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Server 2012R2 - sbs 2003 - retain existing 2003 exchange


A already have an open question but would also like to explore another option. We have an existing SBS2003 setup with Exchange configured and 8 users.

We use an in-house file management system known as Archetype. I would like to take advantage of the new Server2012 Essentials features and install this on a new box to manage our AD and Domain and also retain the existing exchange on sbs2003.

Our file management system required a link to outlook to manage ingoing and outgoing emails. I was originally planning on migrating over to office 365 exchange from our ISP and using the new Server2012 box to manage everything else but I would still need ti have outlook on each machine. My problem is we would then need to purchase new licenses for outlook 2010 or 13 for each user to link with office / exchange 365.

Is retaining the existing exchange box and transferring domain control over to the new box an option. Our main reason for wanting to upgrade is to take advantage of the new remote and cloud features.

2 Solutions
Sushil SonawaneCommented:
You can retaining the existing exchange box and transfer or upgrade your domain controller. You did not get any issue.

If you want to transfer your exchange mailboxes from exchange 2003 to office 365 then your have to pay another cost per mailbox basis or purchase the licence for the same.

As you mention you want to take advantage of the new remote and cloud feature then you have to upgrade the exchange 2003 to cloud or office 365. You existing exchange server do not support the cloud feature.
dlogan83Author Commented:
Thanks, When I say Cloud, its more document access and VPN / Remote access capabilities. we use active sync for email access from iphones and as we have a document our internal document management system remote RPD is the most important thing.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
There are plans for Office365 which include Office licences, so you wouldn't require additional software purchases.

I think that Essentials and SBS are going to clash. You wouldn't be able to increase the forest version past 2003, which might be a problem.

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
The first commented is incorrect. You cannot transfer domain management to another machine from SBS. It would break SBS licensing and, from a technical perspective, break exchange. Office 365 E3 plans come with on-premises office 2013 licenses, including outlook. Since you are considering o365, I'd look at that as an option.
I will have to say not all comments are wrong but not totally correct.

You can definitely move your SBS2003 to 2012 but not standard version, you will have to use Essentials.  If your current environment is not bigger and won't be more that 25 users and here is a summary for that http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj200112.aspx

With Essentials 2012, there are three deployment options for messaging services:

- On-Premises: Essentials 2012 contains integration with an on-premises Exchange Server running on a second server, which can be either physical or virtual.

- Office 365: Essentials 2012 builds on the previous Office 365 Integration Module for SBS 2011 Essentials. This option is now part of the core product (no separate download is required) and it allows customers that have an Office 365 account to use this service for their email.

- Hosted Exchange

Unfortunately,  2012 Essentials doesn't come with exchange as SBS2003.  Therefore, you will have to install a box or virtual for a 2012 server or any other host (windows 8 or 7) for your Exchange Server 2010 or 2013.

This mean you can't keep your current exchange server, but due to your size environment I don't think migration or co-existence should be recommended.  For only 8 users it will be faster to just install exchange and import the emails from a previously exported .PST file.

Licenses, yes you will have to buy Exchange Server and CALs for the amount of users you need.  Same for your Office or Outlook.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
I'm sorry hecgomrec, but I mist disagree with one statement:

First, you can certainly add a 2012 Standard server to SBS 2003. You can even transfer the DC roles if you want (but you will then have to decommission SBS 2003 *including* exchange because of licensing.)  Essentials is not a *required* upgrade path. It may be preferencial for price and features, but not required as your statement implies.
To Cliff:

I'm aware you can basically go from SBS2003 to anything but here is the fact:   dlogan83 , the author of this question, already has his mind set on Essentials, he is not asking what version of Server 2012 is better for him, he is asking if he can keep the existing box (SBS2003) having Server 2012 as his main DC.

This scenario is not possible, SBS2003 has Exchange integrated, you can break that exchange by installing an Enterprise edition on your existing 2003 domain, move all your mailboxes and settings to this one and then introduce a 2012 server in the domain make it your Main DC, transfer FSMO and your exchange will keep working.

To  dlogan83:

Again, SBS2003 is designed to be the only DC GC in the domain, you can introduce another host (win7, win8, server 2012 as FS/Member) in the domain to become your Exchange Server.  There is no way for migration from 2003 to 2013 but to 2010 or 2007, your choice.

Once again, because the size you described of your environment I will suggest to export current mailboxes to .pst files on clients and once your new exchange is up an running import those .pst files onto the .ost.

For your "NEW Server" box, regardless your 2012 version you should consider your options with exchange and your "Archetype".  You might be able to put everything in the same box if budget allow it because the amount of users.  Just keep in mind down time vs. migration benefits.

The Amount of users here give you the possibility to even take the new box setup everything attach only 1 user to run trials without disturbing any body and just connect the rest once your test are done... lucky you.... I hope I had that when I had to update from SBS2003 to 2012 with 2 branches and HQ counting over 100 clients.
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