We are planning to move our exchange servers (2003 sp2) on to new hardware (ESX Virtual servers). The back end servers we plan to install as normal and move the mailboxes over. The FE i am thinking of running the restore switch.
What I would like to do to have as little downtime as possible on our frontend server which is also our main smtp server. The server is running on a physical dell server, Exchange 2003 SP2.
What I would like to do is
1. Setup a new virtual server (ESX).(same os,service packs and fixes as physical server)
2.Disconnect the network cables from the physical server, reset physical server account in our domain.
3.On the new virtual server rename it to be the same as the physical server and give it the same IPs ( 2 smtps, default for normal mail & 1 for tls)
4.Install exchange on new virual server with disasterrecovery switch.(SP2 with same switch)
5 Put cert back on FE server and am hoping after this that all works as normal.
6.Format old server.
Am I been to ambitious to believe this will work with little problems ?
Why this way, and not just install a fresh server ? this will I believe save me alot of time no reconfiguration of firewalls, the thwarte certificate we can continue to use and not have to purchase a new one and most importantly if i understand the switch command properly it should pull all the settings for the exchange from AD which I am guessing less chance of anything going wrong as the setup we have now works very well.
My question is has anyone any experience using the switch on a FE exchange server that is also acting as a SMTP. Is there any gotchas, any thing i should watch out for.
Thanks in advance
(Yes Exchange 2007 is nice :-) but will wait for the next version)