Migrating From Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 to Exchange 2010

In my last post, we covered the new features of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. It appears that many organizations are ready to take the leap and migrate to the new version.

Today we take a look at the upgrade process from Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 to Exchange 2010.

Exchange Server 2010 Training

Prerequisites for Exchange 2010 are extensive and are outlined in detail on TechNet. At a high level, you should ensure the following conditions are met prior to installation:

  • Functional level of your forest and Schema Master must run Windows Server 2003
  • Operating system – Windows Server 2008 with Service pack 2 must be used for all Exchange 2010 server roles
  • For server roles other than Edge Transport, computer must first be joined to an Active Directory forest and domain

Unfortunately, you can’t perform an upgrade on top of an existing Exchange 2003 or 2007 installation as you might expect. You will need to install Exchange 2010 separately.

Exchange 2010 Server Roles - Order of DeploymentWith this process, you will have two coexisting versions of Exchange, which you can run indefinitely until your are ready to make the full transition by moving existing resources like mailboxes, folders and connectors to the new installation.

You will need to ensure roles are installed in correct order. Begin with the Client Access server role, then Hub Transport, UM server and finally the Mailbox server role.

To begin the installation, pop in the DVD and follow the 12 step process:

1. Autoplay should launch, click Run Setup.exe.

If for some reason autoplay doesn’t launch, you can navigate the contents of the DVD to find the setup.exe file.

2. At the Exchange Server 2010 welcome screen, you’ll have two options:

  • Install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Install Windows PowerShell v2

These should have been setup during the prerequisite phase, but if not, you’ll need to install them.

3. Click Step 3 to choose the appropriate language.

4. Click Step 4: Install Microsoft Exchange. This option starts the Exchange Server 2010 Setup Wizard.

5. Accept the license agreement and click Next.

6. Choose Yes on the Error Reporting page, then click Next.

7. Click Typical Exchange Server Installation. You can also change the installation path here if you choose. Click Next.

8. On the Configure Client Access Server external domain page, enter a domain name, then click Next.

9. Select an Exchange 2003 server in the routing group Exchange 2010 will connect to. Click Next.

10. Next you’ll see the Customer Experience Improvement page. Choose a selection and click Next.

11. The Readiness Checks page lets you verify if the organization and server role prerequisite checks were successful. Click Install to install Exchange 2010.

12. On the Completion page, click Finish.

Further detail on these instruction are available on TechNet.

Migrating from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010

The migration steps for Exchange 2007 are identical, with the exception of step 9 above, which does not have to be performed.

Post Installation Steps

Microsoft has a program that will allow you to verify your installation. And they also recommend you complete the following steps:

  1. Configure your Hub Transport server.
  2. Create a mailbox on the Exchange 2010 Mailbox server.
  3. Send a a test email from Exchange 2010 to a user on an Exchange 2007 server.
  4. Send an e-mail message from a user who has a mailbox that is located on an Exchange 2007 server to the new Exchange 2010 mailbox user.

Also, you must perform the finalize deployment tasks associated with each of the server roles you’ve installed. Follow this list of deployment tasks for each individual server role.

Where Can I Get More Help?

An enterprise level upgrade of this type will undoubtedly yield varied experiences. Factors like network configuration, potential software conflicts and organization size will all contribute to the time and resources required.

Train Signal is releasing the Excahnge Server 2010 Training which offers comprehensive coverage of Exchange 2010. Your instructor, J. Peter Bruzzese, will walk you through the installation, configuration, and maintenance tasks and explain everything you need to know about Exchange 2010 along the way.

In addition, Microsoft offers several levels of support at their website. Community support is helpful as many in the industry may have similar issues; check out the Exchange Server community forums.

Time to Take the Exchange 2010 Leap

Now that we’ve reviewed the upgrade process, it’s time to decide if your organization is ready to move forward with Exchange 2010. I hope this article was helpful in making that decision a little easier.

If you’re interested in checking out Exchange 2010, Microsoft does offer some free trials. In fact, you have 3 ways to try Exchange 2010 for free:

  • 120 day software trial download
  • 60 day web-based test drive
  • 30 day online account

And don’t forget, Train Signal offers detailed Exchange Server 2010 Training.

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