I need to migrate a two server 2003 network to 2012

We have a small (low budget) church.  We have two 2003 servers, one runs exchange 2003.  Both are DCs.  I was finally given the $ for the software upgrades.  But, as I have been reading posts I think I cannot do an in-place upgrade to 2012r2 and exchange 2013.  There are only about 20 users and the exchange database is about 20gb.  The servers are dell 2900 and 2950 with 32gb ram and 2ghz xenon cpus.

With that, any suggestions on how to get this done w/o a new box?
Larry RachalAsked:
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arnoldCommented:
Are you considering VIRTUALIZATION?
one option is to consolidate all roles that you have onto one system, then use the remaining server as the one to install 2012 on and setup as the new with HYPER-V and then setup VMs ......

2900 is the 4 processor 4U system, with the 2950 2U

Which drives, 3.5 or 2.5" sas/Sata?
DeepinInfrastructure Engineer Commented:
If there's no specialist software involved and if it's basic use ie word excel, emails your better of starting fresh. New DC and member server with exchange

You cant do a inplace upgrade of Windows from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012

Since you have exchange 2003 you need to upgrade to exchange 2010 before you can install and migrate users to the final version of ex2013
Larry RachalAuthor Commented:
I was thinking that since I have to start from scratch I would just export the user mailboxes and then import them once the new exchange server is setup.  That might be easier than installing 2010 then 2013.  Any thoughts?
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Prashant ShrivastavaConsultantCommented:
suggest you to upgrade from 2003 to 2008 first and then 2008 to 2012 - this will be a seamless migration then.
arnoldCommented:
I would advise against any type of in place upgrade. Things sometime go wrong and an inplace upgrade is no exception.
In an environment such as yours, a failed in place upgrade would require either a restore from backup, and having few resources, if you have a backup process, it is likely that a restore was not attempted such that it too might be .....

In the resource constraint, best way is to free up one of the two systems onto which the new 2012/exchange will be installed while the other system will perform all the services currently served by the two.
The transition/addition of roles to one. would also help refresh what dependencies there are i.e. what applications, ... users rely on.

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Prashant ShrivastavaConsultantCommented:
I agree to the expert. Forgot to mention before - before you do anything like this take at least two backups with restore testing. things go wrong as this is IT and Microsoft.
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Windows Server 2012

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