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Need Step by Step "How-To" Instructions on installing & Migrating Exchange 2k3 Server to a VMWare Server

Posted on 2007-11-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
What Specific Steps should I take to accomplish the following Objectives in ONE single weekend?

The Objective:
1.      Move a 120GB information store from the existing Exchange server over to the new VMWare.
2.      Break up the 120GB information store into smaller groups.
3.      Install Exchange 2003 (using the same name) to a VMWare Server (VI 3.0.1 Enterprise) Is using VMWare P2V the best option, if so, is it free and where can I located a step-by-step guide in using it?
4.      Migrate ALL Exchange users’ mailboxes to the new Exchange server. Will this even be necessary if I use P2V??

NOTE: This is a new VMWare server that was installed a week ago without any problems.  There's only 1 Exchange server which houses 200-250 user mailboxes. There are NO OTHER apps installed on this VMWare server.  It was purchased for the purpose of being used as a SAN (the the Information Store) and with Exchange.

The current physical Exchange Server is also a Domain controller that will remain a DC after Exchange has been moved to the Virtual Server

VMWare Specs
1U server with RAID 1
(2) 146GB drives mirrored
2 NICs

 VMware VI 3.0.1,Enterprise 2 CPU,
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® 5130, 4MB Cache, 2.00GHz, 1333MHZ FSB
8GB 667MHz (8x1GB), Dual Ranked DIMMs
Primary HDD:
146GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5-in HotPlug Hard Drive
Secondary HDD:
146GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5-in HotPlug Hard Drive
Pimary Controller:
 PERC 5/i, Integrated Controller Card
Network Adapter:
Intel® PRO Quad Port Gigabit NIC, Copper, PCIe-4
Question by:burns01
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Accepted Solution

JimboEfx earned 750 total points
ID: 20372228
When you P2V you are not migrating per se, think of it as taking an image of the server and restoring on to new hardware(that just so happens to be virtual).

As such you cannot p2v and accomplish (2) at the same time. A standard migration from a physical exchange server to a new exchange server in the same org could accomplish this but more work possibly.

The physical box is turned off and the virtual one turned on assuming the ip address.

The process is described in this document:

The VMware convertor product in its free edition will make it fairly painless but please read the doc first and understand the process, as any difficulties you encounter will be much easier to troubleshoot - if you understand what you are doing first.

I'd like to point out that your vmware server only has 146GB of space (maybe not all usuable). And you have a 120GB information store.

You have to think about the data taking up by the OS etc So I think it will be tight - and then you'll require more space down the line.

Unless you are attached to shared storage like a SAN (its not entirely clear if you are)

What are the partitions on the physical server, because here is the kicker. If your physical partitions are larger in total than your target storage you will have to resize them - which vmware convertor will let you do.

The problem is if you do it on a DC, reseize a partition that is during a P2V, you will find that netlogon will not start and the netlogon folder will be empty. Your P2Ved server will not start because exchange on a dc will only look to itself for directory services. I've seen this personally and there are numerous threads on the vmware communities forum.


Assisted Solution

Shankadude earned 750 total points
ID: 20470618
You also could install Exchange on a new server in the virtual environment.
That way you won't migrate old settings, errors, mistakes, problems etc.
It has another advanced, you can build the server next to the current server and use the mailbox migration wizard to transfer mailboxes from your current Exchange server to your new Exchange server.

After all mailboxes are migrated you have to migratie the other roles (Public folders, recipient update service etc).
After that has been completed you can deinstall Exchange from your old server.
This also gives you the possibility to create multiple information stores and do the migration during off hours, not just in the weekend.

If you let the old server live as long as all users have connected their Exchange client/Outlook 'knows' that their mailbox is on another server.
Here's a Microsoft KB article describing the move.
How to remove the first Exchange 2003 server from the site:

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