Upgrading exchange 2007 on server 2003 to exchange 2013 on server 2012 using same hardware

I understand that similar questions have been asked before about this but the scenarios are slightly different or the questions appear to have been deleted.

We have a 2003 server with exchange 2007 which we need to upgrade. Our 2003 DCs have already been upgraded to 2012  R2 (currently still running at domain functional level 2003)

It would seem sensible to upgrade to exchange 2013 as its the latest version on a 2012 box, since Window 2008 seems to have a short end of life. However, there seems to be no easy way of taking the jump as exchange 2007 will not run on Server 2012.

It looks like I'm going to have to upgrade using the following path.  
- Raise Domain functional level to 2012 RTM.
- Backup Exchange 2007 ready for re-installation.
- Migrate to Server 2008 with Exchange 2007 SP3 (doing a fresh install upgrade  - reinstall Exchange backup and Config etc)
- Upgrade Exchange 2007 SP3 to Exchange 2010 SP3
- Backup Exchange 2010 ready for re-installation
- Migrate to Server 2012 with Exchange 2010 SP3 (doing a fresh install upgrade  - reinstall Exchange backup and Config etc)
- Upgrade Exchange 2010 SP3 to Exchange 2013

Basically I'm having to use a Server 2008 and Exchange 2010 setup as an intermediate.

This seems like a very long and risky process.  Have I missed something - Is there an easier way  or should I just upgrade to Exchange 2007 SP3 on Server 2008 for now?

Thanks in advance.
EICTAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:
Hi,

The Inplace upgrade was only possible from Exchange 2000 to 2003. After that the inplace upgrade is stopped. Hence you need to have two dedicated systems for upgrade from exchange 2007 to exchange 2010. In-case if you need the step-by-step instructions you can refer the below link

https://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/upgrade-from-exchange-2007-to-exchange-2010---part-1/

Thanks
Manikandan
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
There are no in place upgrade options for Exchange.

Therefore if you want to use the same hardware (which I wouldn't advise unless it is very new because a 2003 box will be very old) you will need an interim server to migrate to.

You can go straight from Exchange 2007 to 2013 if you wish, you will just need to use another machine.

If you do a migration with another machine it is almost completely risk free. Yes it isn't quick, but when dealing with something as critical for most business as email, you need to do it very carefully so that there is no downtime.

Simon.
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Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:
Hi,

You have to have 2 Hardware Inplace upgrade from Exchange 2007 to 2010 or Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013 is not supported. Therefore you need to have an another hardware the above mentioned points are wrong

Thanks
Manikandan
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Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:
Hi,

Refer the below link which will help you to understand the migration concepts from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-in/library/ff805041(v=exchg.141).aspx

Thanks
Manikandan
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EICTAuthor Commented:
Hi,
The existing hardware is Dell PowerEdge 2900 with 12GB RAM and 2x Intel E5430 (2.66Ghz) Quad Core CPUs.

So I believe the hardware should be sufficient. They have about 50 staff.

Manikandan, Are you also saying I should use another machine as an interim server. Not wanting to spend a lot of money I could temporally install Server 2008 & Exchange 2007 on a high spec PC. Do an in place upgrade to Exchange 2010. Is  this what you are suggesting? Is it easy to join a second exchange server to the existing exchange infrastructure?

Thanks
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Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:
Hi,

You cannot do an inplace upgrade from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010. You have to have a second interim server. Its either you use a second interim server or continue to use Exchange 2007 Sp3 on Windows Server 2008.

Thanks
Manikandan
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Manikandan NarayanswamySecurity Specialist & IBM Security GuardiumCommented:
Hi,

And yes it's easy to join a second exchange server to the existing exchange infrastructure.

