So we were recently acquired by a large company and they no longer have a need for one of our domains. As it so happens that is the domain that our Exchange 2010 SP1 environment is on.
As it stands we have a single forest and exchange is serving 2 domains within that forest. We have domain 1, we'll call it ITS1.COM, which is also the forest. Then we have domain 2, we'll call it MTC2.COM. The exchange environment was originally built in the MTC2.COM domain. It was built as Exchange 2003 and was upgraded to 2010 almost a year ago now. I walked into the mix about 5 months ago to take over for a guy who was retiring. He retired a month ago.
We originally had 2 CAS/HUB servers (CAS Array, hardware load balanced), 2 MBX servers (DAG), and 1 MBX server for archiving only. We have a 3rd party solution out in the DMZ for filtering/bridgehead/edge (SonicWall). All servers are members of the MTC2.COM domain.
Since servers in a DAG have to be in the same domain it created a brain teaser of how we would accomplish the task at hand. What we did was we recreated/rebuilt all of the servers on the ITS2.COM domain, same site as before, new server names of course. The new servers were all immediately recognized in the exchange environment. I created new DB's, in a new DAG. Before there was no real rhyme or reason to which mailboxes went in which DB, so I took the opportunity to make one A-M and the other N-Z. Configured the CAS's for the new domain and load balancer/Virtual IP (mail.its1.com), complete with new SSL certs by the same name. I haven't created the new CAS Array yet, but the new CAS's were immediately added to the old CAS Array (mail.mtc2.com) because they're in the same site. The DB's and CAS's have been configured with the appropriate Client Access settings. Talk about a pain trying to sort that out, cert errors everywhere at first. The external DNS records have been configured. I have yet to finish the updates of our internal DNS records, though a few basic changes were made (mail.its1.com points to VIP of new CAS). I performed a few local mailbox moves from the old DB's to the new ones, making use of new storage scheme, and they have been functioning with no issues for nearly a month.All archiving has been turned over to the new servers and the old archive MBX has been turned. And, I copied all the receive connectors over to the new CAS's.
I'm sure there's more that's been done I just can't remember right now, feel free to ask...
What I'm looking for is confirmation that this was a good course of action and what my next steps should be. From what I can figure we still need to:
1- Move all of our mailbox users from the old DAG to the new one.
2- Create new CAS Array.
3- Move a whole DB from the old DAG to the new one in the most efficient manner.
4- Config Edge servers (SonicWall) to point to new CAS/VIP Load Balancer
5- Update/Change internal DNS
6- Hunt down/find applications using old IP's to use CAS relays or anything else.
Not necessarily in this order...
Can anybody think of anything else I may be missing?
I don't want to forget something and then when it comes time to bring all the old servers down email goes down with it and I have no clue why.
Also, any advice on the above steps would be great as well. I'll share my initial thoughts on them for your advice, and anybody else who finds this topic and could possibly benefit from it.
1- Move mailbox users - I haven't created any DB copies in the new DAG yet so that the mailbox moves are quicker and the effort isn't duplicated on both servers. I've been using the EMC. Under Recipient Configuration > Mailbox I use the filter to only show me mailboxes on the DB's I want to move from. Sort by Display name. At the end of the day before I go home I'll select 60 or so mailboxes and do a New Local Move Request... A-M go to one new DB and N-Z go on another one. I also select Suspend this move when it is ready to complete
... this pre-stages the mailbox on the new DB without actually cutting over to the new DB/Mailbox or disturbing the users. When my manager says it's time within the next week or two and we schedule a maintenance period I'll just select them all, or rather large groups of them at a time, and select Complete Move Request
. At that point it'll just be a sync of changes since the pre-stage, and then cut-over.
2- New CAS Array - I was going to create the new one with the new name, the same name as the Load Balancer VIP (mail.its1.com), same site as the other. Then delete the old one (mail.mtc2.com). Can two CAS Arrays exist for the same site? Any conflicts or problems with that.
3- Move DB to new DAG - I'm not really sure of an efficient manner to move a whole DB. I was reading something about moving a database using database portability (linky
), and that looked like a good idea but wasn't sure if this is what I was looking for or if there was a better way. Could really use some advice on this...
4- Config SonicWall - This should be pretty straight forward, but I'm going to call tech support just in case.
5- Internal DNS changes - I need to update the MBX records and an alias for mail.mtc2.com to point to mail.its1.com ... Probably something else I can't remember too...
6- PIN IN THE BUTT!!! I think I'll just end up switching over and seeing if anything stops working. I'm fairly confident that everything is using DNS.
I hope this helps some other people out there in the same situation and thanks for any help and advice.