Exchange 2010 P to V ESX 4.5


I've been tasked with migrating our Exchange 2010 single server solution from a physical server to a virtual.  We have all three primary roles (Hub Transport, Client Access, & Mailbox) installed on one server.

The mail store is attached SAN and is roughly 600 GB.

What is the best (and easiest) way to P to V?


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AmitConnect With a Mentor IT ArchitectCommented:
Best way is to setup new server with all 3 roles. Setup new db's or you can use database portability option.

If you have Public folder, then you need to setup new Public folder, add replica or move replica to new server.

Then you need to cut over you other services like OWA, ActiveSync to new server. Don't forget to get the new certificate with new server name.

Finally decom the old server. You might face db removal challenges while decom old server. For which you can read my article
Sumit GuptaConnect With a Mentor System and Virtualization EngineerCommented:
see EE Articles for Hints and Tips

When we do the P2V of the Exchange host we shutdown the services and proceed with the P2V.

Once completed you will need to re-ip the VM as it will now have a virtual network card with a different mac address.  You should also remove and physical hardware application once completed.  

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

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

part of the P2V process replaces the NIC with a new NIC, so you will need to re-add all the networking information.

Make sure you shutdown as many services as possible, and set to Manual, and then perform the P2V.

later logon to the virtual version, configure networking, and then set services to Automatic, and start the sercvices.
Simon Butler (Sembee)Connect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
I wouldn't do it.
Why have downtime and the other associated issues with P2V and the hardware differences when you can migrate the data to a new installation of Exchange with no downtime and no issues. It will allow you do things in a controlled manner at no risk and no downtime.

tonyjoewalkerAuthor Commented:
so the process would be something like:

1.  Build new virtual Exchange 2010 server and join to Exchange Org with no roles
2.  Do a live migration of all the roles from the physical server to the new virtual
3.  Remove the old physical server from the org
4.  shut down the old physical server



Simon Butler (Sembee)Connect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
"Build new virtual Exchange 2010 server and join to Exchange Org with no roles"

That cannot be done. An Exchange server with no roles isn't an Exchange server, it is a management station.

Some old information above as well:

"Don't forget to get the new certificate with new server name."

As you cannot get SSL certificates with internal names on them any longer, a new certificate is probably not required. It is just a matter of getting the DNS and URLs configured in Exchange correctly.

I wouldn't use database portability, as that still requires downtime and risk. Create new databases and move the users. As you going from Exchange 2010 to 2010 you can do that hot, no need for downtime or moving them out of hours.

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