Microsoft
Overview of Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets for management and automation.
March 24, 2023

 

Microsoft Exchange Server is a widely used email and calendaring solution that provides various functionalities such as email, contacts, calendar, and task management. Exchange Server comes with a powerful command-line interface called PowerShell, which allows system administrators to automate various tasks and manage Exchange Server more efficiently. PowerShell cmdlets are pre-built commands that allow administrators to perform complex tasks with minimal effort. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets for management and automation.

 

Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets

Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets are organized into several modules that provide various functionalities. Some of the modules are as follows:

 

1) Exchange Management Shell: This module provides cmdlets to manage Exchange Server components such as mailboxes, distribution groups, and mailbox databases.

2) Exchange Online PowerShell: This module provides cmdlets to manage Exchange Online, which is a cloud-based email solution provided by Microsoft.

3) Exchange Online Protection PowerShell: This module provides cmdlets to manage Exchange Online Protection, which is a cloud-based email security solution provided by Microsoft.

4) Exchange Server Setup and Deployment: This module provides cmdlets to install and deploy Exchange Server.

5) Exchange Server Migration: This module provides cmdlets to migrate mailboxes, public folders, and other data from legacy Exchange Server versions to the latest version.

6) Exchange Server Compliance: This module provides cmdlets to manage compliance-related tasks such as retention policies and legal holds.

7) Exchange Server Hybrid Configuration: This module provides cmdlets to configure hybrid deployments of Exchange Server with Exchange Online.

 

Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets can be executed either on the Exchange Server itself or remotely from a different computer. To execute cmdlets remotely, the administrator needs to establish a remote PowerShell session with the Exchange Server.

 

Some of the commonly used Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets are as follows:

 

  • Get-Mailbox: This cmdlet is used to retrieve information about mailboxes in Exchange Server.
  • New-Mailbox: This cmdlet is used to create a new mailbox in Exchange Server.
  • Set-Mailbox: This cmdlet is used to modify the properties of an existing mailbox.
  • Get-MailboxStatistics: This cmdlet is used to retrieve statistical information about mailboxes, such as the size of the mailbox and the number of items in the mailbox.
  • Get-MailboxDatabase: This cmdlet is used to retrieve information about mailbox databases in Exchange Server.
  • New-MailboxDatabase: This cmdlet is used to create a new mailbox database in Exchange Server.
  • Set-MailboxDatabase: This cmdlet is used to modify the properties of an existing mailbox database.
  • Get-MailboxFolderStatistics: This cmdlet is used to retrieve statistical information about mailbox folders, such as the size of the folder and the number of items in the folder.
  • New-DistributionGroup: This cmdlet is used to create a new distribution group in Exchange Server.
  • Set-DistributionGroup: This cmdlet is used to modify the properties of an existing distribution group.

 

Advantages of Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets

Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets provide several advantages to system administrators. Some of these advantages are as follows:

 

1) Automation: PowerShell cmdlets allow administrators to automate various tasks, such as creating mailboxes, setting mailbox properties, and configuring mailbox databases.

2) Efficiency: PowerShell cmdlets allow administrators to perform tasks more efficiently than using the graphical user interface (GUI) provided by Exchange Server.

3) Consistency: PowerShell cmdlets provide a consistent way to perform tasks, which reduces the chances of errors and ensures that tasks are performed in the same way every time.

4) Customization: PowerShell cmdlets allow administrators to customize tasks according to their requirements.

5) Flexibility: PowerShell cmdlets provide flexibility in managing Exchange Server, as administrators can execute cmd lets remotely, schedule tasks, and combine cmdlets to perform complex tasks.

 

Examples of Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets in action

 

Here are some examples of how Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets can be used to manage and automate Exchange Server tasks.

 

Creating a new mailbox

To create a new mailbox in Exchange Server using PowerShell, use the New-Mailbox cmdlet as follows:

New-Mailbox -Name "John Doe" -Alias "jdoe" -UserPrincipalName "jdoe@contoso.com" -Database "Mailbox Database 01" -Password (ConvertTo-SecureString "P@ssw0rd" -AsPlainText -Force)

This cmdlet creates a new mailbox for the user "John Doe" with the alias "jdoe" and the email address "jdoe@contoso.com" in the mailbox database "Mailbox Database 01". The password for the mailbox is set to "P@ssw0rd".

 

Modifying mailbox properties

To modify the properties of an existing mailbox in Exchange Server using PowerShell, use the Set-Mailbox cmdlet as follows:

Set-Mailbox -Identity "jdoe" -FirstName "John" -LastName "Doe" -Department "IT"

This cmdlet modifies the properties of the mailbox with the alias "jdoe" by setting the first name to "John", the last name to "Doe", and the department to "IT".

 

Retrieving mailbox statistics

To retrieve statistics for a mailbox in Exchange Server using PowerShell, use the Get-MailboxStatistics cmdlet as follows:

Get-MailboxStatistics -Identity "jdoe"

This cmdlet retrieves statistics for the mailbox with the alias "jdoe", such as the size of the mailbox and the number of items in the mailbox.

 

Creating a new distribution group

To create a new distribution group in Exchange Server using PowerShell, use the New-DistributionGroup cmdlet as follows:

New-DistributionGroup -Name "IT Group" -Alias "ITGroup" -Members "jdoe@contoso.com", "jsmith@contoso.com"

This cmdlet creates a new distribution group called "IT Group" with the alias "ITGroup". The members of the group are set to "jdoe@contoso.com" and "jsmith@contoso.com".

 

Conclusion

Exchange Server PowerShell cmdlets provide a powerful way for system administrators to manage and automate Exchange Server tasks. PowerShell cmdlets allow administrators to automate tasks, perform tasks more efficiently than using the GUI, ensure consistency in task performance, customize tasks according to requirements, and provide flexibility in managing Exchange Server. With the examples provided in this blog post, administrators can get started with using PowerShell cmdlets to manage and automate Exchange Server.