Greetings fellow experts!
I am looking for some insight to what might possibly be my biggest project yet in my career as an IT professional. My current organization of 330 employees is looking to upgrade their current Exchange 2003 server to Exchange 2010. My understanding of this process involves co-existing the 03 server with 10 and then transitioning from the 03 box to the 10 box. We also currently utilize Cisco's Unified Messaging (Unity) on a separate box that integrates into the current Exchange 2003 organization. As a good chunk of the technical stuff is still somewhat new to me, I will try and be as detailed and specific as possible as I outline my questions in hopes someone can guide me in the best direction possible.
1.) We currently are on Unity v4.3.2 on a separate physical box. We will have to purchase a new Unity server as our current one is not support by CISCO TAC. We also need the newer versions of Unity v7.0 or v8.0 in order to go to Exchange 2010. With that being said, after we upgrade Unity to 7 or 8 how easily will it still integrate into the current Exchange 2003 environment before we begin the co-existing?
2.) When we complete the co-existing of the new Exchange 2010 server, which server becomes the Front-End server and which becomes the Back-End server? (if my terminology is correct here)
3.) While co-existing the 2 servers, which one will CISCO Unity now deliver the voice messages to? (FE, BE, both?)
4.) Once the transition is complete, how do we remove the Exchange 2003 server from the organization?
Again I apologize if I am butchering some terminology here. Since this will more than likely become an ongoing discussion until I am comfortable with a solution, I will appropriately give out points to as many people as I can who actively help me on finding a solid game plan for this transition. Also, if I am missing some important steps or best practices please feel free to let me know as I want to make sure I am fully prepared for what is to come and there are no surprises. Thanks!!