Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Prepare your Environment to Transition from Exchange 2003 to 2007

Prepare your Environment to Transition from

Exchange 2003 to 2007

There are a number of considerations before embarking on a major change to a new version of Exchange, such as a transition fromExchange 2003 to 2007.  The first thing to consider is the size of an existing Exchange 2000 or 2003 environment.  A transition from a single server will be slightly easier due to having less to worry about in terms of preparation.  In an environment that consists of Front-End and Bridgehead servers however, it will be necessary to first replace the Front-End servers with Client Access Servers, followed by the Bridgehead Servers before finally implementing the Mailbox servers.
One step to be performed prior to the actual installation of Exchange 2007 would be to prepare Active Directory by making changes to the Active Directory schema and relevant Domain configurations.  Note that the Exchange 2007 installation process will perform this at one go, though administrators can break this into further stages with the use of command line switches – which will be covered in a future lesson.
Before commencing, administrators should also check that all Exchange 5.5 servers are eliminated from the environment, while service packs for Exchange Servers and Windows Server should also be installed ahead of time.  Note that this should not just include Exchange 2007, but also the old Exchange installation to be transitioned from.  When ready, raise the Exchange Functional Level to Native Mode, which is performed via the Exchange System Manager and is a step that cannot be reversed.
Finally, a tool called Best Practices Analyzer – to be covered in a future lesson – can be used to help check if all the pertinent preparatory steps have been completed.

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