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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Prerequisites and Precautions

Include the following items in your preparation checklist as you begin planning your upgrade:

  • Security patches. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you to put the most current security patches on a server prior to putting it into production. This reminder is here for the "other guy" who neglects this rudimentary precaution.

  • Windows service packs. Exchange 2003 runs fine on Windows Server 2003 without service packs, but you might want to install SP1 on your Exchange servers and domain controllers to get the security rollups. If you install Exchange 2003 on Windows 2000, you must be running Service Pack 3 or higher.

  • Exchange service packs. Exchange 2003 SP1 should be installed as part of your deployment plan

  • Schema Master availability. Installing Exchange 2003 requires updating the Active Directory schema. Only one domain controller can change the schema—the Schema Master. You can find the identity of the Schema Master using the Dumpfsmos utility in the Resource Kit or the Exchange Deployment Tools, which can be run anytime.

  • Upgrade domain controllers. You can deploy Exchange 2003 into a Windows 2000 forest, but if you have many sites that have slow WAN connections, you might want to first upgrade the forest to Windows Server 2003. This lessens the impact of the Global Catalog updates performed by Exchange 2003.

  • Mobile Information Server (MIS). Exchange 2003 has no direct upgrade path for MIS 2000. If you want to preserve functionality for existing mobile users during the Exchange 2003 deployment, keep at least one MIS 2000 server running as you migrate your mobile users to Exchange 2003.

  • Instant Messaging (IM) and Chat. Exchange 2003 has no upgrade path for Exchange 2000 IM or Chat. This functionality has been replaced by Live Communication Server (LCS), which has a per-user license fee. If you decide to deploy LCS, keep at least one Exchange 2000 IM server running as you migrate your users to LCS.

  • ccMail connector. Exchange 2003 does not include a ccMail connector. If you still run ccMail in your organization along with Exchange, it's time to finally make the transition.

  • Backup, antivirus, and antispam compatibility. Your current backup, antivirus, and antispam solutions must have full compatibility with Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003. De-install these applications prior to performing an in-place upgrade to prevent possible compatibility problems during Setup.

  • ADC upgrades. You should avoid TIPTOS deployments (combination of Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, and Exchange 2003), but circumstances might require you to begin preparations for your Exchange 2003 deployment during the final stages of the migration away from Exchange 5.5. You must upgrade the ADC servers to Exchange 2003 ADC prior to introducing any Exchange 2003 servers into the organization. The ADC upgrade modifies the schema, so make sure that the Schema Master is available.

  • Front-end/back-end upgrades. If you have an existing deployment of Exchange 2000 that uses a distributed architecture, upgrade the front-end servers first and then upgrade the back-end servers. Upgrade Exchange first, and then Windows.

Many organizations choose to replace their Exchange 2000 front-end servers rather than upgrade them. Exchange 2000 requires Enterprise Edition for a front-end server, a considerable expense. Exchange 2003 supports front-end servers on Standard Edition. You cannot upgrade Exchange 2000 Enterprise Edition to Exchange 2003 Standard Edition, so it makes economic sense to replace the front-end servers completely. Minimize the hardware expense by using a "swing" upgrade—introduce a new Exchange 2003 front-end server to replace the Exchange 2000 front-end server, and then wipe the drives of the old server. Do a pristine install of Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003, and then redeploy it.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020