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What is the best method to upgrade exchange 2003 to exch 2013?

I know there is no direct migration path frpm exch 2003 to exch 2013 but I was wondering if there is any good docs out there for the procedure for migrating from exch 2003 to exch 2013?
Do they have to migrate to ech 2010 first and then after all that work is done then go back and migrate to exch 2013?
2 Solutions
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
yes you need to migrate to either 2007 or 2010 first then to 2013
the 2003 server needs to be completely gone before installing 2013 since setup will halt if it detects a 2003 server present

other option is to migrate to pst files, remove exchange 2003, install 2013, create new mailboxes and import everything
involves downtime and not really practical for that reason
vmichAuthor Commented:
So I guess exch 2013 cant even be in the same forest then so I would have to create another forest and then build exch 2013 there and then use a third party tool to migrate from exch 2003 to 2013 correct?
Unless I build an exch 2010 server in the same forest and then migrate to it and then build the exch 2013 in the same forest.
Any idea on any good third party migration software for this?
It would be best (as Seth indicated) to migrate to Exchange 2007/2010 first (personally I would recommend Exchange 2010 over Exchange 2007).  Once this is completed then the migration to Exchange 2013 is extremely easy.  It should be noted, that while Exchange 2013 cannot coexist with Exchange 2003, it does coexist with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010.

As for the reason to my recommendation.  There are benefits to migrating from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013 over Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013.

First, there is no need for a legacy record as all connections are proxied to the Exchange 2010 server from the Exchange 2013 server.

Second, there is the ability to perform an online move/migration of mailboxes from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013.

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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
CodeTwo has a product but, of course, would require a new forest.


you could do a 2010 SP3 install with no product key (as a trial) to get through the migration
Doug WilliamsMessaging EngineerCommented:
Unless you have the ability to build a new forest, all 2003 Exchange servers have to have all their objects (Including the system, test, and arbitration mailboxes) migrated to exchange 2007 or 2010. Then all 2003 servers must be GRACEFULLY removed from the organization (AD) so you must follow the full uninstall and decommissioning of those servers especially the last Exchange 2003 server.

To minimize the disruption, and not cause performance issues, make sure you have an appropriate number of Exchange 2010 servers to receive all of the mailboxes, public folders and all the other Exchange Objects of your organization.  I.e., don't plan on moving 3000 objects from four Exch 2003 servers onto one Exchange 2010 server.  The performance hit could be unacceptable. You need to design a 2010 organization that will be functional for the interim time.  This will be much easier on you and the company budget, if you can do this with VMs.  I concur that if you fully plan out both steps (2003-> 2010, and 2010-> 2013) you can get away with an unlicensed install of 2010 (functional for 90 days) then migration to the licensed destination of Exchange 2013. I would combine the advice you have here into one well planned two step procedure.

Remember however that you WILL have down time for the users as they are migrated from 2003 to 2010, as there is no online mailbox-move ability from 2003 -> 2010.  You will need to carefully plan the migrations for your users during non-business hours or you will have some very unhappy users and bosses.
Minecraft_ EndermanCommented:
You must first upgrade the Exchange 2003 organization to either an Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 organization, and then you can upgrade the Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 organization to Exchange 2013. We recommend that you upgrade your organization from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010, and then upgrade from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013.
To help simplify your deployment, whether you’re moving your organization to the cloud or upgrading your on-premises organization, we created the Exchange Server Deployment Assistants (ExDeploy) to help guide you through the upgrade process. For more information about the ExDeploy tools, see Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant.
vmichAuthor Commented:
upgrade to 2010 first..

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