I have an NT4 Server with Exchange 5.0 (standard edition) running on it. I want to upgrade to Exchange 5.5 (enterprise edition) on a new server. I can't upgrade to Win2k due to various reasons. How can I obtain detailed information on how to move all the data to the new Exchange 5.5?
In this situation, the easiest solution is to install Exchange 5.5 onto your new Windows 2000 server, and during the Exchange 5.5 installation, join the same Exchange Organization and Site that contains your Exchange 5.0 server. Then, update Exchange 5.5 to the latest Service Pack (currently SP4), and updated Windows 2000 to Service Pack 2, plus applicable hotfixes, updates, etc., from Windows Update and Microsoft's Security Web site.
Then, use the Move Mailbox feature within Exchange Administrator to move the mailboxes from the old server to the new one. You can move them one at a time, or in bunches. Regardless of whether you move them individually or in bulk, users will only experience downtime when their individual mailbox is being moved. And even when you move them in bulk, they are transferred serially and not in parallel; therefore, at any given time, only one user is experiencing downtime. Be sure to have a good backup of your Exchange 5.0 databases before proceeding.
Also, it's not a bad idea to see if you can get users to clean out unwanted/unneeded items from their mailboxes, and purge their deleted items folders. This will help cut down on the time it takes to move mailboxes from one server to another. As you might expect, the larger the mailbox, the longer it takes to move it to another server.
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