Thanks
Manikandan
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Your suggested upgrade path includes a few variants of the following:

"Migrate to Server 2008 with Exchange 2007 SP3 (doing a fresh install upgrade  - reinstall Exchange backup and Config etc)"

Let's get this out of the way.  There is no "fresh install upgrade."  That statement is an oxymoron.  As stated above, there is no in-place upgrade at all between versions (so you can't "upgrade" from 2007 to 2010 or from 2010 to 2013, or from 2007 to 2013.)  You can't simply restore a backup and config from an old version either. The proper path for upgrading form one version to another is not in-place.  The old and new servers coexist for a time and the mailboxes (thus the data) are moved.  Which is why, as suggested, two servers are needed.  This *IS NOT OPTIONAL.*

So really, your path is overly complex, but also just a bit wrong.  As an aside, at this point I will say that a Dell 2900 is a *very* old server.  Dell has been making the R-series for several years now. Even the last server in the 29xx series (not a 2900, but a 2950-III) has been out of production for 4...5 years.  If you like running an exchange server out of warranty and having a nightmare of a disaster recovery, go ahead.  But as Simon said, I'd never recommend it. It is, in fact, a terrible idea.  I mention it *now* because if you see that logic, you can stop reading...


...

Well, it seems you are still reading.  So here is the path I'd (in theory) take. (I can't say I'd ever do this or use the word "recommend" because...well....see above regarding the 2900.)  

0.5) Make a backup!
1) Get your server up to current patch levels.
2) Grab a new machine as a temporary machine.  Install server 2012 (R2?).  Yay. You get practice installing the new OS.
3) Join the domain.
4) Install Exchange 2013.  Yay. You get practice installing Exchange.
5) Move the mailboxes to the new temp machine.
5.5) Make a backup!!!!
6) Uninstall Exchange on the old machine.  Retire it.
6.5) Make a backup!!!!!!!!!!!!
7) Format, install the same OS on the "old" machine as your temp machine (you have practice now and know the bumps!)
8) Install Exchange 2013 (using your knowledge gained from above.)
8.5) MAKE A BACKUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9) Move mailboxes.
9.5)  Have you noticed what all the .5 steps are?  Good.....
10) Uninstall exchange on the temp machine. Retire the temp machine.

There ya go. You've moved to 2012 (R2)? and Exchange 2013 without an in-place upgrade, in a supported manner, kept your old hardware, and have plenty of backups to roll back should an error occur.  

Or something.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
"The existing hardware is Dell PowerEdge 2900 with 12GB RAM and 2x Intel E5430 (2.66Ghz) Quad Core CPUs.

 So I believe the hardware should be sufficient. They have about 50 staff."

No, that isn't really sufficient. You need at least 16gb of RAM to run Exchange 2013 at a decent speed.

While the hardware maybe sufficient to run Exchange, I would still question the wisdom to do so on something that old. 2900 would have to be at best seven years old, probably older, particularly if it is running Windows 2003. You shouldn't be running anything critical on hardware that old. It is on borrowed time.

If you were to buy something new, perhaps with 48b of RAM, then you could VM it. That would allow you to migrate to Exchange 2010 in a VM, then to Exchange 2013 in another VM.

Just to repeat what I said...

"Do an in place upgrade to Exchange 2010"

That is not possible. There are no in place upgrade options. While it was technically possible with Exchange 2000/2003, no one in their right mind would do it.

Simon.
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MikeIT ManagerCommented:
Your hardware is not sufficient.  I say that because I own a PowerEdge 2900 Gen3 and it doesn't run Win2012+Exchange2013 effectively.

You can get some good deals on refurbished hardware on eBay for relatively cheap if getting new hardware is not in the budget.

Also, you would have to create an entire new AD Domain, Exchange Organization, etc. if you do it the way you are planning.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
buy a new server with 2012 R2 and exchange 2013 CU 8 (CU4 is the same as SP1 which is no longer supported; you can do a clean install with CU8) and migrate your data

granted, there are many more steps in between for this exercise but for your original question - forget about reusing that old server.  simon mentioned how old those boxes are... i was buying those 9g servers in 2007 so it's been a couple years since they went end of life

do your capacity planning (simon made suggestions as to memory requirements) to support the new environment and users and plan your migration carefully

this guide should help with the process

Part 1: Step-by-Step Exchange 2007 to 2013 Migration
http://blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2013/07/25/part-1-step-by-step-exchange-2007-to-2013-migration.aspx

Cumulative Update 8 for Exchange Server 2013 (KB3030080)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46373
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EICTAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments.  Point taken about needed new 2nd hardware. I've given them the option to buy a new server now or migrate exchange 2007 on 2003 to Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008  as per https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc296562(v=exchg.80).aspx until funds are available.
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