Domain upgrade

steve_fsteve_f Member Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
My workplace has a very out-of-date infrastructure, and we are looking at upgrading it.
I am not the lead on this project, but would like to be able to contribute and gain experience. I am level 2 support with some AD and server exposure.

We have Exchange 5.5 and all domain controllers are Windows Server 2000.
We aim to be running Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008 servers.

I'm thinking:

Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 (interim step)
Domain Controllers from 2000 to 2003 (interim step)
Domain Controllers from 2003 to 2008
Then Exchange 2000 to 2007.

My experience in the desktop world has taught me than an OS upgrade is never as stable as a fresh OS install.
However, I have no idea where to begin with moving our Active Directory from a creaking 2000 server onto a shiny new server running 2008.
Is it as easy as backing up the AD on server A and restoring it onto Server B? I doubt it.

Would anyone like to contribute advice or ideas?

This will all be tested in a virtual environment first, and we are to be given a 4 day weekend of network downtime to implement the actual upgrades. We have about 300 users and just the 1 domain.

Thanks for reading and I will be very interested to see some responses.


  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Easiest way would be joining the new server to the domain and making it a GC, then moving all the FSMO roles over to it. Make sure you have SP4 installed and that the domain functional level is set to 2000 native. Prior to promoting the 2008 server be sure to do an adprep /forestprep and then adprep /domainprep on one of the 2000 GCs. Once AD has fully replicated to the new 2008 server and you have moved the FSMO roles over you can start decommissioning the old 2000 servers.

    Upgrading Active Directory Domains to Windows Server 2008 AD DS Domains

    That would be a good read through for you to make sure you understand everything and have a proper checklist put together.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon --
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You don't need to do the intermediate step of 2003 between 2000 and 2008 for your DCs. You do need to do Exchange that way since there is no upgrade/migration path from 5.5 to 2007. However, there may be 3rd party solutions that will do that for you, so you may want to look into that as well.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Exchange 2000 can't use Windows 2008 domain controllers... so he'd have to leave in that interim step, or go to Exchange 2003 from 5.5.
    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...
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    blargoe wrote: »
    Exchange 2000 can't use Windows 2008 domain controllers... so he'd have to leave in that interim step, or go to Exchange 2003 from 5.5.

    Whoops didn't catch that.

    Is there a reason you'd only go to 2000 instead of 2003 for the 5.5? Seems like it adds an unnecessary step.
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