Moving SMTP Connector

I am in the process of planning our Windows/Exchange 2003 upgrade.  Email delivery is very critical for our company and my goal is to minimize, if not eliminate, any potential loss of connectivity during the upgrade.  I'll be purchasing new box which will replace our current Exchange 2000 server so I will have the luxury of running two Exchange boxes at the same time.  See the bottom of this post for general environment info.  

My questions are concerning Exchange's SMTP connector.  When I build the new server with Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003, can I install a SMTP connector on that machine which will receive email for our domain, while there's a similar connector on our current Exchange box? (ie: run two SMTP connectors servicing the same domain simultaneously under the same Exchange organization?)  My goal is to provide coverage when our ISP switches our MX record to point to the new Exchange 2003 box.  It's conceivable that while the DNS change propagates we could recieve email directed to either Exchange box and I don't want to loose any emails.  

Once I'm sure the new box is running correctly and all mail is coming to it and not the old Exchange box, I will follow the steps in Article 307917 to remove the Exchange 2000 server.

Windows 2000 (SP4) network with AD in native mode.
Single Exchange 2000 server, standard edition (SP3 & post SP3 rollup patch)

Goal is to upgrade all servers to Windows 2003 network with AD in 2003 native mode
Exchange 2003, Standard edition, will obviously be running on Windows 2003.
Who is Participating?
If you look at the SMTP Connector you will see your server currently listed. All you need to do is add your server to the list.
What are you actually using the SMTP Connector for? It plays no part in receiving email, and is usually only used for sending email via another server - for example your ISPs SMTP Server. If you are sending email directly then you don't need one.

As you are going to run with both servers there is nothing to stop you from having both servers listed in the MX records while you move your data across. When you are at least 48 hours from decommissioning the old server, simply drop it from the MX records so that you are back to the single record.

Does your existing Exchange server have its own external IP address?
If not, and you are just nat-ing the IP address then I would simply change the firewall configuration and not worry about the MX record. It doesn't matter which server the SMTP traffic goes to - as long as the two servers can communicate Exchange will send the email between the servers to the correct one automatically.

As for SMTP Connector, simply add your second server as another bridgehead and the new server will continue to use it. No need for a second connector.

djs120Author Commented:

Yes, our current Exchange 2000 server has it's own external IP address.  Our ISP has an MX record, which points to this server.  What I thought is that I'd install Exchange 2003 on the new box and add it into our existing Exchange organization.  Then I'd ask our ISP to change the MX to point to this server, for example:

The Exchange 2000 server eventually be decomissioned leaving us with a single Exchange 2003 server.

I'm not sure I understand you're reference to bridgehead server.  Mail is routed directly to our current Exchange box, we have no gateway or intervening box of any kind.  If you send a message to it comes directly to our Exchange 2000 box.
If you are under one IP address, then you can just repoint port 25 to the new server as long as the SMTP service is setup and running.  Incomming mail will still be distributed through the site to the appropriate server.  I did this to complete my migration and it worked great.  
djs120Author Commented:

Thanks Sembee.  Sorry for taking a while to get back to this post, lots going on.

I may have been a little turned around with my terminology but your suggestion at the dual MX records while running both servers sounds like it'll do what I want it to.  

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