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Best method to go from 2000 to 2003 on a new server?

Posted on 2006-07-05
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I have a server running 2000 Server and Exchange 2000.  The databases for Exchange are on an external RAID(this is all Dell hardware).

I have a new server and licenses for 2003 Server and Exchange 2003, though there's no OS in place yet.  I do not have a new external RAID, I'll need to move the old one over.

I do have Symantec BackupExec 10.

I would prefer to keep the same server name for the new server, because the clients are all configured to look to that server.

What is the best method for me to move to the new server?  If it's as easy as making a clean shutdown on the old server, moving the external array to the new server and attaching itt here, I'll be thrilled.  If it's not, however, what would be the best way?
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Question by:bloodroot
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by:Sembee
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In theory you could forklift the server in to the new OS.
I wouldn't do it though.

Hanging on to the servername isn't really an issue. As long as both servers are available at the point the users login to Outlook for the first time, Outlook will automatically redirect to the new server.

The problem with retaining the same name is that you have to remove Exchange to get it to move.
Do you have anything with enough hard disk space to take the Exchange databases?
If so, then I would use my preferred migration method - swing.

Swing the data out to the temporary machine and remove Exchange from the original server.
Then move and build the new server. Once ready to go, swing the data to that server and remove the original server.

http://www.amset.info/exchange/migration.asp

Simon.
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by:bloodroot
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We don't have another server we can use for this purpose.

Examining the Exchange 2003 deployment guide has revealed that 2003 can mount 2000 information stores.

Given that we have to move the array anyway, would that be a reasonable way of doing it?  We're okay with downtime as long as it's less than one night...mail will spool on our Linux-based preprocessing server anyway.
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by:Sembee
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Doesn't have to be another server. I have done it with workstations in the past.

What Microsoft says can be done, and what can be done in reality are usually two different things.
While you are moving the array right away, you cannot just remove Exchange like that. If you want to retain the same Exchange server name then you have to remove Exchange from the domain, then reinstall it. That will also mean reattaching the mailboxes - by hand.

You haven't said how many mailboxes you have, whether you will get it done in one night is a tough call. Due to the way that you want to move things around, it is one of those tasks that once you start you can't go back.

Simon.
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by:bloodroot
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If we were willing to accept the server name changing...  Is there any way we could leave the old server running, but without the priv1 database(and the array it was on) while bringing up the new server and attaching the old mailboxes?
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by:bloodroot
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Oh...and we have about 300 mailboxes taking up about 140GB worth of disk space.  In case it matters later.
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by:Sembee
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If you take away the store without telling Exchange, then I would very surprised if Exchange started after the reboot. Remember that the store contains system information as well as the mailboxes.
You will be unable to drop the store gracefully so that you can move it because there are still mailboxes located in the store.

Simon.
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by:bloodroot
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So you would still advocate the swing method.  Do you know what would happen if we had SERVERA, swung to SERVERB and then decommissioned SERVERA and brought a new SERVERA online in the course of, say, one night?

Would our users be able to log in the next morning?
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Sembee earned 500 total points
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I have done it that way before. An against the clock migration is possible.
Outlook would work because it would go looking for the server with the name servera.domain.com - which would resolve and have Exchange on it.

There are two issues.

1. Speed of the moves. Shifting the store around will take a while. If possible, you would try and move as many mailboxes early.

2. The major problem you will have is getting the data off Exchange 2000. You have to replicate the public and system folders and that is slow with Exchange 2000 (and cannot be sped up).

If I was going to do a swing based on the information you have stated above, I would build the temporary server as Exchange 2003 SP2 at least 10 days before the switch - the longer the better. Configure the replication of the public and system folders and then leave the servers alone. It will not impact the users, and you have a good chance of getting the replicated data on to Exchange 2003 in time for the switch over.
Once you have the data on Exchange 2003, you can use the new tools to force the data to go across immediately, rather than waiting for replication to take place. Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2003 migrations are much quicker than coming off Exchange 2000.

Simon.
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by:bloodroot
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We've just realized something.  It should be possible to have two seperate disk arrays inside our enclosure, hooked to two seperate servers.  That would let us effectively have one array for each server.

That should simplify things greatly, right?

Thank you for your help.
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by:Sembee
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If you can have two arrays, then everything becomes much simpler - all the issues go away because you can have both servers running at the same time.

Simon.
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