Exchange and AD upgrade question

This is my current setup.

I have a primary domain controller (2003 server standard) that is also my exchange server (2003 exchange) I have purchased the hardware and software to upgrade to the latest version of exchange and I was thinking I should also upgrade to 2008 domain controller.  My question is in what order should I do this?

One plan of action was to demote the current domain controller and promote my replacement server and then update the domain controller to the latest functional level.  then when this is finished move forward with exchange migration.
I am a little apprehensive  about demoting my current domain controller because I am afraid it will break exchange however, since the current exchange/DC is running server 2003 so I can not raise the functional level of the forest to 2008 without demoting this server first.

Another thought was to move forward with the migration first and worry about upgrading AD to 2008 functional level later.

What route would you take?

Or is there another option?

p.s. I will be separating the DC and exchange so don't assume I am dumping these on the same server again!!!  I have learned my lesson both with exchange and sql server the DC will be on a server all by itself.

Who is Participating?
Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
You should promote a 2008 server to be a Domain Controller and transfer all the FSMO roles to it prior to demoting your 2003 server. Demoting the 2003 DCs will destroy your entire AD environment, not just Exchange. If you are running Exchange *on* your 2003 DC, there are some potential issues you could run into. Unfortunately, I haven't done a migration with an Exchange Server running on a DC or a DCPromo on a DC in such a configuration. In general, you want to have Exchange running on a Member server rather than a DC, for various reasons.

The good news is that you don't have to be in the 2008 functional level to install Exchange 2010. It will operate on the 2003 functional level. You just need to make sure the schema is properly prepared, which is done by the Exchange 2010 installer automatically (You can do it ahead of time if you like, but you don't have to). So the proper order would be:

Install 2008 DC, transfer roles, Install Exchange 2010, migrate Exchange to 2010, demote 2003 server, clear out Exchange 2003, decommision the 2003 server.
Demoting a domain controller on which Exchange Server is installed is not supported.  Exchange 2010 is supported in a 2003 forest, though. So, your path is to migrate to Exchange 2010 and then remove the Exchange 2003 server & DC.
1.      Build a new 2008 R2 server (might as well do R2 to get to the latest version – more AD features). This will require AD Schema updates
2.      Promote that server to Domain Controller
3.      Transfer all FSMO roles to the new DC
4.      Build a new Exchange server 2010 – This will also require AD schema updates.
5.      Move all mailboxes  and public folders to the new Exchange server (you will have to “move” all PF replicas to the new Exchange otherwise you will not be able to properly remove the old Exchange from AD)
6.      Uninstall/Remove Exchange 2003.
7.      Before you uninstall Exch2003 System Manager, log in and make the old Exchange Server Object is gone, then uninstall Exch2003 System Manager
8.      Demote the DC on which Exch. Srv. 2003 existed
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

joelmurphyAuthor Commented:
There is one more thing I have a blackberry enterprise server also how will this fit in with the whole process?
Your Blackberry ES talks to your Exchange server 2003 so after step 4 you can proceed with moving your Blackberry configuration to the new Exchange Server.

Here is a very good guide on how to migrate BES from Exch2000/2003 to Exch2007:
Glen KnightCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.