Exchange 2007 in an SBS 2003 Environment

Exchange 2007 in an SBS 2003 Environment

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[Today's post comes to us courtesy of James Frederickson]

So you are considering implementing Exchange 2007 into an SBS 2003 environment. This post will cover the pros and cons, it will also give a high level overview on the installation of Exchange 2007 into an existing SBS 2003 Exchange environment.

First we should address some of the common reasons people consider adding an Exchange 2007 Server into an existing SBS 2003 environment.

  • You need more than 75Gb of mailbox storage
  • Do you want more than one storage group
    • Exchange 2007 will support up to 5 storage groups
  • Local Continuous Replication
    • LCR is a single-server solution that uses built-in asynchronous log shipping and log replay technology to create and maintain a copy of a storage group on a second set of disks that are connected to the same server as the production storage group
  • Have you reached your 75 cal limit

The major downside to installing Exchange 2007 into your SBS environments is that most of the simplicity of SBS will be gone? You will not be able to use the SBS Wizards to help configure Exchange. The CEICW will also fail. The Add User Wizard will not ask you which Exchange to create a new mailbox on, it will pick one for you. You will need to support Exchange 2007 and your existing Exchange 2003 using the Exchange tools and not the SBS tools. Another downside is that you will not get mailbox store replication. Finally your existing SBS CALs will not cover client access to the new Exchange 2007 Server, so you will have to buy Exchange licenses for your users.

Please note that you cannot install Exchange 2007 onto your Small Business 2003 Server. Exchange 2007 is only supported in production as a 64 bit application and must be installed onto a 64 bit operating system, furthermore SBS 2003 is only available in 32bit. It is not necessary to upgrade to the Transition Pack to be able to have Exchange 2007 coexist with SBS 2003.

Exchange 2007 will be included in the next version of Small Business Server codenamed “Cougar”. When this version of SBS is released Exchange 2007 will be fully integrated into all the SBS Wizards. We recommend that most SBS users use “Cougar” as their entry into the Exchange 2007 world. For more information on the SBS product roadmap please see: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/roadmap.mspx

If you have decided that you cannot wait for “Cougar” and want to implement Exchange 2007 in your current SBS environment please read on.

Exchange 2007 provides the following five distinct server roles that align to how messaging systems are typically deployed and distributed:

Exchange 2007 Readiness Check

The easiest way to capture most of the information about your Exchange organization, Active Directory, and other settings and configuration information is to scan the organization using the Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool (ExBPA). ExBPA version 2.7 and later includes an Exchange 2007 Readiness Check scan that can be used to assess your organization's readiness for Exchange 2007. As part of that assessment, the organization model is also identified.

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After the Exchange 2007 Readiness Check scan is complete, a report is generated. After the report is complete, navigate to the All Issues tab and look for an entry called Transition documentation. Select this item to display the organization model for the scanned Exchange organization.

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You might notice that your Active Directory schema upgrade is required. Here is a link to cover that information, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125224.aspx

This topic explains how to prepare the Active Directory directory service and domains for installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. You must complete this procedure before you install Exchange 2007 on any servers in your organization. 

When installing Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2003 64bit server in SBS domain, the steps are:

  1. Promote the Windows Server 2003 x64 server to be a DC in SBS domain
  2. On Windows Server 2003 x64 server, install IIS, Windows 2003 Service Pack 2, Windows Powershell, .Net Framework 2.0, MMC 3.0, update 933360, and update 926776. Restart the server as you are prompted.
    image
  3. On the SBS Server change Exchange from mixed mode to native mode (SBS’s Exchange is defaulted in mixed mode)
  4. On the Windows Server 2003 x64 server, find the Exchange setup root folder, type "setup /pl" and wait until it finished.
  5. On the Windows Server 2003 x64 server, browse to the Exchange setup root folder and double click setup.exeimage

Once you have completed your install of Exchange 2007 you need to decide what do with Exchange 2003 on your SBS 2003 server. You can either remove Exchange 2003 from SBS or let the two servers co-exist. If you decide to remove Exchange 2003 here are the instructions: How to remove the first Exchange Server 2003 computer from the administrative group. If you want them to coexist here are some pointers on that:

Exchange 2007 Resources:
Planning for Coexistence
Coexisting with Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server
Message Routing in a Coexistence Environment
How to Create Routing Group Connectors from Exchange 2007 to Exchange Server 2003
Exchange Server 2007 SP1

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