Exchange 2010 in VMWare for testing

I have a virtual machine setup in VMWare with Server 2008 on it. I would like to install Exchange 2010 for testing pursposes. I would like to connect it to my current Exchange 2003 which is live.

What is the best setup process for this? I want to mirror a real world experience in preparation for my migration to 2010 this summer, but I don't want my current Exchange 2003 to stop working.

Any advice for steps to follow or avoid?
lenivanAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would not recommend any testing or connecting any new servers to your exsiting Active Directory or Live Production Network.

I would recommend and use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 to make "copies" of P2V - Physical to Virtual copies of ALL your Domain Controllers, Exchange 2003 Servers, transfer these to a virtual environment in VMware, and then Build and Test you Migration to Exchange 2010.

and if you do use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, and you want to make your transfers 60% faster checkout my EE article here

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Download VMware vCenter Converter 5.0 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 User Guide


Download VMware vCenter Converter 4.3 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide


If you have issues, you may want to consult the following articles and guides


Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

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lenivanAuthor Commented:
Can you be more specific about transferring to a virtual environment in VMWare?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You use the software in my first post to convert physical machines to virtual machines, then create an Internal Lab Network, to host and operate and Power On these Virtual Machines.
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