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Exchange 2010 Installation, Pointers & Tips

We are currently on exchange 2003 on hardware, we are looking to move to exchange 2010, I heard you cant migrate, so it would be a clean install, looking around the web I havent found anything solid about it so wanted a few pointers in the right direction please.

We are running vsphere which exchange 2010 now supports, so would this be the best way to go? or is hardware still favoured? If I was to build the new exchange enviromnment in vm, would 3 decent hardware boxes do the job for this front end, e.g. 2x quad core processor, 64gb memory, storage linked to an EMC NS-120 san. So 2 boxes would be used for the environment while the 3rd box sits resillient.

Basically after some links and websites that can help me with my investigation for this.

Any help is appreciated.
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Colchester_Institute
Asked:
Colchester_Institute
5 Solutions
 
Stephen CroftTechnical ArchitectCommented:
Loaded question, planning Exchange can be tricky (there is an exam for plan and design alone) and should be considered from your userbase point of view;

how many users?
how much load does each user (on average) generate?
what does this mean in IOPS terms?
What level of HA/Resilience do you want (DAG? Seperate HT/CAS servers? Edge?)

VMware is more than suitable if scoped right, just remember that DAG is not supported whilst VMware's HA technologies are enabled for that server, and the UM role is (and has never been) not supported.

My advice would be to contact an Exchange consultant (either personally or in the form of a company) and let them assist in scoping and planning - even so far as to help you deploy and migrate (which alone can be fun, especially if you have a Public Folder infrastructure).

Sorry for the "take it away from EE", but I do think some things should be done properly :)
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Stephen CroftTechnical ArchitectCommented:
Just to clarify there are more things to think about outside the questions asked - they were just an example of where I would start ;)
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Mkris9Commented:
Can check out these links for instructions and virtual labs for migration

http://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/upgrade-exchange-2003-to-exchange-2010/
http://www.exchangeinbox.com/article.aspx?i=152
http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/47632
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998604.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb499043.aspx

for mailbox calculation, you can use http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2009/11/09/453117.aspx

As far as your set up goes.  If you have 3 boxes you can probably do as below

2 boxes with 2 vms each.
box 1 - 1 VM for HT and CAS and 2'nd VM for Mailbox
box 2 - same as above

and if you have a second site, put 3'rd box with HT, CAS and MB there ( as disaster recovery DR). All these MB roles can be part of DAG. So you are protected against single hardware, network or Disk failure
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George SasIT EngineerCommented:
First about your sizing question :http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/ff727932.aspx
Here its a nice video explaining how and what.

Here you can read about the load of the CAS server :
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff803560.aspx

You can migrate to Exchange 2010 , who said you can't ? You can't UPGRADE , but you can migrate.
You can have 2003 and 2010 running in the same time and just move mailboxes , public folders etc.

Here is a nice artile on transitioning the clients to 2010 :
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2009/11/20/453272.aspx

I hope this helps.


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George SasIT EngineerCommented:
djxtreme: Regarding your "fun" part with Public Folders ... I have migrated numerous times between all kind of environments and not so long ago I had exactly his scenario.
Public Folders migration it's one of the most easy procedure here .. where do you see the problem ?

Transition it's easy and if you plan everything good , I can't see any problems with his scenario.
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Colchester_InstituteAuthor Commented:
thanks for all the tips guys its a good place to start looking at things!

help appreciated as usual, point split to all comments :-)
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