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Move "hosted" virtual Exchange Server back to in-house hardware

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Move "hosted" virtual Exchange Server back to... - 26.Jan.2012 7:43:53 PM   


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Joined: 26.Jan.2012
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Just trying to wrap my head around this situation, and hoping that others can lend their experience. The setup is like this...we have 3 servers on our domain - one, the PDC, is in our local office. The other two are VMware virtual machines running on hosted hardware an hour away - one is an application server and the other is an Exchange Server 2003 that is also a DC. We are severing ties with the hosting company and want to move the virtual servers back to the local office and set them up as actual servers - no VMware.

For the Exchange Server/DC, our initial thought was to install Windows and Exchange on the new hardware, and give it a different name than the remote Exchange Server. We'd then configure Outlook on clients to save mail to Personal Folders, which would pull their mailboxes down to PSTs (there are only about 10 users). Then configure clients to connect to the new Exchange server and import the PSTs. We use a hosted mail filtering solution, so we'd then just update the destination mail server IP to route mail to the new, in-house server (no propagation delays like with MX record changes).

My confusion is with joining the new Exchange Server to the domain. In AD Sites & Services, all of the servers show up under the same site. There are two subnets configured - one for the local office, and one for the remote, hosted virtual machines. I'm a global learner, so until I see the big picture I feel lost.

My experience is with SBS - Exchange is on the same box, and there's typically only one server on the network. I'm aces with SBS. This situation is new to me, and while I've been reading forum threads and Exchange deployment documentation for days on end, I've yet to come across instructions pertaining to this particular migration. Any help - even just brainstorming or clarifications - would be greatly appreciated!

<research update>
The virtual Exchange box, while being a DC, does not have any of the FSMO roles. Based on all everything I've read so far, here's what I've gathered we need to do:

1) Install the new server as a member server, and then install Exchange
2) Archive users' mailboxes to get them down to a reasonable size (some are 15GB!)
3) Do the Move Mailbox process from old server to new (I wonder if we can do this without setting up the virtual machine locally...)
4) Perform the steps outlined in kb822931 to rehome public folders (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822931)
5) Reconfigure clients to point to new Exchange server
6) Change destination mail server IP in hosted antispam solution to point to new Exchange server
7) Verify inbound mail works properly
8) Have the hosting co uninstall Exchange from the virtual machine
9) Shut down virtual Exchange server and verify mail is still routing properly
10) On the local DC, uncheck the GC checkbox for the virtual Exchange DC
11) Run dcpromo on the local DC and demote the virtual Exchange DC, which will move it to the Computers OU
12) Delete the virtual Exchange DC from the Computers OU
13) Verify all references to the virtual Exchange DC have been removed from DNS - if not, manually remove them
14) Delete the virtual Exchange DC from AD sites & services

What do you think? Sound about right?

< Message edited by darkcenter -- 27.Jan.2012 10:04:20 AM >
Post #: 1

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