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  1. #1
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    Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007

    We are currently trying to upgrade from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007. We have a Server 2003 32bit server running Exchange 2003 and it's also our DC. We are trying to add a server 2008 standard 64 bit to the domain as a DC and install Exchange 2007 on it. Is there a best practice for doing this? All servers are Virtual running in a test environment. Thank you for any help. I know very little about Exchange and was saddled with learning this process as I am the expert in VMWare for the company.

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  3. #2
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    Don't install Exchange on a DC. Keep your apps and management separate so a failure in one doesn't break the other.
    Depending on the size of your organisation you may want to have separate stores for your users, e.g. A-H, I-P, Q-Z.
    Put the store and transaction logs on separate disks so that if one fills the other will still have valid data to recover. The store needs reasonable read performance and the transaction logs need very good write performance.
    You can create spare space stores on the disk to get around a sudden increase in disk space. These are just large empty files that you can delete to give you an instant increase in space. Use "fsutil file createnew <filename> <size>".
    Build the new server, then move the mailboxes. There should be a guide on the internet for the move itself.

    It's also worth limiting the number of recipients in a large organisation to prevent "reply all" massages crashing Exchange by filling the disks.

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. I always run 2008R2 rather than standard.

  4. #3
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    Thank you for your response Paul. Let me provide some more details. Our current server 2003 is running AD and Exchange 2003 on a 32 bit platform. We have security certificates assigned to it. Let's call that Exchange A. We want to upgrade to Exchange 2007. Our understanding is it won't run on 32 bit. Therefore, since we have a security certificate and most of our 250 employees scattered throughout the U.S. are mapped to the server using the server name, we don't want to create a new Exchange server with a different name. Therefore, our intention is to create a new Server 2008 64bit called PDC. Promote it to a DC and install Exchange long enough to migrate the mail store. Then shut down Exchange A and migrate from the PDC to Exchange B ( a new Server 2008 64bit named the same as Exchange A). We will leave PDC as the domain controller. Also our research has indicated that Server 2008R2 causes problems for what we're trying to do. Does that help? We eventually will end up with a separate DC and Exchange server. Once again, this is all being done on a test environment using a clone of the original Exchange server for testing.

  5. #4
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    Yes, you should now have all servers on a 64bit OS, which is why I go for R2. Why won't R2 do what you want?
    Security certificates can be moved easily, export and then import to the new server. You can even use the same certificate on multiple servers.
    I assume you have access via Exchange web mail and forms based authentication. This is just a browser interface and doesn't require a specific server so you can split your set up.
    Is there a reason you are not going to Exchange 2010? It is more efficient on disks.

    cheers, Paul

  6. #5
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    "Why won't R2 do what you want?"
    We had issues with it when we installed it trying to migrate. A news thread I read indicated it was NOT recommended to run Exchange 2007 on it.

    "Security certificates can be moved easily, export and then import to the new server. You can even use the same certificate on multiple servers.
    I assume you have access via Exchange web mail and forms based authentication"
    Yes, we have webmail access, not form based authentication that I'm aware of, unless that's setup by default. We have all users in the field mapped to the server by name on their phones and laptops. To change the name would be cumbersome to support changing it on their end. We have 3 people (myself the Helpdesk Analyst, a programmer, and the IT Director) running 11 subnets across the U.S. We program our own intranet and support 250 users/road warriors.

    "Is there a reason you are not going to Exchange 2010? It is more efficient on disks."
    We are upgrading due to the fact that we bought new Office licenses and could only get Office 2013 or Office 365. We currently run Office 2007. Outlook 2013 will not run on Exchange 2003. We had an unused license for Exchange 2007 so we decided to use it. My boss is all about using what's available without expense.

    I'm having issues doing the process I described to you earlier. Let me ask you, would it be more advisable to create a new DC called PDC and a new Exchange Server separately called Exhange B, migrate mailboxes from Exchange A to Exchange B and then shut down Exchange A, create another server called Exchange A and migrate to it.

