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Exchange 2007 on Server 2008 - move Domain to 2008

Posted on 2008-10-31
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I have an 80 user Exchange 2003 environment - with a 2003 Domain - Exchange 2003 is on a 2003 Server that is a Domain Controller.  We have a second Domain Controller that we cannot update to Server 2008 yet as the FAX software and hardware is not compatable with 2008 server yet.  Option 1 - Bring in the 2008 SErver box as a DC with Exchange 2007 installed and then move over all mailboxes/organizaion from the 2003 exchange box and then bring down that box. Leave the Second DC as a 2003 Server until all hardware/software is supported for the upgrade.
 Option 2 - Stay with Server 2003 Domain -- bring in Exchange on a 2008 Member Server box and bring up a second DC before we retire the old 2003 Server /  Exchang BOX.  
I would like to know what is the best method to move the domian to exchange 2007 and eventually 2008 Domain.  We have two other member servers - one is a file server and one is a Citrix server.
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Question by:MSkrezec
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by:andrew_aj1
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The way I would do this is bring up the second server with Server 2008 and Exchagne 2007 on it. You can join it to your existing domin, transfer the AD/Exchange/ETC data and then promote this machine to the primary domain controller. After that you can setup your old server with Server 2003 and be able to still use your software that will not run on Server 2008 yet on that machine.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
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tigermatt earned 250 total points
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Whichever route you take, you MUST remember that you cannot run the dcpromo tool to promote or demote any Exchange Server while Exchange is installed on the server. The above expert comment seems to suggest you should promote the new Server 2008/Exchange 2007 as a Domain Controller after Exchange is installed; if you do so, Exchange will end up ruined on that server, and it would require a reinstall and major tidy up in Active Directory.

Adding the DC role to an Exchange Server doesn't detriment performance too much, but it has potential risk for your Exchange environment since Exchange would never look elsewhere for a DC, so in the unusual event Active Directory becomes corrupted on the Exchange Server, Exchange will also be down.

Depending on your available server stock and budget will affect how you set the network up. I would say for 80 users this would warrant a separate Exchange Server, so have at least 2 Server 2008 servers; 1 as a DC, 1 as an Exchange 2007 Member Server. You can then upgrade others in due course.

-tigermatt

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by:andrew_aj1
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tigermatt is correct. I did not provide exact details on what to do, but just a general overview. Depending on your budget these roles should be divided up over multiple servers.
Good luck.
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by:MSkrezec
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Do all DC's for 2008 Domain need to be updated at the same time.  I have a second DC- but it will still be 2003.  Or is this not recommended and the DC's should all be updated to 2008 asap.
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by:andrew_aj1
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You can have server 2003 and 2008 running in the same domain and gradually move to 2008. Just make sure you do not setup your domain for just 2008 servers only until your complete if you decide to do this.
Good luck.
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by:tigermatt
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Exchange 2007 requires certain Domain Controllers to be running at least Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. Provided this requirement is met, you can safely deploy Exchange 2007 in your existing 2003 domain - and it will use both the 2003 and 2008 DCs.

N.B. Exchange 2007 does not make use of Server 2008 Read-Only DCs (RODCs).

-tigermatt
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