Exchanage 5.5 replaced by Exchange 2007

My company has 2 separate Windows 2000 based domains with some trust relationships in place.
We run approx. 15 Exchange 5.5 servers - all user data sits in their local PST files, no public folders or other comlications.
Plan is to go to Exchange 2007 - need some pointers what to look for before the move.
My plan is to setup new Exchange 2007 server from scratch, and move users gradually to it.
My understanding is that I have to have DC (that holds schema master) on the win 2003 AD level - is that correct?
Since the company has many locations is there some kind of "thinner" mapi client that would work with Outlook?
Any thoughts on making Exchange 2007 fault tolerant (second server duplicating the role etc?)
Any good resources to read?

Thank you!

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pyotrekAsked:
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msghalebCommented:
1. you are right, but you need to migrate to Exchange 2003 1st so that users won't lose there mails, other wise they can take everything on a .pst and just start a new life on Active Directory and Exchange 2007.

2. Yes you need Windows 2003 SP1 to run Exchange 2007 servers, but for the Domain Controllers and the FESO roles holders you can use Windows 2000 or Windows 2003, the functional level needs to be Windows 2000 at least. Windows 2003 R2 is not required but as you will start a new life anyway I would say use Windows 2003 SP1 for everything.

3. you can do that, yes, you have 70 users so the replication won't be a big deal if you have a good bandwidth between both sites, in this case you will need to use CCR cluster and it will replicate the logs across the 2 servers.

MG
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msghalebCommented:
Hi, there is no Migration path directly from Exchange 5.5. to 2007

ref: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/a313c016-0e51-466e-a3de-953e1e0d347d.aspx

You will need to upgrade to Exchange 2000 or 2003 1st.

May be it's a good idea if you migrate to Exchange 2003 wait a bit and them move to Exchange 2007.

There is alot of mapi clients but most of the nice features in Exchange can be utilized only by outlook so I would say consider outlook and may be RPC / HTTP can solve the remote connection issues.

nice resourse to read about that matter:

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-6152748.html

MG
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msghalebCommented:
By the way regarding the fault tolerant, you can cluster the Exchange no problem (depending on your budget) u can choose the type of clustring which will fit you.

Exchange 2007 provides support for two different types of clustering. The first one, Single Copy Cluster (SCC), requires shared storage and uses a single database file for each store database. SCC clusters are basically the same as traditional clusters in early versions of Exchange, with some improvements in Exchange 2007. The second type of clustering is Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR). CCR is similar to Local Continuous Replication (LCR) clusters where two copies of the Exchange storage group, and all stores within it, are made. This paper covers setting up and configuring Exchange 2007 in a two node Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) cluster.

ref: http://whitepapers.techrepublic.com.com/whitepaper.aspx?docid=264594

MG
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pyotrekAuthor Commented:
msghaleb: Thank you for reply
1. In regards to the Exchange 2007 - I will put one in place without any type of migration - just create new organization and will bring users to it one by one. I assume that Exchange 5.5 will not become an obstacle as it is not intergrated in to Active Directory - is that correct or is there something I have to watch for?
2. Do I need Win 2003 R2 level of AD on the Domain controller holdin Schema Master role?
3. As far as the fault tollerance goes - can I have for instance 2 servers setup in 2 different phisical locations that will replicate to each other - the goal is to keep servers separate and if one goes down or become unavailable the second one would take over.

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pyotrekAuthor Commented:
1. that is what I will do (all users data is in .pst files and they do noy use any public folders etc)

2. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx states that:
Component  Requirement - Schema master (By default, the schema master runs on the first Windows Server 2003 domain controller installed in a forest.) must be  Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or a later version, or Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003 R2
 
3. I did not say that I have 70 users?!  Can I first deploy stand alone Exchange server and add CCR functionality later on?
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msghalebCommented:
Sorry about that you mentioned that zou have 15 servers already so can't be 70 users.

If this is the case then I would say don't go for the CCR as it's meant to be simple way to work around the limitation of budget, as to answer ur question yes you can set up exchange and then cluster it, however may be u can consider the normal cluster with storage ...etc or you can go for EMC or HP solution of replicating data offsite.

Also there is a product called RepliStor from EMC, not expincive and will replicate anything offsite (I tried it once with Exchange) works ok but I am not expert in it.

MG
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