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I have a server 2012 box that is now AD/GC/DC/DNS/Hyper-V and exchange 2010.

The domain/exchange started life on a sbs 2003 box that I recently demoted after transferring all roles/mailboxes to the 2012 box that is running exchange 2010.

(I removed this sbs 2003 box from the domain via DCPROMO - not sure if I need to do anything else to wipe out traces of Exchange 2003 from my organization)

Everything is currently running fine with all users connecting to this server from mail/domain.

I also have a Exchange 2013 license that I would like to make use of.

I would like to achieve HA ( or some solution that is close to it) to improve my odds of keeping the organization running smoothly in the case of hardware failure of this machine as it is the only server running the domain/mail.

I am unsure of the best way to achieve good results with the resources I have available.

I would like to try and make the most of the Exchange 2013 license I have so I am thinking of what could be the best way to implement it into my organization.

I am thinking I could start by creating a virtual machine on this box in Hyper-V and install Server 2012 OS with the Exchange 2013 license.

I was initially thinking to setup a DAG between the physical machine running Exchange 2010 and the virtual machine running Exchange 2013 however I was informed in a previous post here that this is not possible since they are different versions of exchange (and I dont think this can be achieved with standard server 2012 and standard exchange2013). .

What I am now wondering is if it would be possible to create a vm in hyper-v on my server that would be running server 2012 standard OS with exchange 2013.

Then I would like to join this VM running exchange 2013 to the existing 2010 organization and try to move all of the exchange 2010 mail boxes to the vm. (I am assuming I would then need to point my MXrecords to the VM so that my outlook clients connect to the VM).

Once all of the mailboxes are running OK on the VM I would like to remove exchange 2010 from the base OS of the system.

So at this point I would have a server 2012 OS running as AD/GC/DC/DNS/Hyper-V. There would be a virtually machine running with Exchange 2013 on the box and all of my mail clinets would be connecting to it. (should I also install DC/DNS role on this VM?)

Once all is running smoothly the next part of my plan would be to install Hyper-V on another server 2012 standard machine in the organization and replicate the virtual machine between the two hyper-v servers so that if one machine fails then the other would still be running it and the organization would not notice any loss of mail flow / domain services.

I am quite new to Hyper-V and modern versions of exchange so I am thinking my plan may be full of holes/incompatibilities. I have not used Hyper-V replication before and I am not sure if I am understanding its capabilities correctly.

Any advice on a good way to implement this exchange 2013 license into my organization would be appreciated. (keeping in mind purchasing additional licenses/hardware is not much of a possibility right now)

Thank you for your time.

RESPONCE TO REX Hey Rex, Thanks for replying with so much useful info.

  1. Thanks for confirming this for me, I was not sure if I needed 1 DC on the server running 2010 and 1 DC on the 2013 in a mixed environment.
  2. Yes I have uninstalled exchange from the sbs 03 box before doing the demotion. I was not sure if I may needed to perform any additional actions to strip any remaining traces of the 03 from AD.
  3. Thanks for the info.
  4. Thanks for the info. Time for a new plan
  5. I believe their is another machine that I could re-purpose to run hyper-v if needed.
  6. Yes a DAG was what I was initially hoping to achieve but right now another Exchange license isnt an option.
  7. Yes I got the mxrecords/a records mixed up. I am still new to alot of this and thankful for your insights on my questions. I currently use an A record for pointing internal users from mail.x.com to my 2010 exchange server and this is was referring to IE: that I should update this record to the new server. I do agree that I have a lot more researching to do before I actually start implementing any changes to the organization and right now I just want to establish a sound plan before thinking about going and making changes to the current setup.

I agree that a DAG setup sounds like the ideal scenerio. I have been reading as much as I can about DAG lately.

Now that you have informed me that the idea to use Hyper-V to replicate the proposed vm running Exchange 2013 will not work then perhaps the best bet for the time being would be to make regular backups of the proposed VM running Exchange 2013 during off-hours since HA is pretty much out of the question.

Before looking further into that idea I supposed I should test to see if I can restore a VM from one server to another with the existing hardware without issue as this is what would need to be done in the event of a hardware failure of the machine running the proposed Exchange 2013 vm.

Then down the line when they are ready to look into more Exchange licenses we can proceed with looking into a DAG setup.

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  1. You should never run the DC role on the same server as an Exchange Server (SBS being the only real exception)
  2. Exchange 2003 needs to be uninstalled from the SBS server to properly remove it from the domain.
  3. If this is your only DC, get another one. Now - before you even think about migrating to Exchange 2013.
  4. Failover in a Hyper-V replica is not automatic. There will be downtime in the event of a failure.
  5. Exchange 2013 does not support being run in a Hyper-V replica environment.
  6. If purchasing additional license/hardware is not much of a possibility, where are you going to get this other 2012 server that you are going to run your Replica on?
  7. If you have already have a 2nd server and you want HA for Exchange, buy an additional Exchange serer license and setup a proper DAG and CAS array with your two Exchange servers.
  8. Windows 2012 Std and Exchange 2012 Std will work just fine to create a DAG
  9. Finally, MX records have nothing to do with how your Outlook clients connect. Seeing as you already have Exchange 2010 and you don't know this already, and you don't know that you need to uninstall the old Exchange servers, and your apparent lack of Exchange/Windows knowledge, I would suggest you go and find someone to help you with your migration as you will likely need it.
  • Hey Rex, Thanks for replying with so much useful info. I have edited my initial question with a reply to you that I could not fit into this comment box. – Yanock Dupree Mar 31 '14 at 4:18

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