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Exchange 2010 covert VM hyper-v 2012

Hi experts.

We are planning to virtualize our existing Exchange 2010 server (CAS, HT, Mailbox).
The virtualization platform we are using is Hyper-V 2012 on an Windows-Server 2012.
We are planning to convert the physical server with microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager offline to a hyper-v machine.

What we are planning to do:
- Backup exchange2010 (Image, Clone of Data-Set)
- Set exchange2010 databases offline
- Shutdown exchnage2010
- Offline P2V conversion of Partition c: (Program Files and Transaction Logs) to VHD
- Offline P2V conversion of Partition d: (Mailbox-Databases)
- Create new virtual machine on hyper-v, use C:-vhd for C: and d:-vhd as secondary Partition
- Start VM and install drivers and so on
- Set Exchange Databases online
- Test exchange

Can we do it this way?
Has anybody done this already and can give me a hint on how to do this?

Thanks for your help!

Best regards.
Roland
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Systemadministration
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Systemadministration
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1 Solution
 
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Why bother virtualise an existing server?
Just build a new one and migrate everything. Zero downtime, zero risk. Plus you don't have the hassles of removing all the old drivers etc.

I never P2V unless there is no other option (old OS, software installer disks missing etc).

Simon.
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SystemadministrationAuthor Commented:
How would I do that?
Install a fresh virtual server with exchange 2010?
Do I have to configure thsi second server?
What about sending connectors and so on?
After migrating all mailboxes, can the physical server be removed from the forest?

Best regards
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Senthil KumarCommented:
Install a fresh Exchange 2010 and move the users from old to new one. Once the migration is completed , point the MX record to the new server IP (Virtual IP) to start receiving emails.
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SystemadministrationAuthor Commented:
Which MX?
We have a pop-connector for icoming mail, if you`re talking about this.
And OK, installing a new server could be possible, but means probably more effort.

Wouldn`t it be worth a try to convert the exchange-server?
If thsi fails we still could install a fresh server and move mailboxes.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If the conversion fails, then depending on where it fails you could end up having no functioning Exchange server. As soon as that P2V server comes up, your physical source is dead - you cannot use it again, due to the very tight integration with Exchange.
Therefore you are taking a huge risk doing a P2V for very little gain.

The safest method is to install a new version of Exchange. The amount of configuration that needs to be done is limited. You will need to configure the Receive Connectors, SSL certificate etc.

POP3 connector? Why? Are you unable to use SMTP delivery, as Exchange is designed? There are very few valid reasons for using a POP3 connector.

Simon.
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SystemadministrationAuthor Commented:
For our company the pop-connector is an avantage because the provider is responsible for the avialiability of the MX-Server.

Why can`t we use the old physical server as soon as the converted virtual machine has gone online? That was our plan for rollback. Can you explain in detail why this can`t be used.
If that`s true, this means that you also can not use an Image to recover an exchange-server.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Exchange is a "living" product. It is making constant changes to the database and when users are active there is a lot of AD work happening. As such an image is out of date within minutes of it being taken. As a recovery system it is a poor choice for Exchange.

As long as you have an Exchange aware backup, you can recover Exchange very quickly. Most of the settings and configuration are stored in AD, and it is easy to document the things that are not (Receive Connectors, SSL certificates are the main things).

That doesn't stop people from trying to image Exchange and then wondering why they have problems.

If you follow my advice and build a new server you don't need a fallback plan, because there is no risk, no downtime. You can build the server in working hours, you can move the data in working hours. You can remove the old server in working hours. At no point during the work is the data at risk, which is more than I can say for any other method.

Simon.
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Senthil KumarCommented:
If you are using a POP connector, configure the POP connector to deliver the downloaded mails to the new exchange 2010 server.
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SystemadministrationAuthor Commented:
OK, that sounds good and easy.
But I`m not sure how to do it.
I install a fresh server with exchange2010 into existing forest. On this new server I have CAS, mailbox and hub-transport-role.
How does anything work together with the existing server? Do I have to setup the same settings on both servers? Can the servers co-exist?
I`m afraid of running into trouble as soon as the second server is online.

The POP-Connector runs on the existing exchange-server and delivers mail into the exchange-mailboxes.
Will this still work if some mailboxes are located on the old and some on the new server?

Is there anywhere a "migration guide" on how to migrate exchange 2010 from one server to another.

Best regards!
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Did you not setup the original server then?
Most Exchange settings are global, so will apply across all servers.
The only thing you will have to modify are server specific settings. That will include Receive Connector configurations, Mailbox Database, replicate the public folders and configure the internal and external URLs to match the SSL certificate.

No idea if the POP3 connector will work correctly though - I don't use them at all.
I disagree with your reason for using a POP3 connector as well - I have seen what most ISPs do for email, and if you did as well, you wouldn't want them anywhere near your email service.

Simon.
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