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Decommission exchange 2007 server, build new one in VM

Hi,

We currently have a DMZ SMTP with two internal exchange 2007 servers both reside on windows 2003.

Head office = exchange01
Second Office = exchange02

We will be moving our head office exchange server to VM. We will be doing this by building a fresh VM as the current exchange server has SQL on it (I know!!!).

My plan is to build a fresh windows 2008 image intalll exchange 2007 , move mailboxes and then remove the physical exchange server. (Like Domain Controllers would I need to move roles?  (Currently both servers hold all roles as far as I know). Is there a Primary Exchange server as such or can I safely decommision the physical box once my new VM is running with all mailboxes?

Are there any issues with this process?  / anything to watch out for?  

I realize i will need to reassign our SSL certificate. Any comments or recommendations?
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pancho15
Asked:
pancho15
1 Solution
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Make sure your underlying storage on the host VMware hypervisor server is fast. I hoping you are using VMware ESX something, and not VMware Server.

and you are also thinking about what backup tools to backup the Exchange 2007 server, one common problem when Exchange is moved to a Virtual Machine, is that traditional tape backups can be slower, and you may be better using a Disk Based solution for backup up the Virtual Machine. (so if you continue to use tape based backup, you could find backup times double)
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pancho15Author Commented:
We are using a Dell equallogic SAN (ISCSI 10G) still tossing between Raw mapping or VMDK for the mailstore.  Backup is taken care by Backupexec 2010 (we have Vmware licenses for backing up VM's directly off the SAN (really fast) and we have our exchange license to backup the mailstore.

I wanted to know if there were any issues with removing our current exchange server as it was the main one for head office.  (is there a primary exchange server role ?)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Before you remove an Exchange 2007 computer from the organization, you must remove the public folder stores that are located on that server.

The only supported ways to remove Exchange 2007 are to use Add or Remove Programs or to use the Setup program on the Exchange 2007 CD to remove Exchange 2007 and to remove the Exchange 2007 object from Active Directory.

Follow this article, because you may have to remove connectors as well.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927464
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salehramCommented:
Hi
Basically what you want to do is OK, aside from the backup and disk operations issues which you need to make sure that the VM host server can handle the heavy disk IOs, and also make sure to have good amount of RAM on the VM guest (plenty)

For the 2 servers part, as long as both servers are holding all the roles for each, then you don't need to worry about this side, as both are doing the same job, as I understood from the post up, that you want to install a virtual server with all the roles?

Anyway, after the new virtual server becomes ready, move a small number of users to it to make sure that everything is going fine for sometime, then when you are sure that no problems are to be found, you can complete the moving process to all users
Note that the moving on exchange 2007 disconnects the mailbox, so you need to do it when users are not working

During the test period you may face some CAS issues, like outlook anywhere not working fine, some activesync issues, so you need to make sure that the certificate is setup properly, and the addresses & URLs are published properly using whatever firewall solution you have

Just a final reminder, when decommissioning the old server, make sure to remove the Public Folder replicas off the old server, and make a proper uninstall for the server from the control panel so it can removes itself from the active directory in a proper way

I recommend that you DO NOT remove the old server until you are very sure that everything is running smoothly and all users are able to have their features access back to normal

Everything else should be going very smoothly

Regards
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pancho15Author Commented:
thanks guys. Both bring up good points. I did intend on moving only a small groups of users initially and wont decommision unitll I'm confideent all is working correctly. once im happy I will initially just shutdown the phyusical server to ensure it's all fine (if yes then I will proceed with the removal).

Any recommendations on going VMDK or Raw mapping for the mailstore?>
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMDK or RAW, performance for RAW is faster, but at the convieience of using VMDKs which are easier to manage.

The performance however is marginal.
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pancho15Author Commented:
thanks . Considering I wont be backing up exchange by backing up the whole VMDK file, I suppose it makes sense to use the Raw mapping - this way I can leave Backupexec exchange agent to backup the mailstore, the Backupexec Vmware agent to backup the OS, and also run snap shots off the mailstore directly on the SAN.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That makes good sense to me.
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pancho15Author Commented:
With regard to our public folders, I assume I need to create a public folder store on the new server then enabled public folder replication??? how do I remove the public folders while leaving the moved replica on the new server ?> I know I should just read up on it ---> which I'm doing right now!! but your help is much appreciated
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pancho15Author Commented:
Sorry one other thiings I can see we also have a number of system public folders - do they need to be moved?>
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it's too long for me to cut and paste the correct proceudre to follow is here

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927464
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kevinhsiehCommented:
I have Exchange 2007 virtualized (Hyper-V) and I use the Microsoft iSCSI initiator in the VM to connect to my EqualLogic storage. Performance is fine and you get all of the native EqualLogic capabilities such as using Backup Exec agent to request a snapshot and then transport that snapshot to the Backup Exec media server for offhost processing. That is what you would want to do in a physical world. Another advantage if that you can easily grow volumes on the fly. I don't see any performance problems from running the iSCSI initiator inside my VMs.
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pancho15Author Commented:
All went well with the move - we created the OS on VMDK and setup a Raw mapping directly to the SAN - performance has been great, no issues so far (except for.....

My public folders and outlook address book and busy information is not visable in calendars

We basically created a new 2007 exchange server (old pysical server was also 2007) moved 50% of mailboxes to the new VM (which has a new Public folder store) enabled replication.

Bowsing public folders from OWA or from users still on the old server works fine - but any users on the new server are unable to view outlook calendar busy information / browse public folders or download a new copy of the outlook address book.

The only other item we changed in this process was the OWA certificate  -  http://www.shudnow.net/2007/08/10/outlook-2007-certificate-error/

I may need to repost as a separate question





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pancho15Author Commented:
THanks
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