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I have come into a situation where I need to deploy a new Exchange server at a small company. I haven't dealt with the newest version of Exchange (2010) yet, but am familiar with 2003 and 2007. The site is currently running one Exchange 2003 server, which hosts about 100 mailboxes. We have new hardware for an additional server, and this is where I need some advice.

Should I install Exchange 2010 on the new hardware and leave the older server as-is? Do I upgrade the old server and use it as a bridgehead or replication partner (there is nothing wrong with it other than it is a few years old and running Win2003/Exchange2003)? Can I leave the older 2003 server alone with only the POP mailboxes on it, and will it peacefully co-exist with the new server?

Any advice is very appreciated!

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3 Answers 3

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You sure can install an Exchange 2010 in to the current organization's domain and migrate all the mailboxes and public folders to a new server and decommission the old Exchange 2007 hardware. You can utilize the old Exchange 2007 hardware for some other purposes. As well I would definitely will check if the new hardware can run virtualization of some sort, say VMware's ESX/ESXi. The reason to this is to be able to move the virtual machine running Exchange 2010 between servers if you choose to have more than one ESX installation. As well I would look into the way you accepting an email from outside, you might be interested to setup a relay server (as a VM) to filter all the incoming messages. Frankly speaking, there are a lot of ways you can implement it.

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You owe it to yourself to take some time to review Microsoft's documentation. The migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 is very similar to an Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 migration.

When you say "the site" and use the phrase "bridgehead and replication partner" you make me think that this might be a more complex organization than just a single Exchange 2003 server. If it is then you probably need to do more planning than I'm going to talk about below.

For a simple single server migration here are a few docs that I've found to be helpful. They're, by no means, the only things you should be reading, but you can get a good feel for the situation by reading these.

Exchange 2010 is more virtualization "friendly", as @Vick Vega points out. If you have a virtualization strategy in play you should think about how Exchange fits in.

I'd try and get rid of the old Exchange 2003 machine (or, at least, its Exchange role) altogether. It's another thing to keep up and running, and addt'l security risk exposure. Exchange 2010 will support hosting POP3 mailboxes, and should do everything you were doing w/ your Exchange 2003 machine.

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Microsoft makes available the Exchange Deployment Assistant that lets you choose your migration scenario and will then list out the high level steps involved.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee681665.aspx

(the link to launch it is at the bottom of that page)

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