How to approach server 2003 PDC with Exchange 2003 migration to 2012 PDC with exchange 2013?

We are trying to migrate an old host running  server 2003 with exchange 2003 into a server 2012 environment. It is also the primary domain controller, file server, and is running active directory.

We setup 2 new blade servers with vmware and the goal is to migrate this old server into a 2012 server vm with exchange 2013 (and as the new PDC) so we can shut the old host down. We've been looking at different forums and step-by-step guides but haven't found a clear way to migrate from a server that is both the PDC and running exchange 2003 to a new PDC running exchange 2013.

We already converted our old terminal servers (2) into vms and have them running on the new hosts but still as 2003 servers.

We would like to complete this over the next two days, or at least upgrade the terminal servers to 2012 but I don't think that will work in a 2003 level domain with exchange 2003. Looking for all the help we can get!
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Windows 2003 domain can coexist with windows 2012 servers even 2012 servers as DC's

The domain MUST be at Windows 2003 Functional Level

If you set that up then you can migrate at your leasure

Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
1) Exchange 2003 does not support 2012 domain controllers.

2) Exchange 2013 cannot co-exist with Exchange 2003.  You need to either migrate to Exchange 2007 or 2010 first or export mailboxes to pst files, remove the mailboxes and Exchange from the environment then install Exchange 2013, create new mailboxes and import the pst files.

3) Exchange on a domain controller is not recommended.  Since you have a virtual environment, you should create 2 2012 servers; one as your domain controller and one for Exchange.

4) Exchange does not support promotion or demotion events which means you will need to take care of Exchange first before demoting the 2003 domain controller.

You need to do a lot more planning before going any further with your domain controllers and Exchange.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
i thought my comment was a sufficient explanation
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.