Split Migration of Exchange PDC

paintb4707paintb4707 Member Posts: 420
Thanks to the advice from my previous thread regarding my standby server idea, I decided to take the DC role off our Exchange server.

Our current setup is like this.

1x SQL Server/File Server
1x PDC Exchange Server

Now I ordered 3 new servers. 1 to replace our current SQL server, 1 to replace our Exchange Server, and 1 to take the DC role away from the Exchange server. Since I can't simply to a baremetal restore and demote an Exchange server (I found that there are many problems with this), I need to migrate Exchange to 1 rack server and the DC to the other.

For the SQL server, I was planning to do a bare-metal restore via Acronis True Image to easily upgrade that. This is not a domain controller so I shouldn't have anything to worry about.

I want to do a same name migration. Since my situation is a little different than others, would this be the correct procedure for the Exchange Server?

1) Clean install Exchange on new box (I've never done this in a production environment, how do I set it up for the external MX record and such?)

2) Migrate mailboxes from old box to new

3) Clean install Server 2003 on new DC box, promote, wait for replication, then take all FSMO roles

5) Demote then finally format old Exchange box for other uses

As far as renaming the new box to its original name, are there any specific configuration steps for this? Is it as simple as renaming the computer and rebooting?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would not try to do a same name exchange server move. It runs more smoothly if you install the Exchange server and move mailboxes and leave your other server up. This way you can move the mailboxes back if there are any problems and you can also test your new Exchange server before it goes into production.

    The thing about Exchange is that it creates a "first server in environment" setting. Once you are ready to remove the old exchange box then you will need to make sure all your bases are covered with that setting.


    Honestly, if you haven't done all this before it would be beneficial if you made a test lab out of workstations and tried out doing the whole move before you actually do it (ESPECIALLY if you decide to do a same name move).
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Using a new exchange server name would be safer. If you MUST have the same exchange server name, here is how I would do it

    Install the new DC first - install the new DC server, promote, replicate, seize FSMO's, swing over DNS/DHCP if the old DC was handling those duties, etc.

    Demote the old DC to a member server and wait a day or two for potential problems to arise

    Have your new Exchange server built and completely ready up to the point of installing Exchange, except give it a temporary name. Try to use the same drive letters and number of disks, etc.

    Take your final backups of the old Exchange server

    Turn off and unplug the old Exchange server (do not remove from domain or uninstall exchange - the next step is to simulate a disaster recovery)

    Rename new server to the name of the current Exchange server - reboot

    Join Exchange Server to the domain - reboot

    install Exchange 2003 setup with the /disasterrecovery switch. Do a search online for this switch, it's very powerful. As long as your computer is named correctly, it will look in the AD for that Exchange Server's Attributes and apply them to your Exchange Server installation.

    Install Exchange SP2, also with the /disasterrecovery switch.

    Restore the information store.

    Of course, PLEASE test this in a lab environment before pulling the trigger, but this is the way to do what you are looking for. It might be worth it to have your boss cough up the $245 for a MS support incident to help guide you through this process.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
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  • paintb4707paintb4707 Member Posts: 420
    Thanks guys, maybe a different name would be better like suggested. However, since I never installed Exchange in a production environment, what steps would need to be taken, if any after moving the mailboxes?
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You'd need to search the Microsoft knowledge bases for specific details, but there are procedures that you would have to follow for removing the first Exchange server in an organization in addition to the normal procedures for removing an exchange server.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
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