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Migrating Exchange 2003 and AD (32bit) to Exchange 2007 and AD (64bit)

Posted on 2007-03-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have just installed Windows 2003 x64 on a new 64bit server. I have also installed Exchange 2007 and enabled AD on the server. This is quite a big project I am working on and there are quite a few things I need to know on this project.

To give you a bit more background on my current system, I have Windows 2003 x86, Exchange 2003 and AD running on my 32bit server.

My aim is to migrate exchange 2003 and AD (32bit) to Exchange 2007 and AD (64bit)

I believe the best way to do this is with scripting. I have to export all the necessary information from exchange 2003 and AD and import the data into Exchange 2007 and AD (64bit). My problem is that I have no scripting experience and I don’t know what scripts to use, or even if this is the best way of doing it.

Any advice form the experts?

Thank you
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Question by:mrvan
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Expert Comment

by:Donnie4572
ID: 18823161
Wouldn't it be the same if you deploy the DC join it to your domain and dcpromo to install active directory?
Also, are you planning Exchange 2007 to run on the domain controller?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 18826427
Are you planning to replace the original domain? If not then you don't need to do any kind of scripting, just migrate across.
Unless the site is very large there is nothing to be gained by going to 64 bit domain controllers.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mrvan
ID: 18827189
Donnie4572: Yes, I am planning to run Exchange 2007 and Active Directory on the same server. We are a small company with about 50 employees so the workload will not be too much for the server.

Sembee: I am planning to replace my current domain controller and exchange server (which runs on one server) with a new server. I need to recreate, migrate or move all my mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 and export all there info from my AC and import them into AD that runs on my new server. The old AD and exchange server will be decommissioned.

The reason for the move (upgrade) is because there are many errors in my current exchange and I can not get some features to work, eg. Auto up to date (push emails to Windows Mobile). We have tried many things and have decided to start with a new build server.
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Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 18831700
Are you planning to create the domain?
If you are not, then you can simply install the replacement Exchange server in to the same domain and move all the data across.
If you are, then things become a lot more complicated.
There is no exmerge support in Exchange 2007, so you have to import all the data through Outlook and not an automated process.

You are also aware that it is not best practises to put Exchange on to a domain controller. If you are buying a new machine then you could re-use the old machine as a domain controller.

Simon.
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by:mrvan
ID: 18842124
Sembee: Yes I am planning to create the domain. I am planning to create the domain offline and then when the AD and Exchange data have been copied over to the new server, I will shut the current server down and start the new server. My aim now is to create a new server with mirror data of exchange and AD. The only difference is that the operating system and Exchange version is not going to be the same.

When you say I have to import the data through Outlook, do you mean that all my Outlook client PC's should be updated with their latest emails and then when I change over to the new server, the server will sync data with the Exchange server?

What about the people that is not currently in the office that might have new emails in the exchange mailbox? Their Outlook will not have the latest information.

How can I copy the AD information over? For example the users, groups etc.

thanks
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 18844098
The difference in Exchange basically makes what you are planning to do impossible.

You cannot mirror the data, there is no way to co-exist.
You would have to setup the new domain then have all the accounts configured so that it is ready to go. At some point you make the switch over so that new email goes to the new server. All users will then have to be kicked off the old server and the data extracted and imported. That will have to take place after the switch over and after users have been kicked off the old domain. That will mean downtime - you cannot avoid that.
As you are using a new domain, that will mean new Outlook profiles. You cannot sync the data, you have to import it. You will have to extract it to a PST file, then ad the machines to the new domain, create new Outlook profiles and then import the data - doing each and every mailbox import through Outlook.

It is actually that fiddly that I am not recommending to anyone to go down this path with Exchange 2007 at this time if they have more than a dozen or so mailboxes or can afford the downtime it takes to manually import the data through Outlook. Until there is some kind of server based import process for E2007 (which should be in SP1) the process takes too long to justify.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mrvan
ID: 18896280
Hi Simon. Sorry for only getting back to you now. Thank you for your input so far.

When I said I will be creating a new domain, I meant I will be creating a new domain on the new server but I will not choose a new name. The name of the domain will be the same.

You mentioned that when I have kicked off all the users (during downtime), I should extract the data and import the data into the new server. This is where I'm in the dark. How can I extract the data and how should I import it? Is there tools available that I can use for this?

Thanks,

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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 18896989
You cannot have two Windows domains on the same network with the same name without causing significant problems.
Extracting the data from Exchange 2003 or older is easy enough - exmerge from Microsoft can do that. However as I wrote above there is no way to import the data through the server - you have to manually import through Outlook.

Is there anything wrong with the old domain? For the amount of work involved I would not advise anyone to go down the new domain route unless they had a very small site.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mrvan
ID: 18897039
Yes, there is something wrong with the domain server. We have upgraded from Windows SBS to Windows Standard edition a couple months ago. I am getting errors when I want to configure the AUTD feature for ActiveSync. This is not the only problem. I think AD have a few errors.

I have 101 mailboxes on my exchange and not all of the mailboxes is user mailboxes. Some is customer mailboxes that gets monitored by some of our employees. So I will have a problem with some of the mailboxes if I update exchange 2007 through outlook.

Would you recommend changing the the 64 bit server to a 32bit server and run exchange 2003 again?
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 18897076
101 mailboxes is certainly of a size where I would concentrate on trying to fix the existing domain rather than trying to migrate to a new domain.
I did a 70 mailbox site last year which had to be manually imported for various political reasons and it took four days, including two all nights over a long weekend of public holidays. That was with nine machines doing the imports at the same time.

SBS to the full product is a supported migration path - SBS was designed for that. If you currently have everything on one machine then I would look at spinning Exchange 2003 out to its own machine in the existing domain. That can be done with almost zero downtime. Then start to look at resolving any other problems before even considering the move to Exchange 2007.

Exchange 2007 moves at this time can really be achieved either by a swing migration or where Exchange is being introduced for the first time. Where heavy imports of data are required it is not something I would recommend until Exchange 2007 SP1 is released later this year.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mrvan
ID: 18897296
Do you think it will work if I put the 64bit server on my current domain as a backup domain controller. Once the new server is running in my domain, I will use the mailbox-move feature to move the data over to Exchange 2007.  Will exchange 2003 and exchange 2007 be able to run together like that on the dame domain but in different servers?

After the mailboxes have been moved and the AD is in sync with the primary domain controller, I will remove my PDC from the domain and promote my BDC to a PDC.

Thanks allot
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 18897382
You don't have BDC and PDC in AD. You have a PDC emulator, but that is all.
You can certainly run a 64 bit domain controller if you wish. You cannot install Exchange 2003 or older on it though.
And you can have Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2007 co-existing. I am coexisting at home with Exchange 2003 and 2007.

Simon.
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