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Converting from Sendmail to Exchange 2000 for email

Posted on 2005-03-07
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I am preparing to replace Sendmail with Exchange 2000 in my Windows 2000 Active Directory Domain. For the purpose of this scenario, I’ll call our domain domain.org. Sendmail is currently configured on a unix box (unix.domain.org), which delivers mail via a dialup-link to a smarthost provided offsite by our legacy database vendor.

I have 2 domain controllers (dc1.domain.org (primary) and dc2.domain.org), and a third Windows 2000 server (mail.domain.org, not a DC) (twin Xeon 2Ghz/2GB RAM/80GB) that I will install Exchange on. I have already run forestprep and domain prep on the (primary) domain controller.
I would like to accomplish this without having to change my organizations email addresses, if possible.
I have a static IP and am running NAT on my firewall.
What MX records do I need to specify, and how to I make these changes? Through my ISP? Do the new MX records supercede and/or replace the old ones?
Is there anything else I need to do before installing exchange on mail.domain.org?
Can I keep my existing email addresses?
I would like to use OWA in house, and add web access later, so this would eventually be the back-end server - are there any special configuration issues here?
What other potential obstacles do I need to be aware of?

I am planning to make this change on a weekend to keep disruption to a minimum.
In case you’re wondering (I’m sure some of you are), I’m using Exchange 2000 because we already have all the necessary sw and licensing (this has been a work in progress), and there is no money in the current budget for 2003 – maybe next year.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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Question by:ittherapist
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munichpostman earned 1000 total points
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by:ittherapist
ID: 13560436
Ok, that helps with the upgrade itself...but what about the MX records? I'm not exactly sure if my understanding of the setting of the MX record to point to the exchange server rather than the sendmail server will supercede the existing MX records?
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by:ittherapist
ID: 13935941
Since this post is getting old, I thought I'd update it. The post from munichpostman helped, so I'd give credit for assisting, but for future reference by others, the steps below are what achieved the desired outcome, gathered through a multitude of sources:
1. Arranged for DNS hosting through my ISP.
2. Added MX records using the ISP's interface.
3. Updated my domain name settings to point to my ISP's DNS servers.
4. Installed Exchange, created mailboxes for my users (was able to preserve email addresses).
5. Reconfigured Outlook clients.
6. Tested OWA inside - works like a charm - haven't setup for outside access yet.
7. On the firewall, NATed the public IP to a private IP, allowed SMTP inbound only to public IP, allowed SMTP outbound only from private IP.
So far, things have been running well since the install a month ago.
If you are reading this for guidance, give yourself a couple of days for the DNS and MX changes to replicate, otherwise you may have trouble testing your installation. The downside of this, if using the same domain name, external email may stop flowing depending on your configuration.
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