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Transitioning Exchange 2003 to 2010

Discussion in 'Software' started by wagnerk, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Well following from this post almost a year ago, our hand has been forced and we've started the transition to Exchange 2010.

    Luckily SP 1 for Exchange 2010 is out, so that has resolved a few issues that we were investigating last year. During the install, it kept on failing on the installation of the Mailbox Server role. This was down to Exchange 2010's special mailbox - the discovery mailbox. We had to delete/remove the mailbox, I was already wondering how to recreate it, however after successfully installing the mailbox role and all updates, it seems that it was recreated for me anyway.

    We were planning on running Exchange 2003 and 2010 side by side, but found out that while users on both version of Exchange could send/received external e-mails, users on Exchange 2003 would not receive e-mails from users on Exchange 2010. Tracked that down to a corrupted routing connector, the 2010->2003 (the 2003->2010 one worked fine). Was going to investigate it further to see how to either repair or recreate it, then decided it wasn't worth my time - to spend time fixing something that would let me run both systems side by side just for a few days. So decided to just transfer all the mailboxes across.

    So currently out of just over 1700 mailboxes, a fifth have been transfered so far (with 1 fail) and it's been going for about 6 hours now. After the transfer of the mailboxes, then I have to transfer the publish folders and sort of the iPhone not syncing before I finish it off. The users that it's failed on will be transfered manually at a later date.

    Looks like another weekend at work :(

    Will post updates later...

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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  2. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Sounds exciting :) (thenagain, I'm a sucker for Exchange migrations).

    I've been working heavily on Exchange migrations for two customers since October, currently working with one of them to write a fully automated procedure to install +50 servers automatically, consisting of single and multirole servers :) These customers have pretty big user bases, tens of thousands of mailboxes... A colleague is lucky enough to be working on a migration with hundreds of thousands of mailboxes, yikes.
    Just out of curiosity, did you use the exchange calculators to spec the server configuration and how is your environment like, I.e. Did you separate all roles or did you merge some? Are you gonna use UM?

    I just love talking about this stuff and luckily so do my customers, we spend so much time brainstorming due to the environments we have to spec out that a pretty close collaboration ends up being formed by us consultants and the customer :)
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
    WIP: Win7/Lync2010/MCM
  3. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Bookmarked both threads! I have a 2003 ---> 2010 excahnge migration coming up too! LOL Cheers Ken
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  4. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Lucky you, wish I could do more project work (especially larger scale ones), but we all have our roles to play...

    Tried it, got some useful info from it - got some not so useful info from it.

    As for our new Exchange 2010 server, I've currently merged the CAS, mailbox and hub transport into one. Once all the mailboxes & public folders have been transfered, then I'll create a separate CAS server to replace the "front-end" server. And once all the work has been done to replace the Exchange 2003 servers "like for like", I'll start looking into UM.

    Cool, do you just specialise in Exchange or do you do other areas as well?

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  5. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    A couple of links that have helped me, hope that they'll be of use to you:

    Exchange 2010 Deployment Assistant
    Install Exchange 2010 in an Existing Exchange 2003 Organization
    Rapid transition guide from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010
    Upgrade Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

    Other resources that I either had on hand or used:
    Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (imo, it ain't pocket size)
    Microsoft 70-662: Exchange Server 2010, Configuring MCTS

    There's a few more, but it's on my work machine.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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  6. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    My junior nerd at work is doing this right now. I don't do low-level stuff like Exchange any more :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  7. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Cheers Ken!!! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  8. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    I look forward to "life after Exchange" LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :biggrin :biggrin :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  9. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    LOL - be careful what you wish for...
     
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  10. Andy_M

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  11. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Good luck with the migration Ken. I remember your last thread and I have to say it scared me to death as I was just about to do the transition too. Luckily for me, we didn't have any problems and we've been using it happily since.

    Gotta love dev's sense of humour too - Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  12. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Ha, had to google it but hey, that's pretty cool 8)

    Good luck Ken!
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  13. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    :D Cool, you're a better man than me then when it comes to Exchange.

    No worries :)

    Thought that book looked familiar, forgot all about it. Used it for the first time around.

    And it does 8)

    Thanks guys, will let you know how I get on (so far 6 failed mailbox moves due to maximum number of corrupted items, even though I specificed -1 - to ignore errors...)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  14. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    I've got this coming up fairly soon. Interesting that you thought is wasn't worth running the 2 side by side, or the time to solve the problem. I'm probably not going to have that luxury.

    Are you virtualising your exchange boxes or are the physical, because we are going to be virtualising ours.

    Hope it goes OK and I'll watch this with interest.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  15. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    The thing is that I had already looked into this for half a day and came up with no solid answers on how to fix it. I knew what the issue was, but trying to find a fix for it was practically near impossible (for me anyway)... Fixes tried included things like removing the smart relay host, recreating the 2010-2003 connectors, etc...

    All the mailboxes would have been transfered over by now, if I start with the plan of decomissioning 2003 straight away rather than running both side by side. If I had a larger userbase/more complex Exchange set-up/implementation, then spending the time to resolve this issue would have been more benefical to me (eg the time to research and implement a fix would have outweighted the time to finish the project in order to reduce the overall downtime).

