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Looking to upgrade Exchage 2000 to Exchange 2003 or 2007 but still have AD 2000

I want to accomplish two things, but not necessarily at the same time.  I am looking to upgrade our exchange environment which is exch 2000, and would like to upgrade to exch 2003 or 2007.  the current exch server is currently running win 2000 sp4.  The domain is AD 2000.  Nothing has been prepared yet.  Current AD environment:

1 native mode domain that houses 320 users
-server1 = Win 2k DC (root DC, Global Catalog, schema holder, print server, primary internal DNS, DHCP, WINS)
-server2 = WIN 2k DC (other DC in another building, print server secondary internal DNS)
-server3 = WIN 2k Exchange 2000 (only one exchange server)
-There is no ADC, but there was one at one time which was needed for exch 5.5 migration which is also gone.  That predates my employment.
-mixed Win2k and Win2003 member servers

I have done a ton of reading and have seen many ways of doing AD and exchange upgrades.  I already purchased two excellent servers in the event i need them for either AD 2003 or Exchange 2003 upgrade.  I currently have a test environment that is ready to go, but not sure which direction to go in.  There was one post that mentioned that I should upgrade my domain before exchange.  There was another post that mentioned doing exchange first.  Now I'm unsure where to start.
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tntmax
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That's a tall order. Are you looking at Enterprise or Standard? have you decided whether you want to stop at 2003 or continue to 2007? Are you looking to phase out all your current servers, or leave them as is?
I would purchase a 64bit VMWare Server.  Install a virtual DC with 03 or 08.  I have heard good things about 08.  Next install another virtual server with Exchange 07.  07 can only be installed on a 64bit.  i would be doing this but don't have the budget yet to upgrade to exchange 07.  But i do have the other parts setup with vmserver.  hope this helps.
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GTAJR

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Sorry...Good point.  I am currently running Win 2k Standard, and have the licenses for Win 2003 standard.  I will upgrade Exchange standard as well, but dont know if the current exchange is standard or enterprise.  is there a quick way to find that out? i dont know if 2007 is a necessity at this point.  

I would like to keep the AD2k machines and use one of the new servers to introduce AD Win2003, but dont know what to do with exchange 2k at that point.  When we are AD2003 and exch 2003, we would phase out AD2k. (by dcpromo and then turning off)
Or
Introduce exchange 2003 into the AD2k environment.  At that point I can use the other new server that is intended for exchange and migrate the mailboxes over to the new server when the time is right.  i dont know which is better though, in place upgrade on the current exch 2k or new server.

the problem is i dont know where to start.  unfortunately, VM is not in the cards or the budget.
 
Quick way to tell - go into ESM, then click on Admin Groups -> First Admin Group -> Servers, then it will tell you what version it is. If you don't have this, enable Admin Groups view. This will tell you what SP and type you have.

Do the AD 2K3 first. Then introduce your Exchange 2K3 server and migrate users.
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ASKER

if i do the AD 2k3 first, what will i need to do to my exch 2000 environment?  also, will i have to upgrade to exch 2003 immediately or can i sit on that for another month?  thanks for directing me where to find that.  the exch 2k is sp3 and version 6.0 (build 6249) i dont know what version 6 means.
Version 6.0 = Exchange 2000, 6.5 = 2003.

If you do AD2k3 first, you don't have to do anything with Exchange 2000. You could sit on it for a while. Extending the domain for 2003 servers will not do anything for Exchange, as it is only AD ADSI changes.
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ASKER

thats comforting that i dont have to do both.  since the original exchange 2k server relies on AD2k, what will happen to the current exch 2k box?  what will i need to do with that to make sure it communicates with AD 2k3?  The exch 2k server is not a domain controller, but does have the AD2k MMC snap in installed.  logic tells me that all i need to do is reinstall the AD2k3 MMC.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325379

Has some crucial steps part way down the page for extending the AD to 2K3 with Exchange 2000.
Before you do anything, make backups of EVERYTHING, especially with that many users.
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tntmax
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thank you for all the solutions.  i wasnt able to test any of them, for I left this possition.  I will give the points based on effort.
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sorry...i wasnt able to fully test.