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Multiple Exchange Server versions on same domain - best way to configure

Posted on 2006-11-29
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Currently running Exchange server 2000 on a w2k server.  the w2k server is the domain controller.  also have two windows 2003 servers, and want to install exchange server 2003 on one of them.  only a couple of the users will use this exchange server; the rest will stay will the 2000 server.  if necessary, can set up the windows 2003 server as a separate domain.

the reason for this is to test exchange 2003 with some handhelds vs. blackberry and goodlink, which are currently running with the exchange 2000 server.  Do not want to disrupt anything as everything is working well.

What is the best way to do this?  
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Question by:RBECKMN
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by:Sembee
ID: 18038698
Exchange 2003 will quite happily coexist. If you are using a BES, then it will have to be in the same domain, due to the way that the BES operates.

The only issue you would get is if you have an Exchange 2000 frontend. You cannot have an Exchange 2000 frontend with Exchange 2003 backends, so the frontend would have to be upgraded.

Simon.
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by:RBECKMN
ID: 18038724
Sorry, i don't know what you mean by an exchange 2000 front-end.  do  you mean Outlook 2000?

I asked this question because when I started to install Exchange 2003, it asked me to modify the active directory structure for the domain, and I wasn't sure what impact this might have.  do you know if there is any?
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Sembee earned 250 total points
ID: 18038870
Frontend server is an Exchange server that does not host mailboxes, but provides a single point of entry for multiple backend servers. It is not Outlook.

You have to forest prep and domain prep for Exchange 2003. It doesn't impact the domain so I would go ahead and do it.
To try and get the live users working on another forest and domain (it would have to be both) along with co-existing with your existing forest and domain will be very complex.

You basically have two choices.

1. Bite the bullet and install Exchange 2003 on the production site so that the users can test the handhelds with live data.
2. Build a test lab with a separate forest and domain and have test accounts and test data.

This scenario only allows you to do one of the above two.

Simon.
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