I would like to start the push to Windows 2000/2003 where I work. We have several sites, some big and some very small (10 or less users). I have an opportunity to upgrade one of my small sites at present. I would like to reformat a server, install Win2000 with no Active Directory (AD) and install Exchange 5.5. I know this is a small step, but it is the only way I can start at the moment. What are some of the advantages, disadvantages and potential pitfalls? Thank you in advance.
It's difficult to provide advantages and disadvantages without knowing more about your organization and its messaging needs. However, one thing you'll need to address is a domain. Although Exchange 5.5 does not need AD, it still needs a domain. So if you are just planning a standalone Windows 2000 machine in a workgroup, then you won't be able to use Exchange.
Another thing to consider is that official support for Exchange 5.5 may end before you can complete your upgrade. If there is any way you can move instead to Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, I think you'll be better off in the long run. Also, you won't be able to run Exchange 5.5 (or Exchange 2000, for that matter) on Windows Server 2003, so introducing a legacy version of Exchange may block your ability to upgrade to Windows Server 2003.
To make the best informed decision, start by comparing the features of the various versions of Exchange at Microsoft's Exchange Web site.
Exchange Server 2003 also comes in two flavors, so also have a look at this Microsoft Web page, which describes the different kinds.
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