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Consolidating five servers to a single Exchange 2003 server

SearchExchange.com expert Peter terSteeg offers advice on the best way to consolidate five Exchange 2000 servers to a single new Exchange 2003 server, and explains potential issues to watch out for during the process.

Do you have any helpful advice on the best way to consolidate five Exchange 2000 servers (on Windows 2000) to a single new Exchange 2003 server on Windows 2003? I need to move the mailboxes from these five servers to the single Exchange 2003 server. What is the best method of doing this?
As long as your single Exchange 2003 server can handle the load of your existing five Exchange 2000 servers, I guess you could consider it. With that level of consolidation, just keep in mind that you risk a greater number of users to downtime if a particular component fails. So if you want to consolidate to a single Exchange 2003 server, you might want to couple that with clustering or some type of high availability solution to ensure your end users are online and capable of sending and receiving.

You would add the Exchange 2003 server, and move all the mailboxes to that server. For more information on how to remove the Exchange 2000 server read Microsoft article, "How to remove the first Exchange 2000 Server computer from the site."

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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Expert Advice: Is clustering a good idea?
  • Expert Advice: Server consolidation tips and tools
  • Tip: Best practices for Exchange clustering
  • Learning Center: Exchange clustering 101 and 102
  • Webcast: How to avoid common messaging server consolidation pitfalls
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server clustering tips and resources
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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