Migrating from NT to 2003

Ok -

The time has come! We are finally going to be upgrading Windows NT domain and Exchange 5.5 to 2003!! Yay! :)

Problem is I am not sure where to start...

Let me begin by providing a little background about out infrastructure.

- Single site
- We our on a flat network and domain (working on getting this upgraded)
- 300 Users
- One 5.5 Server
- 1 NT PDC
- 2 NT BDCs
- 1 2000 DNS Server
- 2 NT WINS, DHCP Servers
- 1 2003 Print Server
- 4 NT and 2000 File Servers

I have two new Windows 2003 servers on the way for Active Directory domain controllers.

I have heard I should bring up one of the new servers as a BDC and then promote it to a PDC after it syncs and then demote my other NT boxes.. IS this correct?

What about DNS? How will the new DCs work with my existing Windows 2000 DNS box?

Should I use a AD integrated or a standard zone?

I also have some server name with underscores and dashes, will these need to be renamed before I setup AD?

Does exchange 5.5 play nice with Windows 2003 and Active Directory? What has to be done to exchange to get to work with 2003 AD?

Sorry for all the questions! I just don't want to screw this up! :)

JJ
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Justin DurrantSr. Engineer - Windows Server/VirtualizationAsked:
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jodypeetConnect With a Mentor Commented:
then the in-place upgrade is the way .
in my first post see way 1
there are plenty of white papers on it from microsoft ..step by step instructions etc.
here's the main one http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/whyupgrade/nt4/nt4tows03-2.mspx 
remember to have one of your BDC's offline until you are 100% happy with the new servers, this way you have a "rollback" scenario if it doesn't work out as you want it to.

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jodypeetCommented:
Oh Boy a barrel of questions...hehe
You are almost correct.
there are 2 ways you could go with this... it all depends on whether you need to retain your current domain name really.
Way 1
Build one of these as an NT4 server bring it into the domain and promote it to PDC.
Take one of the BDC's offline, and keep it off as a rollback option.
Then do an in-place upgrade of the new server to Windows 2003 Server.
Copy the data over, and reset permissions.
Then you add your other new server straight into 2003 and join the domain.

Way 2
Build the new server as 2003 (create a new domain).
Migrate the user accounts to it Using ADMT (active directory migration tool) which will extract the users, groups, etc from NT4 and import them to the new server.
Copy the data over, and reset permissions.

Is your 2000 DNS server a member server? , might pay to let your new 2003 server take this role over, or at least join the 2000 server to the "new" domain and let it run in AD Intergrated mode once there.

The naming convention ... Underscores are not a good idea, I would deffinately rename them before getting near the AD domain.

Either way you go, Exchange 5.5 won't run on a 2003 server, so i am guessing you are thinking about leaving an old server running this, not installing it on a new server.This can be done, but the functionality may be a little degraded. It would be nicer (and easier for you to administer) if you went up to exchange 2003 at the same time. But it's not a necessity.
 
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Justin DurrantSr. Engineer - Windows Server/VirtualizationAuthor Commented:
Thanks.. Which way would be the best and easiest for a newbie?

Also, we plan on upgrading to Exchnage 2003 as well.

Justin


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jodypeetCommented:
Do you  need to keep your domain name ?
For a newbie it's  kind of 50/50 but probably the upgrade path would be "easier" , simply because it's importing some settings and you don't have to set it all up from scratch. The only down side is that it may "inherit" any current  problems, but not too many.
The upgrade to exchange 2003 will be a whole new project, just remember to make sure during the upgrade you don't set the new server to Native mode , run it in mixed mode so it can talk to the NT4 servers for now
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Justin DurrantSr. Engineer - Windows Server/VirtualizationAuthor Commented:
Yes I would like to the new domain to be sheldahl.com.

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Justin DurrantSr. Engineer - Windows Server/VirtualizationAuthor Commented:
thanks!
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