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Exchange 2010 Installation

So I'm familiar with doing a standalone installation of exchange but I'm now getting ready to do a transition from 2003 to 2010 which has left me with some questions I haven't been able to find answers for.

First, I should mention, I have transition checklists, lots of documentation regarding the transition, but what I don't see is..

At what point during installation of CAS/HUB roles will the mailflow break. The reason I'm asking this is, I want to know how much of this I can install without impacting the current 2003 environment. I don't have the ability unfortunately to test this in a test environment.
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Michael MachieFull-time technical multi-taskerCommented:
The mail flow will break as soon as you either change your Firewall to point to the new Server, take the existing Server offline, change any MX records pointing to your Server, change the DNS records to point to the new Server, or add the new server on the network using the same name/IP.  

A couple very important things:
- Update to Exchange 2010 Rollup4 minimum.
- Many items may require a manual migration from old server to new, specifically Public Folders
- You need a 5-name certificate for Exchange 2010 as the current 1-3name Cert in Exchange 2003 is no longer allowed. If you do not do this you will probably have an issue on your hands. I know MS was supposed to look into a fix but I do not know of one yet.
- Using a different Server Name and IP address will help you get the new server up and running on your network without affecting mail flow. The moment you use the same name or IP on the same network you will have issues, so running in parallel is best to create the trusts and then will allow easier migration.
- I highly recommend you do the actual cut-over on a weekend and allow the entire weekend for troubleshooting. Once you start it is very tough to go back.
schnazzerAuthor Commented:
I have the new servers ready to go and they have their own system names (we are going to co-exist for a bit with 2003 and 2010). They will also have their own IP addresses and a new cert.

I don't think the transition will be all that difficult. Like I said above, I have lots of documentation and a transition plan. Everything I've read though sort of leaves a grey area about when exactly the mail flow would break (as expected) during the process.
For example, at a point during installation of the CAS, 2010 will create a administrative group in 2003. does this do anything with mail flow? or is it simply preparatory process.

I'll include the rollup in the updates folder during installation.
Michael MachieFull-time technical multi-taskerCommented:
It is a prep process as Exchange 2010 has to create it's own AD structure - one of the new cool things about Exchange 2010 is that it is independent of the DC's AD, but propagates changes to it. So the Admin group is created as part of the AD preparation.  

Until you change your DNS records you should not see any interference as your DNS server is still pointing to your current server for routing mail to that name. However, once you change the MX records or DNS records, mail flow to the existing server will be affected.
schnazzerAuthor Commented:
Thanks a bunch!  That clears that up quite nicely.
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