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Moving Exchange to new hardware keeping the same exchange server name

Posted on 2006-07-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
We had an SBS 2003 box which had underlying issues. This has now been flattend and full Windows Server 2003 SP1 R2 with Exchange 2003 SP2 installed. We originally Exmerged the mailboxes to a new Windows Server 2003 SP1 R2 with Exchange 2003 SP2 and have spent some time reconfiguring shares, public folders etc. This is all working fine now. This new Server is also acting as the Domain Controller.

So we currently have a Windows Server 2003 SP1 R2 with Exchange 2003 SP2 on the same box.

This original server is now to be put back online with the same configuration.

Making the original Server the DC again is not a problem. We have tested this and successfully completed this task several times. However, I would appreciate advice on how to migrate exchange 2003 SP2 without loosing shared calanders and public folders infomation with the minimum of downtime.

So we are looking to migrate Exchange 2003 on one server to Exchange 2003 on another server. I have looked at several articals but with no success.

PS. I am by no means an expert on Exchange.

Thank you all in advance.
Question by:semu05
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Expert Comment

ID: 17026258
You make the statement that the original server was a SBS server.   When you revert back to this server, will it be a SBS server again?  If this is the case, then you may have a problem.  IF the old server will be running full exchange and Server, then you have no problem at all.  All you need to do is use the Exchange Tasks option to move the user's mailboxes to the old server.  This will maintain all that you require, as long as the server is within the same Exchange org.

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LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 17026350
You have put in your question title about keeping the same Exchange server name.
Is that name currently in use, or did you use a new name when you setup Exchange on to the new box?


Author Comment

ID: 17026531
Firstly thanks for responding so quickly.

Just to help explain further.

1. There was only ever one exchange server (not an Exchange org).

2. We only want one exchange server on the same box as Windows Server 2003 which will also be the domain controller. (Very similar to the setup of an SBS 2003 box but without the inbuilt limitations of SBS)

3. We do wish to keep the same Exchange Server Name and this name is currently in use on the new (TEMP) server. This new temp server will in time be flattend and shiped to a remote office.

hope this helps.

LVL 104

Accepted Solution

Sembee earned 1000 total points
ID: 17027955
The problem with retaining the same name is that you cannot build the new server with that name and have it on the same network.
Furthermore, you cannot change the name of the server once Exchange is installed.

Therefore you are looking at a number of options.

1. Build a temporary domain controller. Exmerge the content of the mailboxes out, copy the public folder content out, remove Exchange and then build and install Exchange on to the real machine.

2. Build a temporary Exchange server and do a full swing. This is where you move the data across to the temporary machine, remove the original machine, build the new machine with the existing name and then move the data back.

Any reason that you want to maintain the same machine name. If you loose that requirement then the job becomes much easier and doesn't require temporary machines.


Author Comment

ID: 17028209
Thank you sembee for responding.

The reason I wish to keep the same name is through the fear that if I change it local Outlook 2003 clients on client PC will not be able to connect and I will have to go round each one and make adjustments. Very time consuming as there are 40+ clients.

However, I have read in some discussions that this would not be the case. Do you know what would happen?

I also do not want to use Exmerge as this does not retain shared calendars and mail redirects as I found to my perl in the previous migration. I do not wish to experience that again.

If I can afford to loose the machine name and go with another name what are my options?


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Assisted Solution

amaheshwari earned 1000 total points
ID: 17029476

Please check this:
How to move Exchange 2003 to new hardware and keep the same server name

Expert Comment

ID: 17029501

  You have some options and thus choices to make a few decisions for how to get this done.

Sembee is absolutely correct as usual. I am guessing that keeping hte same name is for the Outlook profiles concern and their dependancy on keeping the same name.  I am not sure of the correct procedure here (Please help Sembee) but if the OL profile is the only reason for keeping name the same I can provide you a util I developed with VB that simply changes the Exchange serer name in the OL profile. The util can be either run o a single machine or be harmlessly added the logon scripts for all users and has a 100% success rate so far. I don't mind providing this for you but don't want to step on any toes. I will follow whichever method Sembee says to get you the profileupdate.exe util.

  If you have other reasons for the same name please state them so we can work those out as well.
LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 17030372
The reason you have given for wanting to maintain is the most common one that is stated, but is not an issue.

As long as both servers are live when the Outlook clients reconnect, then they will automatically redirect. I have moved 1000s of mailboxes to new servers and not once have I been near any workstations. The work can be carried out so that the users don't even know that anything has changed.


The key thing is that both servers MUST be available, with Exchange installed so that the redirection takes place. You cannot expect to switch servers in a weekend and by Monday morning have a server shutdown.

My doing a swing migration and giving up the servername you can do it in a much more relaxed process and move the mailboxes and content across without being rushed. You can probably do 80% of the work in production hours.


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