Moving Exchange from PDC to another W2K3 Server.......


I currently have 4 Windows 2003 Servers on an Active Directory Domain, each with the following roles:

Server 1:
-Exchange 2003
-IIS for OWA

Server 2:
-IIS Web server

Server 3:
-Antivirus server
-Apache web server
-Web security server

Server 4:
-File server
-NAS/Veritas Backup Server

We started with Server 1, so Exchange 2003 was installed on the PDC. I have since learned that this is not good practice and would like to get some advice on what can/should be done. Everything runs very smoothly right now, and I firmly believe in the old saying "If it isn't broken, don't fix it", however, I do not want future problems to occur due to a bad setup.

My questions  are:
Should I worry about this now, or will I be okay with the current setup? If it is critial to move the Exchange Server off of a DC, what steps do I need to take? How much down time can I expect?

Any advice is greatly appreciated........
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Dmitri FarafontovLinux Systems AdminCommented:
First of all there is no longer PDC and BDC in Windows 2003. They are all use muti-master replication, and Admins can modify AD at any of the DC's. However PDC Emulator is one of the five FSMO roles that is required to be present only once per Domain. That machine can get traffic heavy since it is responsible for supporting password and time syncs across the domain. In addition it monitors password lockouts/changes, and notifies the other DC's in the replica ring. Just two cents worth. If the performance is critical, I would suggest to move Exchange, however there is nothing to worry about otherwise
This decision should be largely based on current volume and projected growth. How many users are you currently authenticating in your AD? How often are changes made to the Active Directory? If you are a relatively small company, I wouldn't worry about it. However, if you have 500+ users, I would probably start planning to migrate the Exchange role to another box. Nice thing is, the migration of mailboxes from one exchange to another within 2003 is very nice (and seamless!) and can be done gradually.

Hope this helps...

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BrianIT ManagerCommented:
What DeltaFire said is 100% correct.  I would however move the PDC Emulator role off your Exchange server.  

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Dmitri FarafontovLinux Systems AdminCommented:
I am assuming that Server1 is also a Global Catalog Server, since it is one of the first servers in the enterprise. In this case you will need to move the PDC role to the other DC's. Global Catalog contains all of the objects from its domain and a subset from others. Users will query the global catalog when they are searching for information. In addition it is used for Universal Group Memberships. Without one there no logon possible in Windows 2003 Functional Level. Combined together with PDC FSMO role, traffic can get very heavy. Yet however I am not given how powerful that machine is.
Dmitri FarafontovLinux Systems AdminCommented:
Global Catalog is the only place where Universal Groups are stored. Thats why there should be at least one present to fasilitate logons from users, combined together with a PDC Emulator DC.
3drcAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice, exactly what I wanted to know!!!
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Windows Server 2003

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