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The impact of replacing the domain controller on the exchange server

Posted on 2010-08-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have Exchange servers 2007 distributed in several offices, the network is a single domain (windows server 2003) and there is a domain controller in each office, one of the domain controllers need to be replaced because of hardware issues.
I want to know what is the impact of replacing the domain controller on the exchange server, and what actions need to be done on the exchange server.
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Question by:Modey
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas Qvidahl
ID: 33472448
You must not install a DC on a server which already has Exchange Server 2007 installed, as this is not supported and will cause all kinds of issues due to the stricter security policy on the DC.
However, If the DC is installed first, then you can install Exchange 2007 on the same box. It's not really recommended practice even if it's supported.
 
Good luck,
Snowdon
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Expert Comment

by:mass2612
ID: 33472489
HI,

Agree completely with Snowdon but if you are simply installing a new DC and decommisioning the old one then you should make sure the Exchange server is pointing to the new DC for DNS and check the setting in the EMC under > Organization Configuration or Server Configuration node> Modify Configuration Domain Controller context menu to launch the Configuration Domain Controller.

This allows you to specify a domain controller to be used for AD read and write for organization or server configuration
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Author Comment

by:Modey
ID: 33472491
Thanks Snowdon

I will not  install a DC on Exchange Server 2007 installed , I will installed  on a new server
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Expert Comment

by:Rant32
ID: 33472507
It is important to know whether you're running separate domain controllers and Exchange servers. From the wording I assume you have separate servers.
If you are able to place a new domain controller before removing the old one, you should upgrade it to a global catalog (should be the case in every site).
Once you're happy with the new one, demote the old server from a DC to member server.

As long as you keep a global catalog in the forest (and preferably in the site), Exchange will not be troubled by adding and removing domain controllers.
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Expert Comment

by:Rant32
ID: 33472521
What snowdon means, if you are running an Exchange server that is also a domain controller, then Exchange cannot use other domain controllers than itself. Removing the DC role from an Exchange server will seriously break that Exchange server.

You will not have these issues if the Exchange server has never been a DC.
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Accepted Solution

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Thomas Qvidahl earned 500 total points
ID: 33472527
Rant32 has it nailed, however the recommendation is to have one GC in each site where there is an Exchange Server. Also, if your forest consists of a single domain, you should make every DC also a GC. I multi-domain forests placing GC's is a bit more involved.
Mass2612, if you blank the "Modify Configuration Domain Controller" setting, Exchange will select it's most appropriate DC. Only populate this setting if you're experiencing problems with the default, which is blank.
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Expert Comment

by:mass2612
ID: 33472559
Snowden and Rant32 agreed but you still need to check the setting in case its been populated in the past.
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas Qvidahl
ID: 33472573
Rant32 - in regard to removing Exchange from a DC - I haven't tried that. I have, however tried making an Exchange 2007 Server a DC - it does break stuff. Not so much the DC, but Exchange will have some serious issues.
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Expert Comment

by:Steve
ID: 33475808
@modey

Easy enough mate.

Create the new DC and put in on the network with the one its replacing. promote it to DC and let it replicate. Getit setup with what you need and make sure it is in the correct 'site' in AD sites and services. Make sure it replicates from the correct servers and that it is a Global catalog server.

Make sure DNS, GC and AD replication is working on the new server before doing anything else.

Once youre happy it s working, demote the old DC and remove from the network. Once done you can just restart the exchange server on the site to pick up the new DC and GC listings. You can amend the settings without rebooting it but a restart is easier.
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Expert Comment

by:Rant32
ID: 33477928
mass2612 - absolutely right w.r.t. the Configuration DC's, good catch.
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