Q

How to migrate a primary domain controller to a Blade Server

Our existing Windows 2000 primary domain controller is getting old, and we want to replace it with completely new hardware (IBM Blade Server H20). The old hardware is using SCSI disks and Hardware RAID 5 for both the system and data disks. The new hardware will use SCSI and hardware RAID 1 for the system disk and hardware RAID 5 for the data disk. The existing Primary Domain Controller is currently installed with Exchange 2000. Now my management requests me to migrate the Primary Domain Controller and Exchange 2000 to the new Blade Server. I don't know the steps to do it. Please help and thank you in advance.
The way I usually like to approach these is with the approach that has the least affect on the users, reduces my own risk of performing the work, and does not require me to blast through it on a single evening. Here are some general steps:

1) Build the server the way you want with the basic OS, patches, etc.
2) Add the system to the domain.
3) Promote the system to being a domain controller.
4) Validate that the system is properly replicating data (replmon, eventlog messages, dcdiag, etc). You may want to let it sit for 24 hours, just to see that everything is running well.
5) Migrate the FSMO roles over to this server. I like to use NTDSUTIL to perform this, mostly because then I can move all of the FSMO's from one place instead of 3 different tools. I know I have described this process before, and as well Microsoft has se
veral articles with easy steps like this one: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;255504∏=winsvr2003 6) You can now install Exchange 2000 on the machine.
7) Configure Exchange the way you like and make sure you match the SP of the other server.
8) Create a new Information store(s).
9) If you do not have too many users you can migrate them from one server to the next by using Active Directory Users and Computers. You right click on one or more users and then click on the Exchange features and move the users to the new server. This will move all of their data too. If you have a lot of people you want to move, I would suggest EXMERGE. Using this tool also gives you a method for creating temporary backups of the data prior to the move if you like. Here is an article that I have used before. It has some nice references to other materials on Exmerge as well: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;328810∏=exch2k
10) Once all of the users are removed from the Exchange server, uninstall Exchange from the old system. You will want to uninstall as opposed to simply turning it off. This is a little cleaner. You may still need to use the Exchange Admin on the other machine to clean up any residuals left.
11) Demote the server -- again a lot easier than manually cleaning things up.
12) If you intend to retire the system, take it out of the domain completely.
13) Shut it off.

There you have it.
This was first published in August 2004

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