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Recomendation for upgrading from Exchagne 2003 to 2010 vs 2013

We are preparing to upgrade someone from two servers both running Windows Server 2003 standard with one the domain controller and active directory server.  Other is running Exchange 2003.

We have two new PowerEdge servers running Windows Server 2012 that we are going to use.  We have only 17 users all running Windows 7 Pro workstations.  They have Office/Outlook 2007 and are not going to upgrade that until next year.

Since there are only 17 users and the server OS and Exchange are so old and the AD and Group Policy on the Windows 2003 is a bit clogged with old users and junk, we figured it will be just as easy to setup new server and user from scratch vs any type of migration and DC promo stuff.  The same with Exchange 2003, we figure on just exporting each person’s PST file and importing into new Exchange environment.

Not sure we can do the setup in place without turning off old servers while working as we want to use same switches and router configuration.  If things go south then we can just plug back in the old “network” of servers.   Realize we will have to unjoin the old domain that is “company.local” and rejoin the new domain that is “company.net” which they use as email domain and we have been told to not use “ .local “ anymore

Hoping this all sounds possible!  The main question then is since we are starting from scratch and since they have Office/Outlook 2007 for now,  what do you all think is the best way to go with Exchange, 2010 or 2013?  

I have been told in the past that 2013 really likes to deal with Office/Outlook 2013 or at least 2010.  Why? Would Office/outlook 2007 be ok with either 2010 or 2013 ? Is either version of Exchange, 2010 or 2013 more complex to setup and import PST files etc. than the other?  We have only setup Exchange 20120 one time for a small similar sized office (from scratch as well but no PSTs to import)

Want to try to pull this off over the weekend. There is not a lot of data on the DC/file server to move, about 100GB so going to pull it off onto USB drive as well as the PST files.  The old Exchange 2003 mail database is about 20 GB so the PSTs are not huge.

Thoughts anyone??
3 Solutions
Vaseem MohammedCommented:
Its very much possible and hassle free.
As a new domain in a new forest will be setup I dont see any issue in setting up new exchange 2010/2013.
I believe outlook 2007 SP3 works with exchange 2013, coress check it plz.
For GPO, I dont know if there is any way to move them, you need to create them manually again, so make note of it.
One more suggestion would be to virtualize, as there are 2 servers, use hyper-v.
With 2012 STD, 2 VM per host is possible.
If ther is a need for high availibility of exchange which is recommended, see what possible options you have, hardware load balance for CAS role, DAG for mailbox.
Do plan the switch over carefully.
It is still perfectly viable to use .local as your internal domain designator.  SSL certificates are no longer issuable to local tld's.  Check out; SSL Certificates for Internal Server Names; for more information.

As for Exchange 2010 vs. Exchange 2013.  Since there is no direct upgrade/migration path from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013, you will have to setup an intermediary, Exchange 2007/Exchange 2010, server anyways (I believe you can still use an Exchange 2010 setup as a trial server for the migration).

Outlook 2007 will work with Exchange 2013, so long as Outlook has been updated to SP3 and has the the November 2012 Cumulative Update applied - Source

If you are wanting to pull this off over the weekend, then I would recommend just staying at Exchange 2010 for this client (there are many differences between Exchange 2010/Exchange 2013 that impart a culture shock if you are not familiar with it's in's and outs.)

Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
My answers are below...
This is all very possible to setup a completely new domain/forest on server 2012 (there should be no issues). The only concern is how big is there file server/shares etc? This might be a lot of work if you are starting from scratch creating new accounts and then applying them to another domain structure.

For Exchange, I would go straight to 2013. Although Exchange 2010 has been out longer and it more stable (due to bug fixes and patches) it is still in your best interest to go with the latest version. They have had quite a few CU's for Exchange (CU8 now) which has had several fixes applied.

The Exchange architecture is also simplied in Exchange 2013. For a company this small i do not see the point to use DAG or have redundancy for that matter as it comes at a cost. If they are willing to pay for it then do it.