  7. #6
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    We have all users in the field mapped to the server by name on their phones and laptops
    Is this via a VPN or just on the internet. If it's via the internet then names are up to you.

    would it be more advisable to create a new DC called PDC and a new Exchange Server separately
    I don't think you need a new DC, just a new Exchange server. Exchange can be stopped on the old server when ready. Renaming the Exchange server might be problematic because Exchange sets up AD entries to match the server.

    One thing you need to remember is to create auto discover DNS entries for Outlook when you upgrade.

    cheers, Paul
    Last edited by Paul T; 2014-02-14 at 11:24.

  8. #7
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    We have all users in the field mapped to the server by name on their phones and laptops
    <BR />Is this via a VPN or just on the internet. If it's via the internet then names are up to you.
    they have a proxy setup in their Outlook that is mailhost.mycompany.com. Also their cell phones are set to the server name mailhost.mycompany.com. Is there a way to create a new Exchange server without having to remote to 200 laptops and 100 cell phones and change their settings?

    would it be more advisable to create a new DC called PDC and a new Exchange Server separately
    <BR />I don't think you need a new DC, just a new Exchange server. Exchange can be stopped on the old server when ready. Renaming the Exchange server might be problematic because Exchange sets up AD entries to match the server.
    We need another DC in order to have the new Exchange server with the name mailhost.mycompany.com since this would require shutting down the old Exchange server and it is currently our only DC.

    We are testing this process on the test environment prior to taking the live servers offline in order to do this over a weekend as it would cause an interruption in the mail service for the company. Once the process is complete the server will be put back online and made live hopefully without anyone knowing there's a difference.

  9. #8
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    You are using OWA via a DNS entry. You can change just change the NAT on the firewall to point to the new server and everyone will still be able to use their email.

    You do not need a new DC to add external DNS names. In this case you don't need a new name - see above.
    You should never have only one DC. Adding a second, also set as a GC, is a minimum requirement.

    Doing it over a weekend should be fine - that's how I did my last one. Testing the process first is always a good idea.

    cheers, Paul

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  11. #9
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    Thank you for all your help. I will speak to my Director and discuss with him further what we want to do.

  12. #10
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    We have decided to go a slightly different route. We are migrating our Exchange from Windows 2003 32bit Server A to Windows 2008 64bit Server C. This has been done successfully and will remain the new Exchange server. We also are creating a new Windows 2008 64bit Server B that will be the new DC. I have joined it to the domain, run forest and domain prep and then dcpromo with global catalog and dns. The problem is when I shut down the original Server A I can no longer open AD on Server B and cannot join a new computer to the domain. Is there a step I'm missing? When running forest and domain prep should I do that on Server A or Server B? Any help with this would be appreciated.

  13. #11
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    Are you sure the new DC is a GC? Check the FSMO role holders. (netdom query /domain:domainname fsmo)

    Once you have a new GC in place you need to dcpromo the retiring DC out of the domain. This will transfer any remaining FSMO roles and remove other AD dependencies.

    Shutting down a functioning DC will just make AD think it's broken and you may then need to seize FSMO roles.

    cheers, Paul

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    Thank you for the response. I ran the command you gave me and it says all of the functions are assigned to Server A. How do I make sure the GC is on Server B? I have done everything I can find on the internet. (checked the box for Global Catalog on the properties window for Server B.

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    If you now shutdown server A all requests for AD services will struggle because the FSMO role holder is MIA. This is why a second DC is required, but it doesn't mean the roles will automatically be moved to the remaining server. If you want to remove server A from AD you must demote it, if not you must seize FSMO roles from the missing DC.

    cheers, Paul

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    Once again, thank you for the response. I was able to successfully seize FSMO from Server A. However when I go to demote it I get an error that the AD for the domain cannot be found. I get the same error when I try to join a new computer to the domain. Is there something else I'm missing? Our original goal was to create a backup AD server in case Server A failed for some reason. We learned that it isn't something to do when going from Win2003 to Win2008, therefore we are replacing Server A. Any help would be appreciated greatly.

  17. #15
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    Seizing roles probably upset server A so you should turn it off and delete it from AD - you can do this easily in ADUC on a 2008 R2 server, but it's a pain on anything earlier.

    If you turn on server A without being connected to the network you may be able to demote it.

    cheers, Paul

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