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replacing an old Windows 2003 & exchange server

We have a windows 2003 server (standard) running exchange.

We are replacing it with a windows 2012 server (standard) and exchange 2010.

I have previously done this before using the migration tool, but after spending a couple of days trying to get the old server into a condition suitable for the migration (ie there were several problems with it which prevented the migration taking place), I had to abondon that and manually transfer the data etc.

This site though, has a very busy crutial server which needs to be down for as little time as possible.

I AM RELUCTANT TO TRY THE MIGRATION AGAIN, as there are no doubt issues with this unit which will delay the progress.

The server is also the domain controller, so I wanted to know if there were any instructions on how to implement the new server and move things accross manually.

Things like how we name the server, whether we can retain the same local domain name, at what stage do we make the new DC active, when we have to disconnect the old server, and whether there are any tricks available which enabled us to keep the same desktops etc.

We have around 50 users, so its daunting to have to set up each individual desktop and re isntall software etc.

If anyone has any detailed instructions or can refer me to a document which covers this, I would be much obliged.

If you feel that the only realistic way forward is to MIGRATE, then I may have to reconsider, but due to the nightmare we encountered last time, I would like to avoid this if possible.

Your comments would be appreciated.
 
Many thanks.
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nigelbeatson
Asked:
nigelbeatson
1 Solution
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Sounds like the complexities of your environment call for using a toolkit like the SwingMigration kit.  See http://swingmigration.itproexperts.com/ (The kit that goes to Exchange 2010 expects you to go to Server 2008 R2, Not 2012.  Contact them - they may be able to offer guidance - or if you buy a volume license you COULD go to 2008 R2 instead of 2012.

(Swing migration was designed so that you could do just about everything OFFLINE without interrupting the business and when you were done, your servers were named the same so there's minimal disruption of the clients).  No, it's not free... but how much is a disruption free/minimized transition worth to you?

The alternative is to hire someone experienced in migrations to do it for you.
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nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
Thats great thanks.
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