Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008? Which Server OS Should You Install?

Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008?

Which Server OS Should You Install?

This video talks about the underlying Windows Server operating system used for an Exchange Server deployment, and its interrelation with an Exchange administrator’s decision to install Exchange Server 2007 RTM or Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack One (SP1).  First of all, it must be noted that Exchange 2007 SP1 can be installed on both Windows Server 2003 and 2008, while the older Exchange Server 2007 RTM cannot be installed on Windows Server 2008.  Moreover, an additional point has to do with Exchange 2007 SP1 being a standalone installation with the SP1 files slipstreamed into the original RTM install – unlike a traditional service pack update with a separately installed patch.
Administrators who opt for Server 2003 will want to have all their Server 2003 service packs applied before installing Exchange.  In addition, they should also be aware that there is no direct upgrade path from Server 2003 to Server 2008 that also upgrades an existing Exchange 2007 deployment.  Various upgrade scenarios are outlined; though the bottom line is that a clean install of Exchange 2007 SP1 is mandatory should the organization opt for a migration to Server 2008 in the future.
There are a couple of options when it comes to the migration of existing Exchange Server 2007 databases when upgrading from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 though.  The move mailbox wizard can be used assuming an installation of Server 2008 on new hardware.  When rebuilding an existing server however, it is suggested that the administrator first uninstall Exchange 2007, upgrade to Server 2008, and then install Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (Exchange Server 2007 RTM not supported on Server 2008).  From there, the database portability feature in Exchange Server 2007 or database backup and restore capability can be used to restore the mailboxes back.

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