    Beside added to all of the above, the reason why our hand was forced to do the transition now was due to failures and errors on our Exchange 2003 servers due to multiple power cuts a couple of weeks ago.

    The one that I'm working on now (CAS, Mailbox and Hub) is virtual - currently has 4 processors/cores allocated to it and 12GB of ram. The next one will only have the CAS role on it and will be virtual. The last one, if we decide to go down that route once we're happy with the setup, will have the UM role on it - however that one will be a physical server. But this would be another project...

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  16. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    AJ, we're looking to the same with our Exchange boxes too. We've got our third party supplier coming in on Monday to advise on the kit we may need. Currently all servers except one are IBM but we're also now considering Dell. The lease is up on the gear so 2011 is the year that we hop proper to a 2008 domain with 2010 exchange. Also, Terminal Services and sharepoint are now on the shopping list too!

    Last place I was at, just about everything Windows was virtualised.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  17. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    On my to do list is to upgrade the DC's to 2008 R2 both physical and virtual. Got some high end HP boxes that I am going to put Xenserver 5.6 on with Enterprise licenses and then the web servers, file stores and exchange will sit on these. They'll be in HA mode as well so if there are any problems then they can move to another box.

    Still in the planning stage at the moment then it will be test test test :D
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  18. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    You said 1700 users? Yeah, 4 cores in a multi-role server (CAS, Hub, MBX) is fine, as long as Megacycles are in the +100 range (I've specced out some similar servers to this at one customer).

    12 Gigs of Ram sounds about right if your users send/receive only 50 mails day (medium/heavy utilization) in which case it's RAM x 3MB = 5,1GB of ram for the MBX role plus system Ram (another few Gigs), probably 2 Gigs for the Hub Transport role and finally 4 Gigs to the CAS role can't hurt as you easily chew all that when you enable OWA, EAS, Outlook Anywhere, etc.

    But it's very close to a limit when you consider that Antivirus or monitoring tools may eat away some extra memory. If your users are spread out over multiple timezones, Ram requirements will be dispersed further and you'll be fine. Seeing as it's virtual, you'll be able to easily add in a few more Gigs ;)

    However, I don't quite know why you're going to install a second standalone CAS server... Are you looking to build a CAS array? Are you aware that if you do this, you'll be required to go with a Hardware Load Balancer due to the multi-role server which houses the other CAS role? Is your goal to go for high-availability or load balancing between the two CAS roles?

    Please remember that the CAS server is not a full replacement of the previous 2003 Front-End servers. You're not meant to place a CAS server into the DMZ, and if you want to benefit from Front-End server like abilities, you should install an Edge server in the DMZ to transmit email traffic between the public internet and your Hub Transport role, and an ISA/TMG (or other reverse proxy) role for traffic such as OWA between the internal CAS server.

    Although I have not seen detailed schematics of your environment, a second CAS role will bring you almost no added benefit (but will cost you an extra license for the OS and the Exchange role) as long as you've specced your multi-role server adequately (which if you want, I can review your calculator sheet responses if you want to share them).

    Anyway, I also do OCS/Lync, FIM and AD consulting (plus a few simpler things if customers want this, for example, I spent a few days designing a migration strategy for an older TS Licensing and KMS infrastructure for one company, to a high-available KMS and RD Licensing environment taking into consideration all the pros and cons as well as steps of doing this via clearinghouse license key changes and more). Starting a 2 week Lync project after next week coincidentally :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
    WIP: Win7/Lync2010/MCM
  19. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    So you're looking for High-Availability for your future Exchange servers via the HA capabilities of your virtual server hosts?

    It works in some configurations, but be aware that you should not do this if you're planning to install a DAG. The DAG is already providing HA and HA via virtualization is not an officially supported scenario due to situations that may crop up. Depending on the size of your environment, a single multi-role server is enough in which case you should be fine with HA provided by your Virtual Server. Just make sure that the network configuration remains consistent as users will receive a funky experience if their CAS server connectivity is severed during the transition from one virtual host to another.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
    WIP: Win7/Lync2010/MCM
  20. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I was migrating 1700 mailboxes, but we only have about 1350 users. As for adding more resource to it, we'll be able to do that once we decommision the 2003 server as that is virtual as well.

    Anyway, problems...

    No, not with the Exchange server itself - but something that affects the Exchange server. Our current Exchange 2003 server uses a total of 100GB (this includes Windows as well as the Exchange mailboxes. Due to lack of space I allocated 250GB to the new Exchange 2010 server, mistake number 1... 3/4 of the way migrating, it has used up all the space.

    OK, this is easily sorted, add another vhd to the Exchange 2010 server and then transfer the mailbox store or just expand the size of the vhd file. So to prepare for this we created another pool of storage and decide to merge all the snap shots, mistake number 2. There was an issue with one of the files, so in Hyper-V when we set the task to delete all snap shots and merge - it deleted all the snap shots and didn't merge... Now we're left with a missing Exchange 2010 server with 3/4 mailboxes missing.

    So currently we are running a file recovery utility to try to retrieve the missing files and at the same time we are restoring the Exchange 2003 server and the Exchange 2010 server from the backup taken last night at 18.00hrs.

    There's nothing like a(nother) real world test of our DR plans :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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