As per my previous question, I have an Exchange 2007 box which is also a DC. Since I can't demote it while Exchange is installed, I want to move Exchange to a different server.

Does anyone have any articles, tips or experiences to share on this? The last time I did this it was with Exchange 2003 and even that is a little rusty in my head.

The setup is a single Exchange 2007 Hub/Edge/Mailbox/CAS server. Its currently on Windows Server 2008, I can migrate it to the same OS, or I can go to 2008 R2, I'm not really picky on that. We're running OWA/ActiveSync/POP3(S)/IMAP(S) for client access.

I already have another fully functional DC/GC/DNS box in the same site and clients in the site are already using that for DNS. It's also the preferred site bridgehead for AD replication.

Update: After reading Evan's answer I realised that my original question wasn't worded correctly. I'm not looking to do a swing migration, I actually need to move Exchange completely over to a new box. I have done swing migrations in the past, i.e. moving over to a temporary box and back to the original hardware afterwards, and I'm not really sure why I used that term in the original question since it's not what I intended.

Any tips?


I've heard the terminology "swing migration" batted around (primarily in the Windows SBS community) but I'm not exactly sure what it means. Based on looking at your previous question, I think you're just looking to end up with the Exchange Server computer running on a member server (non DC).

I'd bring up a temporary E2K7 instance on another box, move the mailboxes over, uninstall, demote, and re-build the computer currently hosting your production Excahange Server environment, then move the mailboxes back and tear down the temporary machine. Depending on the size of your mailboxes this may go quickly or it may take some time. You have the advantage that Outlook will automatically "redirect" users to the temporary Exchange Server if you need to leave the temporary machine up for awhile during this process. Just be sure that any users who accessed their mailbox on the temporary machine open Outlook once after you've migrated their mailbox back to the production machine before you decommission the temporary machine.

I get wary of moving users' mailboxes while they have Outlook open (I've seen some "strangeness" with cached Exchange mode when doing this), but there's very little that would prevent you from doing this migration during normal business hours. Just be sure that you've got some kind of backup scenario arranged for the temporary machine!

I haven't had the experience of removing the first Exchange 2007 server in a Customer's infrastructure (yet). The removal procedure looks pretty straightforward. It looks like removing public folder replicas has been a problem for some people (see http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchangesvradmin/thread/43b07d9b-72c3-4d55-a574-2eb72568e2a6/ for some discussion).

  • Sorry Evan, my original question wasn't stated correctly. I'm actually looking to move Exchange over to a new box, and not a "swing" which is what you have described. I have updated my question to clarify this. – ThatGraemeGuy May 26 '10 at 20:40
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    +1 Just do half a swing migration instead then ^^ It's normally painless on 2007+ - install the new server, move the mailboxes, keep the old one running for a while, the users/Outlook will "get it", uninstall exchange from the old one (this has a lot of pre-reqs and checks if you're on SP2 so will tell you if there's something you've forgotten to do) - done. – Oskar Duveborn May 26 '10 at 20:47
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    @Graeme Donaldson: Oskar's suggestion is my suggestion, too. Install a new box, move the mailboxes over, allow all the users' MAPI profiles to be updated to reflect the new server, then retire the old box per Microsoft instructions. Exchange server moves have been historically easy and trouble-free and I don't see E2K7 being any exception. – Evan Anderson May 26 '10 at 21:19
  • Thanks guys, so between these 2 articles, I should be covered.... technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb123893(EXCHG.80).aspx and technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb310767(EXCHG.80).aspx – ThatGraemeGuy May 31 '10 at 14:21

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