Who has deployed Windows Server 2008 in an Exchange 2003 environment

Posted on 2008-06-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
and what were the gotchas that were encountered?
Question by:sgdought
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Assisted Solution

BobintheNoc earned 200 total points
ID: 21839504
Check your hardware compatibility list.  Old hardware (even stuff that I'd NOT consider old) may not have drivers.  On some servers with ATI RAGE chipsets, we've had to use the standard VGA driver, which is NOT SOOOO BAD as MS doesn't include one anymore.  Dell and HP have released drivers, of the DELLS, the Poweredge SC1600 DOESN'T GET ANY SUPPORT from Dell with Win2008 (a 2.8GHZ Xeon Intel system can't be considered that old!!!)

Software wise, do your homework as well.  We've had trouble with Antivirus vendors and having to obtain newer versions of Symantec and Trend Micro.

Pretty much, Win2008 has felt alot like Vista in terms of compatibilities with drivers.

Other gotchas:  make sure you've got legitimate licensing and install keys--not much room to goof here, if you're legit.  There's no fudging on 2008 that I'd trust.  Activation is complicated, especially if you don't have an internal license validation server--you might get odd errors like INVALID DOMAIN NAME when trying to activate---several KB articles on how to get past this.  

Do you have any folks/equipment playing with IP V6 on your networks?  I think 2008 does an IPV6 stack install by default too.

Otherwise, pretty smooth.  Some of the management methods changed, of course, and can be somewhat frustrating in a panic situation--where do I change services startups, how do I get to Computer Management..  If running production and you're not prepped, you can get angry at 2008 if you can't find what you're used to from 2000/2003.  Take a 2003 to 2008 quicky 2-3 day class with a training outfit to get the nitty gritty down.

Bob in the Noc

Author Comment

ID: 21839563
Thanks for the input.  The servers will be added to a Forest that has 150 or so Windows 2003 servers.  The servers will be new Dell 2008 servers, so I don't think drivers will be an issue.  The data center folks will of course have to do ADPREP /forest Prep, and ADPREP /domain Prep.  I just curious as to how 2008 servers interacts with the Exchange 2003 servers.  Were there any issues with the 2003 Exchange servers after ADPREP was run piror to adding 2008 server to an existing 2003 exchange environment?
LVL 58

Accepted Solution

tigermatt earned 300 total points
ID: 21840256
The deployment of WIndows Server 2008 Domain Controllers or Member Servers in an Exchange environment is fully supported, assuming Exchange is still going to be installed to existing Server 2003 machines. Exchange 2003 can use and fully communicate with Server 2008 domain controllers for all its Domain Communications.

You will need to ensure you have the correct hardware to install Windows Server 2008 to. The minimum and recommended system requirements are available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/system-requirements.aspx. Everything today is moving towards the 64-bit arena, so if you are investing in new servers now, you would probably be best going for 64-bit OS and hardware.

You must also remember that while Exchange 2003 can communicate with Server 2008 Domain Controllers and Member Servers, it CANNOT be installed to a 2008 machine. The ONLY version of Exchange which can be installed on a 2008 server is Exchange Server 2007 SP1. (Not even the RTM edition of Exchange 2007 can be installed). Remember Exchange 2007 does require 64-bit hardware and OS to function, too.

So, to clarify, there aren't any issues in putting Server 2008 servers into an Exchange 2003 environment - provided you don't actually try to put Exchange 2003 on the new machines.

I've posted below the procedure to follow to get your first Server 2008 DC into the domain.

Install Windows Server 2008 onto the new server which is intended to be promoted as a Domain Controller. Ensure the new server is assigned a routable static IP address on your IP subnet. Ensure the IP address is not included in any of your existing DHCP scopes. The only DNS server entry at this stage should be the IP address of one of the Domain Controllers which is running the DNS server service on your network.

After installation, join the new machine to the existing domain as a member server. This procedure is exactly the same as joining a workstation to the domain.

Since you are upgrading the Operating System on the new Domain Controller, you will need to add some values to the existing Active Directory schema, in order for the new server to become a Domain Controller. Windows Server 2008 supports more functionality than before, so a schema upgrade for the domain and forest is required to facilitate this and make this new feature set fully functional on the domain. To make the necessary changes, you must be logged on as the built-in Administrator user account, or a user with Domain, Schema and Enterprise Admin privileges.

Insert the Windows Server 2008 media into your current server which is holding the Schema Master Operations Role (FSMO role). Open a command prompt and browse to sources\adprep folder within the Windows Server 2008 DVD media. Execute the command adprep /forestprep. Once complete, you must wait for the changes to be replicated to all domain controllers in the domain and forest before you can continue.

Next, execute adprep /domainprep . You must be logged on as a Domain Admin user for these steps to work correctly. Once these commands have run and replication has taken place your Active Directory schema will have been extended to support Windows Server 2008 as a Domain Controller.

The next step is to promote the new server as a Domain Controller for the domain. Enter dcpromo at a command prompt and follow the wizard. When prompted, select the option for an additional domain controller in an existing domain. After the wizard completes, the new server will be acting as a Domain Controller for your domain. It is necessary at this point to restart the server for these changes to be applied.

In a single-domain Active Directory forest, all servers should also be Global Catalog servers. The Global Catalog is a required component of Active Directory which is used during logins to establish universal group membership for a user account. To promote the new server as a Global Catalog, open Active Directory Sites and Services from the Administrative Tools container within Control Panel or on the Start Menu. Double-click Sites, then Servers, followed by the name of the new server. Next, right-click "NTDS Settings" and select Properties. On the General tab, check the Global Catalog checkbox. Restart the new Domain Controller for changes to take effect.

If you wish the new server to become the holder of one or more Operations (FSMO) roles, you will need to transfer these roles to the new server. In a single-domain environment, you gain no benefits from spreading FSMO roles between Domain Controllers

The current FSMO role configuration for your network can be found by running the command "netdom query fsmo" at a command prompt on a Domain Controller.

To transfer one or more of these FSMO roles to the new domain controller, follow the information detailed in the following Microsoft Support article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801. Please ensure any other information you follow is information regarding the TRANSFER of FSMO roles. Seizing FSMO roles is an emergency operation which should not be performed during this procedure.

DNS is a critical component of your Active Directory network. The easiest way to install the DNS role onto the new server is to follow the instructions outlined at http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2008/en/library/3cf4d1b1-7a6e-4438-bf4f-22d9468c17321033.mspx You should be already using Active Directory-integrated DNS zones, which is the easiest method of allowing DNS replication to occur - DNS information is stored in Active Directory and replicates with Domain Controller replication traffic. To check if your DNS zones are AD-integrated (and convert them if not), please follow http://support.microsoft.com/kb/227844.

You probably want to enable DNS forwarding in the DNS console on the server, too. This forwards lookups for external domains to a DNS server at your ISP, which allows the server to effectively resolve DNS for external domains. More information on forwarders can be found at http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/ee992253-235e-4fd4-b4da-7e57e70ad3821033.mspx.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31469488
Thanks folks.  I just wanted to make sure that 2008 wasn't going to mess with the existing 2003 exchange servers.

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