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Procedure / Process for Exchange Upgrade

Looking for some good documentation and recomendations on procedure/process on Upgrading the Exchange Environment.  The main things I am most interested in are:

1) Is there a tool from MS to use for exporting the database and users to new Exchange Servers?

2) Since this is a complete hardware upgrade, is editing the DNS sufficient enough for user clients to point automatically to the new servers?

3) Will there be any compatibility issue with database since it is going to be moved from Exchange Standard to Exchange Enterprise.

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XoraIT
Asked:
XoraIT
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1 Solution
 
SembeeCommented:
New hardware upgrade?
Very simple.

Build new machine. Put in domain.
Install Exchange. It will join the existing Exchange org automatically.
Configure replication of public and system folders.

Wait.

Once PF and SF are replicated, move the users using "Move Mailbox Wizard". Make sure the users are not connected when you do that.
As long as both the old and the new server are running when the users connect for the first time, they will be automatically redirected.

Move the pointer for inbound email when the majority of the users are on the new server.

To remove the old server, there are articles on MS web site. However as you haven't said what the original is, I'll post them all:

Removing the First Exchange 2000 Server: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=307917 
Removing the First Exchange 2003 Server: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=822931
Removing the last Exchange 5.5 Server from 2000 Admin Group: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=284148 
Removing the last Exchange 5.5 Server from 2003 Admin Group: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=822450 

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
So I dont have to worry about making the changes on the DNS?  Clients will update to new server automatically if both servers are online when they login the first time?

How about remote users connecting through the VPN?  Any issues there?

Not sure what PF and SF stands for?

Thanks.
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SembeeCommented:
FP - Public Folders
SF - System Folders

If the clients are connecting over MAPI then no DNS changes need to be made. Exchange and the AD will do the rest.
If the clients are connecting over POP3/IMAP then you will have to change the DNS. However if you haven't already then this would be a good opportunity to configure them all with a generic name such as mail.domain.com instead of the actual server name, so if you have to move servers again, you simply change the DNS IP address for mail.domain.com to point at the real server.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Thanks Simon.  You sure making it sound easier than I expected.  

Any idea, how long the "Move Maibox Wizard" would take for 150 users and a 13GB database?

Also, I'm assuming the server rules for all the mailbox will also be moved?





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SembeeCommented:
The move mailbox wizard is done on a user by user basis. You don't move everyone in a single hit.
Everything is moved - with careful planning you can actually do the move without the users noticing. I am a specialist at moving clients to new servers and pride myself on being able to do it with zero downtime.

150 users will take a good couple of hours - but it depends on what your network speed and server performance is like. If you have time, do the job over three weeks.

Week 1 - build and configure replication.
Week 2 - move users
Week 3 - remove old server.

Do it from on remote control. Thats why I usually do unless I am against the clock. Find a couple of large mailboxes, trigger them off, leave the server to get on with it. Come back a couple of hours later to find that is done it. I will usually have three or four mailboxes being moved at one time - any more will thrash the servers and could cause errors.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Ok understood.  I was planning on moving all at once but not anymore.  Will move them gradually and I have put down 4 weeks for the completion of **** project so that shouldnt be a problem.

I will make the change on the DNS side also because I have some users that do use POP.  Maybe I'll leave then at the end.

Just to give you some more info, the new hardware environment is a exchange cluster setup with 2 servers connected to an external SCSI storage.  Should I watch out for anything in that area?

Really appreciate all your suggestions Simon.
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SembeeCommented:
Cluster shouldn't cause any additional problems. However if you want to do any testing of the cluster, do it after the system and public folders replication has been setup, but before any mailboxes are moved to the new system.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Hi there Simon,

I ran in to some issues and have some more questions for you.  So, I got the cluster setup and installed exchange enterprise 2000 on both servers, joined to the domain.  Replicated the Public Folders and I moved few test accounts from our current production exchange box to the mailcluster.  But those accounts I moved are unable to send or receive emails outside the company and also with users in the other exchange box.

We have our MX records hosted outside and the emails come in to our UNIX box (mail-relay) also running SpamAssassin, forwards it to our Firewall which then forwards it to our current exchange box.  I thought, any accounts that I move to the new server would still get emails because all these exchange boxes are in the same domain.  Was I wrong?

Hope I made sense.  Any suggestions/help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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SembeeCommented:
How have you done forwarding to your relay machine? Via a smart host on the SMTP Virtual Server?
Remove that setting and use an SMTP Connector instead. Exchange uses SMTP to send email between the servers, but a smart host on the SMTP VS breaks that.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Okay, I'll try that.  Do I also need an SMTP connector between the current exchange box and the new exchange cluster?

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SembeeCommented:
No.
The same SMTP Connector can be used for all the servers. It is used to get email off the Exchange server going outbound in a route that is different to what Exchange can find for itself.
You simple add them all as bridgeheads and enter the DNS name or IP address of the server you need to forward email through as the smart host.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Didnt work.  I added a new connector with the IP of the mail relay and added all of our exchange servers.  
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SembeeCommented:
If you enter an IP address you must enclose the address in [ ] - [192.168.1.1] for example. Did you do that?

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
I tried that.....still doesnt work.
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SembeeCommented:
Turn on Message Tracking.
http://www.amset.info/exchange/message-tracking.asp

See what Exchange is doing with the message.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
I tried that but now I'm getting an error:

An error occurred during a call to Windows Management Instrumentation

ID no: 8004100e
Exchange System Manager

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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Okay, I fixed the error above I was getting.  

Do you think I need to configure front-end and back-end servers for the new mailcluster to be able to receive email from the current production server?


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SembeeCommented:
Shouldn't have to.
I would have frontend / backend for a clustered site anyway... but thats just me.

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Okay, so now I have the an SMTP connector configured with my smart host IP address.  And I have my clustermail added as a bridgehead server.

I also have a rule setup on my firewall to accept SMTP connections from clustermail to the smart host.

RESULTS:

I cannot send any email out from the clustermail account but I can send email out to the current production Mail server.

Also when I track the message, it shows the following:
SMTP Store Driver: Message Submitted from Store
SMTP: Message Submitted to Advance Queuing
SMTP: Started Message Submission to Advanced Queue
SMTP: Message Submitted to Categorizer


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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Simon

Got one more question for you.  If I configure the SMTP connector with the mail-relay IP address and remove the smart host settings from both my exchange servers, what would be my firewall rule be?  Where would it point to?  

Also, on the SMTP connector, am I adding all the servers as brigdeheads?

Please help, thanks.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
I got the SMTP connector running with the servers and the smart host setting pointing to the mail-relay.  The only problem I have now is my cluster server takes up to 15 minutes to receive an email from outside the internet.  Internal emails are fine.


Any suggestions?


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SembeeCommented:
What does message tracking say?

Delays are normally DNS errors. Do you have messages stuck in the queues anywhere?

Simon.
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XoraITAuthor Commented:
Simon,

You were right!  I had 2 different entry for the same IP address.  Soon as I removed the old one, registered the changes....everthing is working great.

Thanks for all your help.

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