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Moving to new equipment - exchange and and AD

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Last Modified: 2010-03-17
OK - I have two Dell server's both DC's and an Exchange 2003 SP2 cluster with an Network storage area.  My boss just informed me that we are getting ALL new equipment with licenses and a more storage area.   My question is how can i take my exchange info and my AD info and move it to new server with the same name as the current servers name.  I would like to have both of these running side by side on diefferent segments, just would like to have a HOT SWAP.  Can this be done or what are the step that I need to do to make this work.  
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Why the concern with configuring the new hardware with the same names?  All AD authentication is done via DNS, so as long as your DNS is functioning properly your clients won't care if the new DC has a different name.  Ditto for Exchange - if you move Exchange mailboxes to a new server, the homeMDB attribute in AD will automatically point clients to the correct server.

I am unclear from your post - do you have Exchange running on the same machines as your AD domain controllers?  If this is the case, I would take the opportunity to segregate Exchange onto their own servers, as running Exchange on a DC is not a best practice.  Install your new Exchange servers as member servers, after which you can stage the process of moving mailboxes onto the new hardware in a planned fashion.

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Commented:
No, exchange 2003 is on two member server in a cluster different then my two separate AD servers.   So do I have to make my exchange server named the same thing?
> "do I have to make my exchange server named the same thing?"

No, as I indicated above when you move user mailboxes from ServerA to ServerB, the homeMDB attribute in Active Directory will be updated to point to the new server automatically.

Likewise, if you are adding new domain controllers, simply run dcpromo on the new servers and select the option to add an additional DC to an existing domain.  If you then wish to decommission your original DCs, you will need to do the following:

[1] Transfer FSMO roles from the old DCs onto the new.
[2] Configure the new PDC Emulator to point to an external time source
[3] Configure your new DCs as Global Catalog servers
[4] Run dcpromo on the original DCs and select the option to remove Active Directory, being careful NOT to select the "This is the last DC in the domain option."

Author

Commented:
OK - I don't want to add the to the production AD, but i want to have two identical  infrastructures.  Put it to you these way, I would to have two infrastructure cluster.  If one fails I can turn the other one on, like in a fail-over cluster.
If you want your new Exchange servers and domain controllers to be available immediately in the case of a failure, these servers need to be configured as part of your production environment so that they can take part in replication.  If these servers are not connected to your production network, you would need to restore information onto these servers from backups in the event of a failure, which would not be as simple as "flipping a switch".

Author

Commented:
If i do a backup of my AD and my exchange mailboxes and then do a restore to the new servers, what kind of problems or issues would I be facing.  Like is the MAC address of my old server nic's going to cause a problem?  What about the server with a new sys vol and a new SID and any other lillte issues like those.  
Why do you think that you need to perform a backup/restore?   The steps I have outlined above do not require this, you are simply adding additional servers to your existing infrastructure.

Author

Commented:
Yes but they are going to have the same server names, we are buying new equipment, but we want to have these running side-by-side on different network not on the same segment.  The AD's are not changing just the two member server that have my exchange server on both with a network storage area that has all my mailboxes.  
Please read my first comment in this thread - why the insistence upon naming the new servers the same as the old?  This makes the transition much harder to accomplish, and renders you basically unable to have both old and new servers online at the same time, regardless of whether they are situated on separate network segments.  My previous comments in this thread indicate the proper way to add your new hardware into your production environment.

Author

Commented:
This is the way my boss wants to do this.  At the end of the day he wants our new system to look just like our old system, same names, ip address, mailboxes and everything the same.  So i case something happens with the new system, we can just bring the old system back online and not have ANY DOWN TIME.  That is the goal, we want a backup.  
> "At the end of the day he wants our new system to look just like our old system, same names, ip address, mailboxes and everything the same.  So i case something happens with the new system, we can just bring the old system back online and not have ANY DOWN TIME."

Active Directory does not work in the way that you are describing.  Neither does Exchange.  If you attempt to do what you are describing, you will not only fail to achieve fault-tolerance, you will almost certainly cause Active Directory and Exchange to cease functioning in your production environment.  

Author

Commented:
Well that can't happen, so I found out we are not getting two new server for AD we are only going to get two new server for our exchange cluster with a new network storage area.  So if I have two exchange servers in a cluster and a network storage area, and I am going to replace them with new servers and NSA, what would be the best, safe and easiest way to make this happen?  
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