I'm in the process of upgrading from Exchange 3003 to 2010. I've been searching online and have been reading a book I purchased (Microsoft Exchange 2010 Unleashed). They sure have changed it a lot. Particularly the area where you no longer connect to the server with the maillboxes but instead to a CAS server. Our environment is fairly simple:
Roughly 300 users
2003 AD. One Forest one domain (This weekend is our upgrade for our first 2008 DC. we've already done forestprep and domainprep)
Exchange 2003 Front End server in our colo where all of our email currently goes in and out of via and internet mail connector. this FE is the local bridgehead and send emails via smarthost to our cloud service (Mcafee/MXLogic)
Exchange 2003 backend server located in our main office where all of the mailboxes reside. This server, if the one in our colo goes down, will accept and send email if needed. I just change the MX records in my Mcafee console login.
Currently users using EAS connect to the server with the mailboxes directly.
Mix of windows XP (outlook 2003) and Win 7 (outlook 2010)
One Blackberry Server
We have hundreds of DL's.
Thats pretty much it in a nutshell. During my research it looks like i need to install a CAS server in our colo first, replacing the 2003 FE. Then I install a CAS and mailbox server on the same machine in our main location. Reason for having CAS role is in case the one in our colo goes down and i need to reroute emails to that mains server.
My questions are:
1. is this the proper order?
2. MS did away with Internet mail connectors and such (if im thinking correctly) so i have no idea how the 2003 and 2010 servers will coexist (i know its possible but havent found any great detail) and how i send via smarthost to MCafee
3. Should i put the CAS and mailbox server on the same host? Will it degrade performance?
4. Do i have the order of installed servers correct?
5. Anything i should be aware of?
Thank you for the help.