Exchange migration best practice

Environment:

Dell Server w/ 4 GB of RAM & 4 core processor
OS : Sever 2008 standard 32 bit
-active direcory
-domain controller
-exchange 2007 (100 mailboxes, 70 GB storage database)
-file share (500 GB broadcasted to 18 domain desktops)
-print server (4 printers)



New server waiting to be deployed:
Xeon e5 2450 w/ 64 GB of ram

OS=  windows server 2008 r2 enterprise
-No roles



I have no more budget remaining and need to migrate the exchange database over to 2010 and then implement the new OWA.  

My questions are:

1. I have never conducted a migration before.  What precautions should I take and do you guys have any recommendations?
 
2. Can i run virtualization software on top of r2 enterprise and install a new copy of windows server?  anything free?

3. What are the essential components of this project to ensure a smooth process?
MachuPLAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Simon Butler (Sembee)Connect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
"Can i run virtualization software on top of r2 enterprise and install a new copy of windows server?  anything free?"

Enterprise Edition of Windows allows four virtual machines per host.
HyperV is part of the base product and as long as it is ONLY running HyperV, it doesn't count.
You can also deploy the free version of VMWARE to have multiple roles on the machine machine again. No additional cost.

32 bit Windows 2008 with Exchange 2007? You sure? That wasn't ever supported, 32 bit was for trial purposes only.

Migrations with Exchange are pretty risk free as long as you don't rush thing. At no point is the data at risk. Just remember to get public folders across first, deploy an RPC CAS Array before moving any mailboxes and take your time.

Simon.
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Manpreet SIngh KhatraConnect With a Mentor Solutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
1. I have never conducted a migration before.  What precautions should I take and do you guys have any recommendations? - Remember Circullar Logging, System State and Exchange DB backups

3. What are the essential components of this project to ensure a smooth process? - Checkout articles and then ask questions

- Rancy
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AmitConnect With a Mentor IT ArchitectCommented:
Follow this guide
https://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/upgrade-from-exchange-2007-to-exchange-2010---part-1/
https://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/upgrade-from-exchange-2007-to-exchange-2010---part-ii/

Use Exchange 2010 Calculator, which will help you to size your server properly.


Can i run virtualization software on top of r2 enterprise and install a new copy of windows server?  anything free? Nothing is free from MS.
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James HConnect With a Mentor IT DirectorCommented:
1. Verifiable backups are always recommended. There are plenty of articles but this one does a great job of explaining the process in its entirety.
http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000236.htm
2. Hyper-V is free for your OS and with Enterprise, you can have up to 4 instances (VM's) for your host.
3. Time to plan everything out and time to test your new environment. Your entire strategy changes when you start virtualizing, such as your backup strategy, networking, how to manage those VM's and deal with disaster recovery.
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