Migrating to Exchange 2010 from Exchange 2003


I am currently doing some work for a smal company of 70 users.

Currently the following exists:

Operating systems - Windows 2003 Server, 7 servers in total
2 x Domain controllers
1 file server
1 ISA 2006
1 Front End Exchange server (Exchange 2003)
1 Back End Exchange server (Exchange 2003)
1 Blackberry Server

All the servers listed above are on physical machines.

My first objective is to virtualiza the environment. Research indicates that it is recommended to use Exchange 2007 or 2010 instead of 2003.

So, I am considering migrating to Exchange 2010, and I have some questions:

I assume a Frent End server (or whatever the updated name of the role is) is still recommended. Is this assumption correct?

Is there any value to migrating  the Front End server to Exchange 2010? Is it necessary? (I want to eliminate Exchange 2003 back end server and replace it with a virtual Exchange 2010). Since the orgianization is small, I do not forsee any issues upgrading to Exchange 2010.

Does anyone see any issues with leaving the Active Directory infrastructure using Windows 2003 servers in the scenario listed here? That is, all servers except for the Exchange 2010 will have 2003 (32 bit) as its operating system.

Another thing to note: OWA is used extensively,

Any comments / suggestions would be appreciated.

Best Regards,

Who is Participating?
newmanmeConnect With a Mentor Network Administrator\EngineerCommented:
I do not recommend leaving the base system in a Active Directory 2003.  I do not believe Exchange 2010 can be deployed with 2003Active Directory but I recomend 2008 R2.  There are too many items too list here please see


This link should provide you answers to the questions you listed above.  If you need more please ask here.

I have recently complete a major overhaul for a company with a similar setup. I megrated a 2003 Exchange box to a virtualize 2010. We are running a single virtual Exchange box without any issues. Our migration did included moving AD to 2008 R2. We are running 2 hyper-v servers in a cluster. And so far (it's been running for about 5 months) we haven't had any issues - performance or otherwise.
Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
You can install a windows 2008 R2 server in you virtual environment
Check the prerequisites: Install Exchange 2010 in an Existing Exchange 2003 Organization
You can use your ISA to publish the new Exchange, check this article: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2009/12/17/453625.aspx
I don't see a big problem using 2003 AD but you still have to update the schema.
Exchange 2003 - Planning Roadmap for Upgrade and Coexistence:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998186.aspx
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abhijitmdpConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Before making any plan go through the Exchange Deployment assistant from microsoft.
You can also look at the attached file for a better migration.
mbudmanAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your assistance.

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