Migrating from Windows server 2003 with MS Exchange to Windows server 2012 Stand with MS Exchange


I am planning on migrating a Windows server 2003 SBS server with MS Exchange 2003/ Active directory to a  new server running Server 2012 standard with MS Exchange 2013/Active Directory.

Any thoughts on how to accomplish this project as smoothly as possible ?
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
You cannot migrate from 2003 to 2013 directly. You need to either first migrate from 2003 to 2007 or 2010 and from there you need to migrate to 2013.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Exchange on a DC is *strongly* discouraged (note that there is no longer a version of SBS in 2012 so Microsoft no longer even does such a scenario.)

You will also have issues when moving mailboxes from your old Exchange server to your new one. There is no coexistence support for Exchange 2003 in Exchange 2013, so you will have to take some added steps to manage that migration.

If you want to run Exchange on-premises, virtualization should be considered. 2012 Standard includes virtualization rights to allow you to properly separate your domain controllers from Exchange servers.

Review your entire plan before starting. Too many times I see people just "start migrating" and then want to know how to complete a step after they've started. If you are waiting until you are halfway through to plan public folders, for example, you put the cart before the horse. Planning, especially when going from a version that old, is essential. It takes more time, but the dividends are worth it.

Without more specific questions, it is tough to give more specific answers. So that's the best I have.

TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for responding.

I did not start the migration process as yet. I am currently doing the  planning steps and checking the different application and OS to make sure that they are compatible.

The environment that I will be migrating only has 25 users so getting (paying) a second server may not be accepted.

The current server is s virtual server and the new server will be a virtual VMware machine.

Since I cannot migrate from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013. I will just install Exchange 2010 SP3 on the Windows server 2012 machine.

I have migrated SBS 2003 to server 2008 R2 before and Exchange 2010 SP2.

If there any gotchas that I should look out for ? Is the migration steps/process the as the for SBS 2003 to server 2012 pretty much the same ?

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If you are going to use Windows 2012, then standard edition allows two VMs per physical host. Therefore there is NO reason to have Exchange on a domain controller. Just have hardware with enough horsepower to run two VMs. 25 users can quickly become 40 or 50 if the economy picks up and having Exchange on a DC will bite you. Do it right now and growth becomes easy.

The migration process using a later version of Windows is no different. You still have to do all of the same steps. It just means that once it is complete there is additional functionality.


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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your help.
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