The correct way to upgrade 2003 DC environment to 2008 ( +Exchange 2010)

We wish to upgrade our bleeding Exchange server 2003 to 2010 and our DC’s to 2008 R2 on our 3 site locations.
My main concern lies in the correct order to perform the upgrades/migration.

We have a new SAN up and running, so I would image a fleet of new installation for the DC’s and Exchange followed
by a migration – but in what order?


Site 1 (HQ-CPH) contains 2 DC running 2003 R2, 1 DC running 2008, 1 Exchange 2003
Site 2 (Branch-STHLM) contains 1 DC running 2008 and fileservers.
Site 3 (Recovery-CPH) contains 1 DC running 2003 R2 and fileservers.
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Glen KnightCommented:
I have written a migration guide here:

It's centered around SBS2003 but the process is exactly the same just missout the steps you don't  need (sharepoint for example)

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Prerequistis from AD and i thought you have already have it.
AD forest and Domain in Windows 2003 Functional Level
At least one DC should be windows server 2003 Sp2 or higher

You can only transition to Exchange 2010 from the following existing messaging systems:
Exchange 2007 messaging system
Combined Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 messaging system

PACSAdminICT Operations ManagerCommented:
the way we did it without going into great details was like this
On the main site we did the following
- introduce new 2008 DC's
- transfered FSMO roles to new 2008 DC's
- transfered any other services that the dc's were running like DHCP
- Once the 2008 servers had the FSMO roles and were handling dhcp etc we swapped the I.P adresses of the old DC and the new ones. The reason we did this was we had too many devices pointing to the 2003 servers for dns.
we then demoted the old 2003 DC's

then we did the same for the branch sites.

we documented the whole process in detail which i could edit to remove company specific info and post if you wish

after we had 2008 running ok. Gave it a couple of weeks we then proceeded with exchange 2010 transition
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Windows Server 2008

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