Advice needed on Windows 2008 AD Schema compatibility with Exchange 2003

Hi Guys.

I just want to precautionarily check something - I hope someone can help. I'm in process of designing a plan for moving forward our current setup (which is entirely based on Windows 2003 DCs) to Windows 2008.

I'm clear on the fact that Exchange Server 2003 is not officially supported to run on the Windows 2008 platform. I don't want to do this, and in fact in the long term we will be switching to Exchange 2007 to achieve 100% Win 2008 based network.

HOWEVER - I would like in the interim to be able to migrate some of our DCs and member servers to Windows 2008, whilst keeping our existing Exchange Server running with Win / Exchange 2003, just for the moment. I'm aware that 2008 likes to make some schema changes - at least I assume it does, as all the docs I've read indicate that at least adprep (and possible forestprep) has to be run before adding Win 2008 DCs into our Active Directory. The question in my mind, is will these changes effect the running of Exchange 2003 running on this other Win 2003 server? Could it create schema mods that actually stop Exchange running properly elsewhere?

I appreciate there are different domain and forest modes in Win 2008 - to clarify, I will be running in the mode that still embraces Windows 2003 DCs, as well as 2008.

I guess the question is has anyone done this, and were there any putfulls? I assume it must be possible, as how else would one migrate an Exchange 2003 system to the newer 2007? I just don't want to jump head first in to this, if any of you have found this to be a pig and can help! I have been unable to find sound Microsoft documentation on this issue, but if anyone has found this info I'd be grateful.

Any input, as ever, very much appreciated.

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Exchange 2003 SP2 cannot be installed on Windows 2008 Server, but is support with Windows 2008 Domain Controller. SO you can continue.
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bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Hi gupnit.
Thanks for your input. As mentioned, I'm well aware that Exchange 2003 won't run ON the Windows 2008 platform, but just want to know about the schema compatibility across the wider domain. Your affirmation that you reckon this will be ok, and your link to the article is very useful. It would seem mad to me if it didn't work, but I just like to check!
I'm setting up a test network today to play this one out, see for myself if there are glitches, and then will be coming back here to aware points.
Many thanks for your help.
Hi BlueMercury,
Surething.....Go on !!!
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bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Dear Gupnit,
Sorry for the delay - burried in all sorts of projects. As I hoped would be the case, and you kindly confirmed, the Exchange 2003 part of the schema seems happy to coexist with Windows 2008 schema modifications, and they generally work together fine. Our Exchange 2003 server seems happy :D
I have noted the odd error in the event log (on Win 2008 DCs) that could point towards some of the Windows 2008 DCs getting a bit confused with what the Exchange 2003 schema elements are (i'm sure I've seen some errors say they are surplus to requirements or to that affect, which obviously isn't true). It practice, everything seems to be working fine 1 week after making the move.
Thanks for you input, and points are duly awarded.
Best wishes,
bluemercuryAuthor Commented:
Many thanks again! Bluemercury
Glad to help
Nitin Gupta (gupnit)
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Windows Server 2008

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