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Understanding two forest domains for Exchange

Posted on 2011-03-22
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Hello,

I have a cusotmer who has two Exchange servers residing in two forests. I need to understand this so I can offer him my solution. He has two forests. One forest has Exchange 2003 and the other forest has Exchange 2010. He wants to migrate users from the Exchange 2003 forest to the Exchange 2010 forest. I can do that, but I don't understand the forest difference and how they can have two Exchange servers sharing the same active directory yet residing in two different forests.

So, I need to setup a forest in my domain to test this out. Currently, I have one domain and I assume that this is a forest. What do I need to do to setup a second forest without messing up my current forest e.g. domain?

Also, can I still manage all users in Active Directory and in one location or do I  need to have two separate sets of users? I dont' understand forests, or even the IP considerations if there needs to be one. I would appreciate the feedback so I can setup an Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010 in my domain and in two forests so that I can see what it will take to migrate users from one forest to another.

I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew lol. Migrating email is the easy part. Permissions is always the obstacle.

Thanks,
John


By the way, I am using Windows Server 2003, but I expect a mixture of 2003 and 2008.
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Question by:jhieb
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ActiveDirectoryman earned 500 total points
ID: 35195073

Well, you can only have one exchange organization per forest unless you are using coexistence.

What do you mean that they are sharing the same active directory?    

If you have two active directory forest you are not sharing the same active directory because the schemas are different. It is not the same database.  You can setup trust between forests and users can login between forests if thats what you mean.  

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