Because you only have 2 physical servers i am assuming that you will be using Hyper-V or VMware? I would not recommend installing Exchange and the DC on the same server (if this was your plan) as it is not recommend by Microsoft.

That all being said it can be done. I would just check to make sure how many files/shares they have before considering doing a separate domain/forest infrastructure.

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to2007Author Commented:
Ok guys appreciate the info.  Think you missing something about the 2 servers.  There are 2 new servers completely fresh new installs of Win Server 2012.  The two new servers , one for DC and one for Exchange 2010/2013, both  have fast processors, 32 GB RAM and 4 - 600GB 15K rpm hard drives in RAID 5.  so think they an handle 17 users 100GB data on DC and 20GB mail database on Exchange.  Hopefully.

The old Server 2003s are on other servers, old ones!  are you suggesting VM thinking we only have two servers total?  In fact we have 2 other Server that never were  used with Windows  2008 Server on them (it's a long story)

Don't know what DAG even is.

Also don't think we need to go to Exchange 2007 as we are not migrating but  starting over all together and then as I mentioned importing PST files for each user to bring over email, contacts and calendars.  Been told that should be no problem.

Also only 17 users and they all but one have same rights on network and therefore nothing complicated to setup one and copy them I assume.

We only have as mentioned 100 GB of total data, docs, excel files pdfs etc.  One accounting app the uses pervasive sql that can't be migrated so would be reinstalling anyway.

Does this help with what I am thinking of doing?   I know migration is a big deal in larger offices but this is micro business and migrations have been a pain in the past at other offices :)

let me know if you think there are still things I am missing.  Was wanting to use same IP string and subnet etc so that is why thinking just unplug old servers while setting up new and see what happens.  If blows up can then still plug back in old servers/network to keep them going while we regroup :)

Still confused a bit on the issue of using Exchange 2010 or 2013.  We have licensing for both.  Have to check when at office tomorrow on the SP3 on The Outlook.

Hoping this makes sense

thanks guys appreciate feed back
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
This is not a big deal at all. You should be able to do this without issue. Go with Exchange 2013, because it is newer it has a longer support life cycle than Exchange 2010.

DAG is database availability groups which is a way to have high availability  at the mailbox database level. This requires additional servers licensing etc. However you only have 17 users so it does not make sense to have something like this in place. your hardware should be more than enough to support 17 users 100GB of data,

That being said everything looks fine based on what you are doing. There should be little impact as you are doing a completely new forest root domain.

H-SinghTechnical DirectorCommented:
Not sure if you still looking info on this,  but what you are trying to implement is very easy and trouble free if done with just little bit care.
i will summarize the steps.

*note down IPs of current servers. so you don't assign similar to new by mistake.
*Install two new servers in same network with new static IPs,  
*configure new Domain controller with AD and DNS roles. you can install DHCP Role at this stage but not to activate any scope otherwise it may conflict with old DHCP . or not sure if you using router as DHCP etc. best to create new domain not using .local  as Microsoft going away from that.

*prepare second new server with 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013 outlook 2007 is support with SP3 with November 2012 Cumulative Update ( available from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2687404 This link is external to TechNet Wiki. It will open in a new window. ))
make sure second server as EX must use new DC'   as DNS server and join to new domain.

(both new servers using IPs in same subnet but not talking to old servers for any services )

*Create your users via Exchange with mailboxes on new servers,   join one test machine to new domain and test things like outlook etc and ensure things works as required.  

if doing a weekend switch over , work list you be doing is Copying user data to new server, and export/import PST's to new server.  as not many users so this is something you can do over weekend easily. we have done similar thing for around 30 users in past. PSTs coming from exchange 2003 to 2013 should be fine but do check internet for issues,  ensure your configure size limit for mailboxes before import to ensure new mailbox upper limit is above the current size or your PSTs import will fail with errors etc.

on switchover change your router to point SMTP traffic to new exchange server or any other services you are publishing.

shutdown both old servers. (time to start DHCP on new DC)

as you said worse case if things don't work it will be matter of pointing PCs to old Domain and setting SMTP on router to go to old Exchange.

best of luck.
to2007Author Commented:
Thanks to all
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