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Posted on 2006-06-06
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Ok time for the dumb admin question.  Sorry, about this but I just need to verify my thoughts

I have a 2003 AD domain, with an Exchange 2003 Enterprise server.  It is not running all the service packs, but I am leary of upgrading it to the curren service packs at this time.  Daddy always said if it ain't broke don't fix it (there is some truth to that).

But to my question.  I have a VP who wants to test out some new PDA's and he wants SP2 on the exchange box.  But since I haven't had a chance to test it on our system and there is some other testing I want to do with different backup clients.  What I am wondering is I can setup a new exchanger server and have it point to a different SMTP ip address and such and have it on the same network to do all this testing on and it won't effect the current server, Correct?
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Question by:ChrisTHall
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december41991 earned 1000 total points
ID: 16846173
Same network means same forest?

The other exchange server will be in the same AD forest or different ?

The best would be to install another Exchange server by joining the present one. Then upgrade it to what ever you want and test it. If all looks ok then apply it to the current one as well.

Base line:=\
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You can have two exchange server in the same forest with different SP and updates without any problem.

And from my exp. daddy rule does not work with exchange sp's. go ahead and install it.

Regards
Dominic
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 1000 total points
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You should really consider your stance on service packs.

Unless there is a very compelling reason (3rd party vendor support) the "if ain't broke don't fix it" no longer applies. A service pack contains more than just new features. It also contains security fixes, which could lead to your server being compromised if not applied. Service Pack 2 for Exchange is now almost 12 months old and is consider rock solid.

If you have a third party vendor who refuses to support the latest service pack after all this time, then you should question the vendor carefully. They will have had the service pack for quite some time and refusing to support it is not something I would accept.

You can run two Exchange servers on the same network. If you don't want to cause any potential damage to the production environment, then setup a new domain. You will have to manually configure network information because DHCP will not give you the correct info. I have four separate Exchange orgs on my home network at the moment (Exchange 2003 prod, Exchange 2003 dev, Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2007). They don't know about each other and all operate in their own little world quite happily.

Simon.
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by:ChrisTHall
ID: 16846543
I understand what both of you are saying about the SP's and to a point I agree.  But then I look on here and see all the quesions like..I just installed SPX and my exchange is doing such and such..or I just did this security update and my exchange is crashed.  My feeling is I have a solid server that as for the most part stayed up and running with a few minor issues for almost 2 years or so.  MAkes me nervous to mess with that.  But, I will look into getting all the updates on the production system.  (I have been burned by MS to many times in the past on their SPs and fixes)

That said.  

On joining to the present one? Last time I did that with an older version of exchange and we downed the test server it would freak the main one out and it would lock up looking for its partner.  This is no longer an issue?

Sembee, are all your exchange servers part of the same forest? are they connected to different mail ips?  

I really do appreciate the help I know these are basic questions..so thanks!!!
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by:december41991
ID: 16846570
Having in the same forest will not cause any problem... I have it my LAB...:)   ...

otherwise  have a new forest in the same ( a single DC and exchange on it) network and test it till you are rock sure ......


have fun

Dominic
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by:Sembee
ID: 16846781
All of my Exchange servers are totally independent.
They have their own IP addresses. The only one that can be seen from the internet is my production Exchange 2003. The others are internal use only.

Most of the questions regarding the service packs are down to users not reading the readme files or having made unsupported changes to the servers. Microsoft test the service packs very heavily, the MVPs were running Exchange 2003 SP2 for weeks before its release. That particular service pack is rock solid.

With the way that the security world operates now, not deploying service packs and patches shortly after release is no longer a good practise. With full disclosure now taking place, the time between patch and exploit is very short. The days of NT4 service pack 2 are long gone.

Plus you only see people with problems on forums like this. Many many people have deployed the service pack and updates without any issues.

Simon.
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by:december41991
ID: 16846917
Simon , you are very correct partner !!!!
Things have changed a lot from bad old NT 4 days.....

:)

Dominic
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Author Comment

by:ChrisTHall
ID: 16860915
ok....am going to apply SP2 does it require any other patches or sp's before I put it on...or is it a roll up SP with all the previous ones in it?
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by:Sembee
ID: 16861005
If the base server is up to date, then there is nothing else you need to install on the server. Otherwise it is a cumulative update that has all of the older updates as well as the new ones. You are harking back to NT 3.51 days where you had to apply the service packs in the right order.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:ChrisTHall
ID: 16861018
Yes I am...but I am also just trying to make sure this goes smoothly.  Messing with my exchange server makes me very nervous especially with what happened the last time to someone who messed with it.


Thanks
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