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Moving Exchange 2003 to new hardware

What is the best way (minimal downtime) to move Exchange 2003 to new hardware when the current Exchange box is the first (and only) Exchange box in organization and the first active directory DC (WindowsServer2003)? The new exchange server will only be a member server (2k3), while the previous server will remain an AD DC (for now).

What is the best way (minimal downtime) to move Exchange 2003 to new hardware when the current Exchange box is the first (and only) Exchange box in organization and the first active directory DC (WindowsServer2003)? The new exchange server will only be a member server (2k3), while the previous server will remain an AD DC (for now).
You'll want to install Exchange 2003 on the second server, and add it to the same administrative group as the first server. Then use "move mailbox" to move all mailboxes to the new server. (If you have any connectors, they will have to be moved or recreated as well.) If you use Public Folders, you'll want to replicate them to the new server, and once replicated, remove the replica on the original server.

Leave the first server's Exchange services up for a few days until all Outlook clients have connected once (their MAPI profiles will be re-written to point to the new Exchange Server). Finally, shut down the Exchange services on the first machine for a few days once you think everything is migrated over. Test free/busy, offline address book (OAB) generation and organizational forms (if you have them). Then, once you're sure everything is working, uninstall Exchange from the first server.

As always, backup, backup, backup ... and test in a lab first.

Hope that helps!

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