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Windows Server 2003, to 64bit or not to 64bit that is the question

Sorry, bad pun.

Here's my Dilemma. I am putitng in a new server for a Non Profit orginization. Server is a Dell PowerEdge 1900 with two Quad Core Xeons. The software was purchased through Tech Soup and includes Windows Server 2003 R2 and Exchange Server 2007. I got Backup Exec 11 with the Server and I have Symantec Corporate 9 from the old server which is running SBS 2003.

Apparently Exchange 2007 will only run in x64 environments, a fact I was not aware of until I tried installing it. I tried once before to persuade them to not get Exchange 2007 as it is new and I have never deployed before, but the pocketbook won in the end as Tech Soup provides massive discounts for Non Profits.

So now I am in a rock and a hard place. I either have to wipe the server and install x64 and hope I can migrate Exchange SBS 2003 mailboxes to 2007 and I would need new AntiVirus. Or I could try talking them into 2003 again. I also need to install the Server version of Quickbooks 2007 which does not appear to work in 64 bit mode. The workstations are mostly XP 32-bit with a few Windows 2000 machines mixed in for good measure.
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ulink
Asked:
ulink
1 Solution
 
PUNKYCommented:
I would suggest that stay with 32 bits version as long as you can, the 2007 exchange is great but you will have to get a ton of work done, not only hardware upgrade, also applications that you have now.
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dan_blagutCommented:
Hi
do you want to keep both servers in the domain?

Dan
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ajbrittonCommented:
You could consider virtualizing Exchange 2007. This would involve using something like VMWare Server (free), and installing a 64 bit version of windows in a virtual machine (VM).

1 - Install Windows 2003 R2 (32 bit) on physical server
2 - Install VMWare Server
3 - Create virtual machine (VM) and install Windows 2003 R2 64 bit
4 - Install Exchange 2007 on the 64 bit VM

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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
To be clear:

"I either have to wipe the server and install x64 "

...since your server hardware is not x64-based, you will not be able to install the 64-bit version of the Windows OS without using virtualization as described by ajbritton.
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ajbrittonCommented:
Really? Quad core xeon not x64??
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ajbrittonCommented:
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ulinkAuthor Commented:
The server hardware supports 64 bit.

Apparently with Open Licensing you can opt to use the old software with the new license. I need to verify this but it looks like I can use Exchange 2003 with my 2007 licenses which will solve all my problems.
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dan_blagutCommented:
If you contact your Microsoft subsidiar you will receive an downgrade permision. but this is valable only an year, then you mast renewed.
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