RE: Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 Migration Questi on

  • From: Chris Wall <Chris.Wall@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'[ExchangeList]'" <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 10:06:28 -0500



    We are in the process of this exact same type of project...  Just a bit
of info for you to research -


   (Domain names below are examples - for this discussion)


1.      We had multiple NT 4 domains and decided to upgrade or 'Corporate'
NT 4 domain first.  In doing this we spoke with 'many' deployment
specialists.  After gathering all information, we found that the easiest way
to upgrade to AD was to purchase 2 new servers (for redundancy and failover)
and install Win2003 AD and set them up in their own AD domain/Forest
(  Both were DC's (one Global Catalog and the other a
std. DC for failover).  This gave us the ability to setup a fresh Parent AD
Forest domain, not affecting our current NT 4 structure.   We then upgraded
our NT 4 PDC in the 'corporate' domain to Win2003 and joined it to the new
AD forest - also configuring 'PDC Emulation' (Corp.GlobalKnowledge.Com).  

**Be sure to setup a BDC in your NT4 domain and take it off the wire.  This
way if any errors happen during the upgrade, you simply upgrade the BDC to a
PDC and put it back on-line**  Then we followed up by sending DC's to off
site locations that had NT 4 BDC's.  (the PDC emulation allowed the BDC's to
communicate with the new DC in our Corporate domain).  Once all BDC's were
replaced, the domain was upgraded from Mixed to
Native.  The beauty of this entire setup is that it allowed us to upgrade
our domain during business hours (about a 3 hour process) without affecting
any users.  They still do not know that we are AD....  Users were still
logged in and working...

Your other corporate domains (if you have any) can now simply join the root
domain ( that you set up at the beginning and
follow the same process.  There is a bit more to this story (recreating any
needed trusts to remote domains through the Root domain, DNS configs, etc)
but this is enough to get you started in a lab environment.  


2.      In Exchange 2003, you will want to create your AD structure with
OU's (replaces the 'containers' that you are familiar with in 5.5).  During
the Exchange 'UPGRADE' path, you can specify what OU to have the Mail
Enabled Contacts (aka custom recipients) moved to.  It will be a while until
you have to worry about this if you have to plan for the above :-)   We
designed an AD structure that can be mirrored for our other NT4 Domains when
they are upgraded.  Keep in mind that after upgrading your NT Domain,
Exchange 5.5 will run on the AD domain fine.  By the way, are you running
Windows 2000 Server as the OS for your Exchange 5.5 Servers?  Also, there is
a lot of prep work that must be done before upgrading your Exchange org.
Read, Read, Read on this


3.      Should be no problems with the replication.  Especially if you
install and configure your Root Domain first, and then join your NT 4
domains to that Root.


Good luck.



Chris Wall

Sr. Exchange Administrator


T - 919.460.3236

F - 919.468.4889


Global Knowledge Network

LEARNING. To Make a Difference


From: Naboth Semwayo [mailto:naboths@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 8:36 AM
To: [ExchangeList]
Subject: [exchangelist] Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 Migration Question

We will be migrating from NT4 Domain and NT platform to win 2003 Server and
exchange 2003. My Migration plan involves first taking care of the PDC to
upgrade to 2003 AD. I have exchange 5.5 running on an NT member server. My
questions are:


1) After I upgrade my PDC before upgrading all other servers, will my
Exchange 5.5 on my NT box continue to work properly using the new 2003 AD?

2) I have a number of receipient containers with custom receipients in them.
How will these be migrated and represented in exchange 2003 (My guess is AD
objects in corresponding OUs)

3) In time we plan to add child domains of our branches to our AD. The
branches' email adds are already in my exchange as custom receipients. When
AD replication occurs wont this conflict with current setup.



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