Action Center (EAC).

Good luck!


Microsoft TechNet Blog:” target=”_blank”>Hosting and Multi-Tenancy Guidance for Exchange Server 2013 Now Available
Microsoft TechNet bulletin:” target=”_blank”>Multi-Tenancy in Exchange 2013
Microsoft TechNet:” target=”_blank”>Exchange Server 2013 hosting and multi-tenancy solutions and guidance
Evyn Valayten:” target=”_blank”>How to Setup Hosted Exchange 2013 (Multi-Tenancy) – stole a bit from here with some rewritten items, and other items that I felt are required.” target=”_blank”>Exchange 2013 Multi-Tenant basic questions on adding another domain to the organization(s) created – I still need to test this and will create a follow-up post.
New management dashboard:” target=”_blank”>CloudPanel looks very interesting with version 3 around the corner and support for Exchange 2013
Microsoft:” target=”_blank”>Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Multitenant Hosting Pack Deployment Guide is a fantastic read and includes a ton of information on living the dream with multiple Microsoft pieces fitting together, creating a unified multitenant hosting platform.

One item that will probably crop up for you is the issues of quotas. By default, the quotas are 2 GiB for a mailbox; here is how you can add/update the quota on a mailbox.

Of course, adjust as needed.

Set-Mailbox -Identity "[email protected]" -IssueWarningQuota 4.5gb -ProhibitSendQuota 4.9gb -ProhibitSendReceiveQuota 5gb -UseDatabaseQuotaDefaults $false