reference deployment

Exchange Server on AWS

Email, messaging, and scheduling with high availability

This Quick Start deploys Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2019 automatically on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. The deployment includes Active Directory Domain Services (Active Directory DS) for directory services and Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) for remote administration over the internet.

Exchange Server supports mailboxes, calendars, compliance, and e-archives. When you deploy an Exchange Server environment on AWS, you can scale your environment based on demand. You get the functionality of Exchange Server and the flexibility and security of AWS.

This Quick Start includes AWS CloudFormation templates that automate the deployment and a guide that provides step-by-step deployment and configuration instructions to help you get started with Exchange Server on AWS.


This Quick Start was developed by AWS.

  •  What you'll build
  •  How to deploy
  •  Cost and licenses
  •  What you'll build
  • Use this Quick Start to automatically set up the following Exchange Server environment on AWS:

    • A virtual private cloud (VPC) configured with public and private subnets across two Availability Zones by default. This provides the network infrastructure for your deployment. When possible, we recommend adding a third Availability Zone for a file-share witness or an additional Exchange node. Using three Availability Zones enables automatic failover of database availability groups (DAGs) without the need for manual intervention.*
    • In the public subnets:
      • Elastic IP addresses associated with the NAT gateway and RD Gateway instances.*
      • Microsoft Windows Server–based RD Gateway instances and network address translation (NAT) gateways for outbound internet access.*
      • (Optional) Exchange Edge Transport servers for routing email in and out of your environment.
    • In the private subnets:
      • Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers.*
      • Windows Server–based instances as Exchange nodes.
      • Exchange Server Enterprise on each node. This architecture provides redundancy and a witness server to ensure that a quorum can be established. The default architecture mirrors an on-premises architecture of two Exchange Server instances that span two subnets in two Availability Zones.
    • Security groups to enable the secure flow of traffic between the instances deployed in the VPC.
    • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store and retrieve data.
    • AWS Secrets Manager to encrypt, store, and retrieve credentials for your databases and other services.
    • A parameter store resource to provide hierarchical storage for configuration data management and secrets management.
    • AWS Certificate Manager to provision, manage, and deploy SSL/TLS certificates on AWS managed resources.

    *  The template that deploys the Quick Start into an existing VPC skips the tasks marked by asterisks and prompts you for your existing VPC configuration.

  •  How to deploy
  • To build a highly available Exchange Server environment on AWS, follow the instructions in the deployment guide. The deployment process takes about 1.5 hours and includes these steps:

    1. If you don't already have an AWS account, sign up at
    2. Launch the Quick Start by choosing from the following options:
    3. (Optional) Create database copies.
    4. (Optional) Create a Domain Name System (DNS) entry for the load balancer.

    To customize your deployment, you can choose different instance types for your resources, configure CIDR blocks and IP addresses, and optionally include Exchange Edge Transport servers.

    Amazon may share user-deployment information with the AWS Partner that collaborated with AWS on the Quick Start.  

  •  Cost and licenses
  • You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start.

    The AWS CloudFormation template for this Quick Start includes configuration parameters that you can customize. Some of these settings, such as instance type, will affect the cost of deployment. For cost estimates, see the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using. Prices are subject to change.

    You must obtain a license for Exchange Server before you deploy this Quick Start. Exchange Server can be deployed and licensed via the Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance program. For development and test environments, you can use your existing MSDN licenses for Exchange Server with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Dedicated Instances. For details, see the MSDN on AWS page.

    This Quick Start deployment uses an evaluation copy of Exchange Server. To upgrade your version, see the Microsoft Exchange Server website.