Exchange 2003 to 2010 migration best practices

Hello Experts,

I am a freelance consultant for a 30 user law firm and need to migrate from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010.  
Current server is a Dell 2800, with Server 2003 Std and Exchange 2003 Enterprise.  There are 3 mailbox stores.  The total information store size is approximately 220GB.  Machine is also the only DC.

I have been reading about Exchange 2010 requirements and migration scenarios. Can anyone direct me to a nuts and bolts guide so that I can determine if this is something I can handle? Firm cannot afford much downtime and I want to do right by them by doing  some homework.

I know I need a new server and hardware.  Am considering recommending virtualization as this firm has growing needs and is at a crossroads.  Am new to virtualization so will post a separate question regarding this.

thanks in advance for any help.

mediatechnicaAsked:
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NetfloCommented:
Hi,

Please take a look at the following links for probably one of the most comprehensive migrations guides to date. Very useful and remember during migration you can co-exist both servers, I would probably move the mailboxes out of hours or on a weekend due to the data sizes involved. Remember to keep both servers online in production for atleast a month (if possible) so all users open Outlook and their profiles get updated and corrected to the new server.

http://msexchangegeek.com/2010/01/30/rapid-transition-guide-from-exchange-2003-to-exchange-2010/

Virtualisation is definitely a route to take, but bear in mind that with new platforms comes extra cost for granular backup software. Exchange will run beautifully on a virtualised box providing you give it at least 8-12 GB RAM, good Xeon (Quad Core) processors and proper SAS drives in RAID.

Hope this helps.


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mediatechnicaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the link.  WIll get right to it.

maybe I should ask another question here on EE,  but could you explain the granular backup point?
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Viral RathodConsultantCommented:
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NetfloCommented:
For example, if your currently running Backup Exec say version 10d, to backup Exchange 2010 on Server 2008 R2, your current version will not work. You will need to upgrade to Backup Exec 2010 R2 inc your Exchange Agent. If you virtualise Exchange then you will need a virtual agent which costs as much as the core product plus Exchange agent.

It's worth getting a quote for your backup solution on Exchange 2010 and any additional costs for a virtual setup too.

Hope this helps foresee any additional costs or considerations upfront.

Another heads up is APC shutdown software, the free one is not compatible for servers running Hyper V, APC require you to pay for a premium version if you want the UPS to tell the server to shutdown in the event of a power failure.
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