Hardware and software upgrades RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've got an inherited problem that I've finally been given the resources to correct. In a 100 user environment I have an old server (Won 2K server) that is running exchange, active directory, DNS, and DHCP. All of the versions are 2000 and are all very minimally configured. The machine currently is not taxed very much while running, it rarely is over 10% CPU. I know best practice is to separate most or all of these functions but I'm not sure what is the best way to go about it. I'll be purchasing at least one new server to run an upgraded version of Exchange (2010) and would also like to upgrade to the newest version of Active Directory.

    My initial thought is to get the new Exchange server up and running and migrate the accounts and mailboxes over then to upgrade the OS and active directory version on the existing server. I'm not sure what to do with DNS and DHCP though - can they run on the exchange server or the AD server or do I need yet another machine to run them on. I do have a couple of less capable ones I could put to use for that purpose if needed.

    I know these are pretty general questions but I'm learing as I go and mostly need a push in the right direction to some resources.


    thanks in advance!


    Monday, March 28, 2011 4:50 PM


  • Hi Dave,

    I'm going to assume that your budget is quite limited. I'm also going to assume that you do not have any other requirements that you haven't specified. If your old machine is running Windows Server 2000 then I'm also guessing it's pretty old (i.e. 32-bit) and you will have to upgrade to a new server.

    Here are some of your considerations:

    You can't run Exchange 2010 with Active Directory on Windows 2000 Server. You need at least W2k3. See this linkf for more info: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

    You can't upgrade directly from E2K to Exchange 2010 either - you have to go via Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007. Hence, you must either upgrade to E2K3/E2k7 and then migrate mailboxes to the new server, or you need to use a mailbox migration tool to export and import mailboxes, such as the Exchange Server mail migration wizard or EXMERGE. Note that mailbox migration can be quite a time-consuming process and you typically lose features such as single instance storage, so you have to allow for your mailbox database to grow significantly during the migration.

    Hence, you need to be looking a new 64-bit machine to run Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010. Your choice now lies with what you want to do with your old server.

    If you do want to re-use your old server and have a two-machine configuration, then you should look at upgrading your Windows 2000 Server box to Windows Server 2003 SP2 or Windows Server 2003 R2. You can then use it as the DC for your new Exchange 2010 machine and also have it run DHCP and DNS, which will be fine.

    Alternatively, with 100 clients, it should not be too expensive to spec up a machine that can manage that workload while running Windows Server 2008 R2, Active Directory, Exchange 2010 SP1, DNS and DHCP. As you rightly note, DHCP and DNS have minimal workload when compared to Exchange (which will form the bulk of your processing and IO activity).

    As your old machine is probably a bit clapped out by now, my approach would probably to go for the completely new server option.

    I hope this helps.

    Anthony Steven

    Anthony Steven

    Principal Technologist

    Content Master, a division of CM Group

    Blog: http://cm-bloggers.blogspot.com/

    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Saturday, April 9, 2011 7:51 PM
    Friday, April 1, 2011 1:02 PM