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Migrating from server 2003 with Exchange 2003 to server 2008 R2 minus Exchange

    Question

  • Hello all.

    The existing questions I've seen are in a different direction than I need so I'm posting this new question.

    My client has a Server 2003 standard machine with Exchange Server 2003.  They have moved their email to Google Apps and want to migrate to a new Server 2008 R2 but do not want to bring over the Exchange Server.  I'm aware of the general steps for migrating from 2003 to 2008 either without Exchange or with Exchange or even from no exchange to exchange but have not dealt with a migration that loses the Exchange server.  I'm uncertain if I should uninstall the Exchange server first or if I can go ahead and just migrate the server roles without installing Exchange.  My perception is that if I don't uninstall Exchange first there will be items that replicate that are Exchange specific that could complicate things but, there is also the possibility that uninstalling Exchange could leave items that replicate and complicate things.  So, can someone tell me the proper way to migrate from a Server 2003 standard installation with Exchange Server 2003 to a Server 2008 R2 installation without Exchange Server? 

    Just pointing me to the proper place to get the information would also be very helpful.

    Thank you

    Joe

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:58 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Are you talking about an inter-forest migration or an upgrade?  

    Santhosh Sivarajan | Houston, TX
    http://www.sivarajan.com/

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    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 3:12 PM
  • I believe you can call it an upgrade but I did not want to use that word because it often implies an in-place upgrade.  It's a small company with approximately 30 computers and there is only one forest and only one domain.  The plan is to move all the roles and applications from the 2003 standard server with Exchange 2003 to the 2008 R2 standard server without Exchange then wipe the 2003 server and load it with 2008 R2 standard server while making it a backup domain controller that houses specific applications to reduce load on the 2008 R2 domain controller.

    Joe

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 3:28 PM
  • I understand that.  Since you have extended the schema for Exchange,  you will get the Schema extension regardless.  What exactly is your concern?


    Santhosh Sivarajan | Houston, TX
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    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 4:04 PM
  • Thank you for replying Santhosh.

    I just don't know everything that happens in the background between Exchange and AD so I'm unable to see a clear path in the upgrade process when dealing with Exchange Server.  If installing Exchange Server 2003 only changed the Schema and uninstalling Exchange won't change the Schema back then I think I could go ahead without uninstalling Exchange first, however, aren't there also non-schema related changes that Exchange makes that might replicate to the new server and possibly cause problems either with the new server or in uninstalling the Exchange Server?

    Ideally, there would be some documentation somewhere that outlines the correct method to perform something like this.  For example, information on migration from SBS 2003 to Server 2008 talks about uninstalling the Exchange server before adding the 2008 server to the domain (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/smallbusinessserver/thread/36e42ed4-6190-4f2d-9c46-6965abf00812) but this situation is potentially different from an SBS situation.  I guess if you're looking for specific questions I would ask

    Given the scenario I presented

         - Should I uninstall Exchange at any point along the upgrade process?

         - If yes at which point should I uninstall the Exchange Server?

         - Is there anything you can tell me that would help it go as smoothly as possible?

    Thank you.

    Joe

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 4:31 PM
  • Small business server is different giant then normal standard/enterprise edition of the windows? Please confirm, is it a SBS server or normal OS server?

    Exchange can be safely uninstalled from the domain prior to upgrade and there is nothing like you can't remove the Exchange post upgrade. So, both ways it works but i would prefer to demote exchange organization first because i want to troubleshoot and resolve error before i upgrade it.

    http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/remove-exchange-server-entire-exchange-organization.html

    http://trycatch.be/blogs/ddv/archive/2007/08/01/how-to-completely-remove-an-exchange-2003-organization.aspx


    Awinish Vishwakarma - MVP - Directory Services

    My Blog: awinish.wordpress.com

    Disclaimer This posting is provided AS-IS with no warranties/guarantees and confers no rights.

    • Marked as answer by CoolHandJoe Friday, April 27, 2012 8:26 PM
    Friday, April 27, 2012 11:38 AM
  • >>> If installing Exchange Server 2003 only changed the Schema and uninstalling Exchange won't change the Schema back

    You can’t revert the schema changes.  It will be part of your AD Schema.

    I don’t think you need to worry too much about schema or attributes.

    >>>    - Should I uninstall Exchange at any point along the upgrade process?

    I don’t see a reason for this. If your goal is to move to an online based mail solution, first migrate the mailboxes then decommission the Exchange server.


    Santhosh Sivarajan | Houston, TX
    http://www.sivarajan.com/

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    Friday, April 27, 2012 4:03 PM
  • Thank you Awinish and Santhosh, I think with your answers and Awinish's posts I'll be fine.

    Hope all is well.

    Joe

    Friday, April 27, 2012 8:27 PM