With the GA release of Server 2012 and now the ability for TechNet subscriptions to download the RTM versions of Exchange 2013 I am building a new lab for Office 365 vNext to do a full Office 365 Hybrid deployment with Server 2012 and Exchange 2013 and the Customer Preview of Office 365 vNext. My first step was to get a public domain registered, O365VNext.com, and now have a forest/domain created on-premises, the DC is running as a VM in my Windows 8 Hyper-V environment (how very cool it is to be able to enable Hyper-V with Windows 8 and not need to either dual boot to Server 2012 or add anything else to my company laptop is great!). I installed the server VM to host the DC role and then added the Active Directory Directory Services Role. Below are the screen shots to setup a domain with Server 2012:

  1. Selected a new Forest and created the Root domain name to match my new public domain registration.

  1. Set the Forest and Domain functional level to Server 2012 and selected to add DNS server and set a DSRM password

  1. Get a warning about delegation, I wish they would have fixed this as this is a carryover from 2008 R2; Microsoft should not warn this for a new Forest

  1. Accepted the NetBIOS name and continued

  1. Choose to accept the defaults, this is a lab and would recommend for production you might want to move the folder locations


  1. Reviewed all the setting and configuration settings, Below is the output from the "View script" option

  1. This is the script that can be saved and re-used for additional automated DC installs


  1. After selecting from above, the wizard does a prerequisite check


  1. Got some warnings, mainly around DNS, but got an "all prerequisites checked passed successfully, so I moved forward with install


  1. Install in progress, notice the warning about Server 2012 AD default security settings

  1. More progress warnings!
  2. So I stepped away from my laptop and since the DC promo install automatically reboots the server I missed any further screen shots. I made came back to my VM at a login prompt, but now it defaulted to a domain login for the DC!

My new domain in now setup and the DC is functional. I am working on the next step, which is to get the Exchange 2013 Server installed and ready. This will be part 2 of this blog series. Be sure to check back and will continue with the deployment and setup for a full Hybrid Deployment using Exchange 2013 with the Office 365 vNext!