I have another question posted about installing a new exchange 2007 2 node cluster and moving users from and existing 2003 single server from one to the other. This next question is related because of the work I would have to do on the front end.

I know Exchange 2007 will install on top of Server 2003, currently my domain is running solely on server 2003 (native mode). Would it make things any easier to deploy my new exchange 2007 servers on new hardware that I install server 2003 on instead of 2008?

Might be a really easy question. I know there are some steps in prepping your 2003 domain for the addition of a 2008 server, but are they very daunting or worth the trouble if all I want in the end of this project is two new exchange 2007 servers running in a cluster? (I would be purchasing Windows Server 2003 R2 Ent x64 so the clustering would work).

I know exchange 2010 will only run on server 2008 when it's released, but that's fine because once I have the exchange 2007 servers up and running I can tackle the introduction of a new or upgraded 2008 server into the domain as a separate project.

Are whatever benefits of running exchange 2007 on server 2008 worth combining these efforts? All my desktop PCs are running XP Pro. Thanks and I hope the majority of this makes sense!


You would always want to run your servers on the latest possible operating system. The Domain prep you are mentioning is for domain controllers. Server 2008 has numerous performance advantages over server 2003.

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In addition to Jim B's answer it's worth noting that Windows 2003 is about to lose main line support, and a plan to migrate to 2008 for everything is a very good idea.

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Having recently gone to Server 2008 on my DC's, the process for prepping the tree was relatively minor. Mostly it's just schema updates. There are some settings you may need to consider doing if you have older Samba versions talking to your domain, or ancient NT installs. Otherwise it was a mostly-nothing upgrade. Also, I believe Server 2008 can run in a AD-2003 domain.

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