Best approach to move exchange onto new server?

Posted on 2006-05-26
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Hi all,

Here is my problem. I am not greatly clued up on exchange so please bear with me.

We currently have an exchange server which is virtually dead (lack of memory, drive space etc). i decided i needed to move the whole thing to a new server. I tried researching to find the best way to do this but got bogged down with options. I have decided to install exchange on another server, then copy the mailboxes over.

My question is this:

We are currently running on a windows 2003 domain, and using exchange 2003. Is my approach a logical one? Once i have copied the mailboxes over, is it just a case of removing the original exchange server? How can i copy the settings from the original server to the new one?

After reading a lot from these forums i am sure one of you extremely knowledgeable people will be able to help!

Any assistance you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:RASCOFE
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Hi this is the best article for you to refer:

    How to move Exchange 2003 to new hardware and keep the same server name

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    you approach is a logical one. This will reduce the amount of down time and allow you move users over at you own schedule. You can since you have the new server built into the current exchange group I am not sure if you are doing any ip NAT, like on a PIC firewall you can do a one to one NAT which in this cause you just have to move the IP on the firewall otherwise if your current IP is a public address that your MX record is pointing to you can do 2 things.
    You can either add the new IP address to your MX record with a high preference and wait for about 24 hrs for the changes to go across the internet and at this point your new server will be able to recieve email or you can change the IP address on the current exchange and use that IP on the new server but make you change the ip first before you use it on the new server. This option is immidately and you don't have to worry about opening new ports on the firewall. After you move all your mailbox over and make sure you migrate your public folders (you can use pfmigrate for this) then you can shut the old exchange down for a day or so to make sure you did not miss anything and then remove is from the enviroment.

    Author Comment

    We have an on-site pop3 server where the original exchange server sends its mail to. What i meant in my original question is how do i copy the settings from the original to the new exchange? Apologies for my ignorance, like i said, i'm not too clued up on exchange at all!
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Most of the settings are already in the Exchange Orginization; The only settings you have to worry about is make the pop3 / smtp. This you would have to look at your current settings and make sure the new server is the same. There is not too much to it if this is a single server enviroment. Both server will be online at the same time so you can do a side by side comparison to make sure the new server has the same configuration a the new server before you remove the old server.
    I would install the new server move the mailbox...this will not stop mail flow...make sure port 110 and 25 is open on the firewall for the new server. You can make sure bother servers setting is in sync...disconnect the old server from the network and move the IP to the new server...
    hope this help.
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    The simplest way is to swing it.
    The other methods for retaining the same server name just complicate matters.
    As long as both servers are available when the clients connect for the first time, they will automatically redirect.

    For SMTP/IMAP/POP3 users, the impact will depend on how you have them configured.
    If you have been good, you will have them on a generic DNS name in Outlook Express (or whatever the client is). Then you can simply change the DNS and/or firewall settings to point at the new server.
    If you have used the server's real name, then now would be a good time to switch to generic names. You will need to have the pain of the switch at some point - simply to make the administration of the network easier.

    I have an article on my web site for the swing migration:
    Microsoft also have an article on swing migration:


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