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Moving exchange 2007 to a new server

Posted on 2015-02-04
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Dear Experts,

As part of a large project, I am tasked with moving exchange services to a new server in a VMware environment.  It currently resides on an ageing physical box, but its in a healthy condition.  To give you an idea of what's currently in place (all physical servers):
DC - windows 2008 server (File shares, print server, DNS, AD, DHCP)
Exchange server 2007 (also a DC) - windows 2008 server (DNS, AD, DHCP)
SQL server - windows server 2008
Remote desktop server - Windows 2008

All will be migrated over (not P2V'd) to newly built VMs on a VMWare physical host. All VM servers will be windows server 2008R2 where the old servers are 2008.

It is my intention for  the new exchange 2007 server to be a member server this time - no AD.  I've performed a few exchange migrations in the past - most of them from SBS to SBS or SBS to separate servers.  I'm OK with the migration of exchange to another box.

However in this case, given the overall project tasks required, I'm conscious that I will be updating the schema of AD to 2008 R2 and as the existing exchange server is a DC, there may be some compatibility issues.  I know that exchange 2007 SP3 is compatible and fully supported in 2008R2 AD - its the order of things i want to get right.

To get around the potential issues, I was planning on doing the following:
- create a new 2008R2 VM and join it to the existing domain as a member server (no AD this time)
- install exchange server 2007 on to it
- migrate all exchange services and mailboxes
- uninstall the old exchange server and demote it
- create another new 2008R2 VM and dcpromo that, thus updating the AD schema.
- carry on with migrating the other servers and services.

Would this approach be sensible or do you have any other suggestions?

Many thanks in advance.
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Question by:tech53
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 1000 total points
ID: 40590016
AD version schemas have no impact on Exchange, so it doesn't really matter when you introduce the new domain controller. The only thing to be aware of is that when Exchange is installed on a DC, that DC MUST be a global catalog and all other Exchange servers will only use that domain controller for DC functionality.

Therefore after you have removed Exchange, I would introduce your new domain controllers, make them GCs, remove the GC role from the former Exchange server and reboot the new one. That will force Exchange to find a new GC. Only then proceed with the demotion.

Simon.
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 1000 total points
ID: 40590038
Answers are below....
DC - windows 2008 server (File shares, print server, DNS, AD, DHCP)
I would not be installing any other roles on a domain controller other than DHCP and DNS and GCperiod.

Exchange server 2007 (also a DC) - windows 2008 server (DNS, AD, DHCP)
Exchange and DC is not recommened unless you are in a SBS environment

As for your step above I would do the following in a different order...
- Create a new VM (AD/DNS/DHCP/GC)
- Transfer the FSMO roles to this new Domain Controller
- Create another Domain Controller (2008R2, for redundancy)
- Point users/servers (DHCP/Static) to the new DC's for DNS
- Perform Schema Update for Exchange 2007 SP3
- Create VM for Exchagne 2007 SP3
- Migrate mailboxes/address lists/public folders/etc to the new server
- Remove Exchange from the Domain Controller
- Demote the DC that had Exchagne installed
- Demote your DC with the file shares on it (shares will contunue to work as this will now be a member server. You will need to make sure that once this DC is demoted if you decide to continue to use it you will need to change the DNS on the old DC to point to the new DC's)

Will.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tech53
ID: 40608935
Thanks chaps. This was an essential business server environment that MS very quickly dropped and that's why the exchange server was a DC - it's the default configuration. I have applied the MS "make it right" migration tool which separates the EBS servers into separate components.

Split points awarded. Sembee answered my original question and Will made some great suggestions on the order of tasks.
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