Exchange 2000 migtration and OWA

I have Client who is running Windows 2000 AD native and Exchange 2000 native as well. They have two Exchange 2000 back-end servers and one front-end server. The front-end server has OWA 2000 running on it.
They want to go to Exchange 2003 first then upgrade their Windows 2000 domain to Windows 2003 domain.
My recommendation to them was:
1. Apply the latest Windows services packs on all the domain controllers
2. Apply the latest Exchange 2000 service pack on all Exchange 2000 servers
3. Run the Exchange Forestprep and then the domainprep
4. Install new Windows 2003 server in the Windows 2000 domain
5. Install Exchange 2003 on the new Windows 2003 server and join the existing Exchange 2000 organization.
6. Apply Exchange 2003 SP1
7. Logon to Exchange 2003 server and use (Not Sure though) the migration wizard or the ESM to move the mailboxes from Exchange 2000 to the new Exchange 2003 server.
8. Public Folder (They have public folder tree enabled) I'm not sure what to do to migrate the PF to Exchange 2003 server. Should I use the PFMigrate tool? Or create a replica? Should I rehome the PF folders? Or do nothing since the servers are all in the Exchange 2000 organization.
9. What should I do with the RUS?
10. They have OWA 2000 at the front-end server and they want to go to OWA 2003. Should I do Exchange in place upgrade on the server and would that upgrade OWA automatically?
11. Since the client will move the mailboxes from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003 at phases, can the end users use the Exchange 2003 OWA to access the mailboxes on the an Exchange 2000 servers?  
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SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I never recommend doing any kind of upgrades on servers. Upgrades can cause problems. I want a server to be rock solid, no worries over residue of an old install.

If you are upgrading to Exchange 2003 on to a new machine then it will be part of the Exchange org - but the public folders will not be replicated to it. Therefore you will have to look at the properties of the public folder in ESM and add the new server as a replica. Exchange will then send the content over.
However before you can do that, the new server needs to know where this data goes. This means sending the hierarcy across.
In ESM, Admin Groups, <your admin group>, folders. Right click on Public Folders and choose "Send Hierarcy". Choose and old server as the source, then the new server as the destination. You will need to wait while the server sends the details to the new server and then processes it.

Once the public folder data is replicating correctly then you can think about moving the mailboxes across.
If you do it correctly with enough planning, especially with a new server then the level of downtime to the users can be zero. There will be a period while the frontend OWA server is rebuilt, but for full Outlook clients it can be done without them knowing about it. The trick is to ensure that both the new and old servers are available when the clients login for the first time. They will then be automatically redirected to the new server.

yes front end server must be upgraded the front end server to exchange 2003 then they can use owa 2003,actually micorosft made exchange independent of client that is any clinet whether owa 97 2000 all can connet to exchange serverslatest,but the fact is that the new funtinality will not be in place.i will like the old one

I would never recommend an inplace upgrade of Exchange - where possible swing the mailboxes between servers so that they end up on a clean server. As it is just a frontend you can easily work around it for a couple of hours while it is wiped and rebuilt. Rebuild it to Windows 2003 if possible, then you are ready for RPC/HTTP implemenation (if required) later.

The rule with frontend backend is that the frontend server must be the same or higher version and revision level as the backend. You always apply patches and service packs to the frontend server.
While you can use an Exchange 2003 server as a frontend to Exchange 2000 the clients will not get the Exchange 2003 interface. They will get the interface for the same revision of Exchange that their mailbox is located on.
Once you start moving them over to Exchange 2003 at the backend then they will get the Exchange 2003 OWA.

For public folders just add the other server as a replica. Send the hierarcy over first.
What I do with migrations to new servers is setup everything but mailboxes. Public folder replication, system folder replication, everything. Make sure that all the data has been moved and is replicating between the two servers correctly.
Only then do I move mailboxes using move mailbox wizard.

When it comes to thinking about removing the original Exchange server, moving RUS etc, then take a look at this article from the MS KB:

mjawarish1Author Commented:
Are you saying that upgrading the Exchange OWA 2000 to to exchange 2003 OWA in place is not recommended? You would rather reinstall the server from scratch.

When it comes to the public folder you said "just add the other server as a replica" what other server do you mean? And how do you do that?

Also, you said "Send the hierarcy over first" How can you do that?

Also, what I understood from you is that I need to deal with OWA first (upgrade in-place or fresh install to exchange 2003).

Deal with the public folder in term of replication with the new exchange 2003 server.

When the steps above are done only then start moving the mailboxes from exchange 2000 to exchange 2003  
Hi there ,
I take Sembee's  point about doing a fresh re-install- but we have an interesting chicken and egg scenario over here.
We have a win 2000/exch 2000 environment with exch 2000 OWa servers and we are ready to migrate to 2003
The problem we have is that we WANT to maintain service to OWA clients- while the upgrade is going on. Exchnage 2003 will not install UNLESS front end servers have exchnage 2003 first. So what we are having to do is to UPGRADE all our front end servers first - once they are all upgraded, we will have to rebuild them from scratch one by one

A pain- but I learnt the hard way yesterday- I set about doing a complete rebuild of one of my front end server (which used to be a 2000 server with exch 2000. Exch 2003 would not install as the other front end servers had not been upgraded to 2003!!

So now I am rebuilding it back to exch/wind 2000- I will upgrade first and then rebuild.

Hope someone finds this info useful- esp those who need to maintain an OWA service


Ms Arti Rumpal

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