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Upgrading an exchange 2003 server that is also a DC

Posted on 2014-01-17
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Last Modified: 2014-01-17
hello-

We have a small network that currently has a Windows 2003 SP2 server running as the PDC, another windows 2003 SP2 server running exchange 2003 that is also a DC, and a windows 2008 R2 server. We have purchased another windows 2008 R2 server and plan on installing Exchange 2010 on it. Obviously to do that we need to upgrade the domain to windows 2008. The question I have is this- can we raise the Domain Functional level to Win2k8 with the old exchange server still a DC? I have read that you should not demote a DC that is running exchange because it can break some functionality of exchange. But can you raise the functionality of the domain to 2008 when a 2003 DC is still in the mix? If not, any suggestions on how to tackle this?
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Question by:twcarlin
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 200 total points
ID: 39788527
"Obviously to do that we need to upgrade the domain to windows 2008. "

No, you don't have to do that.
Don't touch the functionality of the domain - Windows 2008 R2 will quite happily live in a domain at 2003 native.

Simon.
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 300 total points
ID: 39788592
Answers are below...
- functional level upgrade is not necessary (as stated) for Exchange install
- You will need to do a schema update when intrducing Exchange 2010
- You cannot raise the functional level domain or forest to 2008 until all of the 2003 DC's are demoted.

Recommeded steps below...
- Prepare Exchange 2010 server
- Perform Exchange 2010 schema udpate
- Install Exchange
- Set your Certs and Exchange Services (owa/EAS/EWS/etc) with the URL for Exchange 2010
- Create OAB for Exchange 2010 and enable Public Folder distribution and Web Distribution
- Migrate Mailboxes to the Exchange 2010 environment
- Migrate Address List, Email Address Policies and Public Folder replicates to Exchange 2010
- Remove Exchange 2003 from your environment
- Demote All 2003 DC's
- Raise the functional level of the forest and domain

Will.
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Author Closing Comment

by:twcarlin
ID: 39789217
Thank you both! I guess all the guides I've read talk about upgrading first, but never said it was a prerequisite. I just assumed it...
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