Sunday, 1 October 2006

Updating a single Exchange 2003 server to Exchange 2007 Beta 2

I've done this on my test server and there are a couple of problems you have to deal with:
  • The databases are not compatible. Exchange 2003 uses STM and EDB files with 5MB logs whereas Exchange 2007 uses just an EDB file with 1MB logs. There may also be a difference on how data is organsied internally. I have seen reports of 4KB vs 8KB database pages.
  • Exchange 2007 really needs an edge server role for secure deployment. If you're going to use a single server then you'll have to use the hub transport server to send and receive internet email. Allthought his works, it is not a reccommended scenario.
The steps I took to upgrade my Exchange server then were as follows.
  1. Backup everything.
  2. Backup everything again using a different method. :)
  3. Extract the mail from the old Exchange 2003 server using a tool such as ExMerge.
  4. Disable\Delete all old mailboxes from mail stores.
  5. Uninstall Exchange 2003.
  6. Install Exchange 2007 using the mailbox, client access and hub transport roles.
  7. Set recipient policy to ensure correct email addresses are allocated.
  8. Re-enable mailboxes.
  9. Test internal mail connectivity using owa.
  10. Import mail. As it was a small test organisation and I had removed the old server I used Outlook for each user to import thier own mail. If I had a new server then I could have installed it into the Exchange 2003 organisation and used the move mailbox wizard.
  11. Create an SMTP send connector.
  12. Allow unauthenticated SMTP connections on the incoming (default) SMTP connector.
  13. Setup any mailbox permissions you wish to have.
It now seems to be working. Watch out for more details on steps 7,11,12 and 13. Some of this can be done using the GUI, some using Power Shell.

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