Where I work we have the following setup:

  • ActiveDirectory Server (windows server 2000) - Adserver01
  • Exchange Server (exchange 2000)- (windows server 2000) - Development01
  • SQLserver (sql server 2008) - (windows server 2008) - Sqlserver02
  • Fileserver - (also runs DNS / DHCP) (windows server 2000) - Fileserver01

We have the above servers in our local network, now as you can probably tell it's time to upgrade as who wants to run 12 year old server software and we really need to upgrade exchange from 2000 to 2010.

The main concern is how are we going to do the upgrades without losing users emails / user areas / userhomes etc. Fileserver01 is only still on the network as it runs DHCP/DNS but ideally we'd like to phase that out.

I don't think it'd be good idea (but I could be wrong) to go ahead and just plonk a new exchange 2010 box on our existing network and migrate users over, I think if we're going to be doing exchange, active directory should be brought up to date as well.

So would you guys set up a new network and migrate the users over OR would you upgrade the boxes and software using the wizzards included. (I'm not sure how possible it is to upgrade windows server 2000 to 2008 or exchange users from exchange 2000 to exchange 2010.

edit: The hardware isn't terrible and we'd like to re-use what we can if possible. I.E. as soon as fileserver01 is taken out of the mix, we can use that hardware as a new box.

But we can buy new if needed.

Any advice would really be appreciated.

Thanks Tom

  • Are you buying any new hardware to go with this upgrade? – Glenn Sullivan Apr 23 '12 at 13:31
  • The hardware isn't terrible and we'd like to re-use what we can if possible. I.E. as soon as fileserver01 is taken out of the mix, we can use that hardware as a new box. But we can buy new if needed. – MissCoder87 Apr 23 '12 at 13:34
  • 2
    Whatever you do, please make sure you have more than one domain controller maintaining your AD when you've finished. – Bryan Apr 23 '12 at 14:48
  • 1
    You need 2 DCs so that your entire infrastructure isn't down the flusher when your existing one's power supply fries and kills the RAID controller, and then you find our your backups have all had a silent error that makes restores impossible. If you are diligently testing system-state restores at least once every 3 months, then you may feel free to take my advice as not applying to you. – mfinni Apr 23 '12 at 15:37
  • 1
    Also, a system state backup will allow you to recover AD, but this will be painful. A second DC will let everything run as normal until you can replace the dead one. – Massimo Apr 23 '12 at 15:47

You can upgrade Active directory to Windows Server 2008 R2 by adding one or two new DCs to the existing environment and removing the Windows 2000 DC; the exact steps are a bit more complex, but this is the basic process. You can't perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2008 R2, so you'll need new hardware.

With Exchange, you have a bigger problem: there is no direct migration path between Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2010; you'll have to first perform a 2000->2003 migration, and then a 2003->2010 one. Both of them require installing a new, dedicated server, as in-place upgrades of Exchange are not supported (and would not even be possible due to completely different operating system requirements).

To clarify: you don't need at all to create a new Active Directory with a new Exchange organization; all the above described migration steps can (and should) be performed in your existing environment. Migrating everything to a new AD/Exchange infrastructure would be a lot more difficult, and totally unnecessary.

  • If we went down the route of adding a new AD and new Exchange (so our existing is called ISD, adding a new one called DEL) would we slowly be able to move users across. (Theres only 50 or so) – MissCoder87 Apr 23 '12 at 14:14
  • 3
    There's no reason to add a new AD, and Massimo's description didn't include that. You're adding new DCs to the existing domain. No need to over-complicate this process. You will need to migrate mailboxes, don't add in the unnecessary step of migrating user accounts between domains. – mfinni Apr 23 '12 at 14:31
  • +1 for the comment above. Don't create more work for yourself. Adding a 2008 R2 DC will update the forest schema, allowing Exchange 2010 and newer services to operate on your domain. – JohnThePro Apr 23 '12 at 15:28
  • Ah, I see, so as soon as I add an updated DC, it'll upgrade the rest? – MissCoder87 Apr 23 '12 at 15:29
  • No! It will upgrade the AD database, not the OS on the older DCs. – mfinni Apr 23 '12 at 15:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.