Move Exchange 2007 SP3 on Server 2003 R2 to new hardware with newer OS.

I've been looking all over for the easiest way to move our install of Exchange 2007 SP3 on old hardware running Server 2003 R2 to new hardware running Server 2008 R2 or Server 2012 R2. I have two questions.  Should I go to Server 2008 R2 or should I take it to Server 2012 R2? Can anyone recommend some HOWTO or documentation that will outline what I need to do?

Our present exchange server is accessed by Outlook 2010, OWA and various smartphone. It is not a deal breaker but I would prefer a method that would not require any client reconfiguration. Taking the server offline over a weekend can be done.

I appreciate any suggestions
rkirkleyAsked:
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
I'd go with Server 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013.  

2007 and 2013 can co-exist.  Then simply migrate the users to Exchange 2013 and decommission 2007.

Here's a complete blog with step-by-step instructions.

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

Doing it this way won't require taking the server down and should have little to no impact on your users.

You really need to get off of Exchange 2007 as it is nearing end of life.
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rkirkleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I know it would make sense to go to Exchange 2013 but we are not going to buy anything at this time. I just need to get our present Exchange off of Server 2003. When we leave 2007 it will probably be to some hosted solution such as 365.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Fair enough.

Then you will need to use Windows Server 2008 R2 as Exchange 2007 is not supported on Server 2012.

Just install a separate one as an extra server, then configure it, move all mailboxes etc.  Test.   If everything works fine and then remove the old Exchange server.  Still little to no impact on users.

Here is the supportability matrix.

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/ff728623(v=exchg.150).aspx
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rkirkleyAuthor Commented:
This seems to be the most recommended method and is what I will most likely do. I just have one concern. I use the FQDN of my present server for accessing OWA and for smart phone configurations. When I add a new server it will require a different name. What is the best way to handle this name change so that all the clients can connect?
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
The best way to do this is to set OWA to use something like https://mail.company.com/owa.

That way no matter what the server name is, they don't have to use a different address.

Here's a blog on configuring OWA in Exchange 2007

http://exchangeserverpro.com/configuring-the-exchange-server-2007-client-access-server/
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rkirkleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks,

This is what I need.
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