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Domain migration, Exchange migration - best method for our architecture

Last Modified: 2012-05-05
My company is getting by right now with an 'upgraded' Windows 2003 R2 Small Business Server.  By upgraded I mean, we exceeded the CAL limit some time ago and purchased/applied the transition license kit.  This kit converted the SBS to a Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard instance.

The hardware is 4+ years old, has a hodge-podge of SCSI raided disks and UATA disks for various storage locations, and has a less than desirable form factor for my limited rack space.  The server currently acts as primary DNS, DHCP, Exchange, AD/Domain Controller, and Windows SUS.

I envision migrating this server to 2 instances of Win2003 R2 Server (don't want to touch Win2008 yet) - one instance will act as the Exchange 2003 server (don't want to outlay capital for Exch2007 CALs just yet) and the other will be home to AD/DNS/DHCP/SUS.  The Exchange server will have fiber attached storage to house the Exchange info store.  Both servers will be 1-2U, rack mount-able.

One caveat to migration, albeit a significant one, is this.  I currently use a .local domain.  I would like to get away from this naming construct and prefer a more traditional .com domain.  I'm resolved to being forced to touch all of my client workstations (100+), thankfully I can script and remotely re-bind all of my Mac clients...not sure about the WinXP client machines though.

What's the most efficient way to do the following...

1. Migrate to the new hardware
2. Migrate from the .local to the .com domain
3. Migrate the Exchange mail store
4. Migrate client machines, esp. WinXP clients, to the new .com domain
5. Migrate email clients to new Exchange server instance

That's the question.  Thanks for your help.

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First, .local was invented as a security feature, are you really sure you want your domain to be publicly addressable?  Granted you will have Firewalls etc,. however...

When you install your new Exchange Server, it will become part of the existing Exchange.  You will then simply Move the Mailboxes to the new Server.  

Be sure to follow the instruction in this link BEFORE you do away with the first Exchange Server, this is imperative that it be done.




.local, though mostly addressed in Mac OS X 10.5.3, can complicate/has complicated a Mac-centric (heterogeneous) client installation.

I'm not married to the idea of migrating to .com, but if the domain name was made up and not addressable on the public internet...why not?

Maybe migrate to new domain name isn't the right description.

What the most efficient way to move AD data from one domain to a new domain?  Is it even worth considering?

I understand you want to go to another name.  Wether its .local  .com etc this involves changing the domain name which is more times unsuccessful then not.
Even when successful there are still numerous issues that can reside and a domain rebuild is in order.

Even if you change to a non addressable you still run into changing the AD schema which AD doesnt like to do.
In your case there is no reason to do a change

There is a tool to help migrate to a new domain

here is just a straight domain rename.  Again highly recommend leaving y our situation alone

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