Best Practice Ezine #43 – Exchange Migration Tips

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Best Practice Ezine #43 Exchange Migration Tips

I always feel guilty when, I miss a week’s edition of the Ezine.  So to compensate, for skipping last week’s ezine, I have a free Exchange 2003 Migration ebook for you.

Common Exchange migration mistakes – How to avoid them

If you do not learn from the mistakes of others, then you are destined to repeat their errors.

Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT) IP Tracker

Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets.  IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:

For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges. 

For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker

Get a test network

Perhaps I am preaching to the converted, you already have a test network.  However if you are thinking of experimenting on the live Exchange 5.5 or Exchange 2000 system – forget it.  Trust me, when your first migration does not go to plan, the modest expense of creating a test network will more than repay the cost of downtime to your users.

Your practice network could be as simple as a separate subnet with two test servers, one server has the old source domain, while the other test server has the new destination domain.

All the resource mailboxes are disabled an unavailable

Here is a success story for the test in general network and NTDSNoMatch in particular.  You try a migration, however all the resource Exchange 5.5 mailboxes are disabled after the trial migration.  The problem: Exchange 5.5 allows one user to have many mailboxes, whereas Exchange 2003 does not.  The solution is to set the NTDSNoMatch attribute on Custom Attribute 10.  Then you can successfully migrate the resource mailbox into Active Directory.  Custom Attribute 10 is found on the Mailbox property sheet.

The NT 4.0 trusts are not working

After you create the two way trust between the old NT 4.0 domain and Active Directory, you still need to add the Administrator to each Local Administrators’ group in the opposite domain.  If you fail to take this extra step then you will have no rights in the other domain and the migration will stall.

Get the Exchange 2003 version of ADC

While the Windows operating system has an ADC (Active Directory Connector) avoid this edition.  Instead, install the Exchange 2003 version of the ADC.

There does not seem a way of migrating from a different Exchange Organization.

When you try and migrate Exchange Organization A to New Exchange Org Z, the migration fails.  The answer is to use the Inter-organization ADC agreements.  It is possible to migrate from a different Exchange Organization, however you will need to take extra steps and create special Inter-Organization agreements.

You cannot move the Exchange Server to a different Administrative Group

Although you can move servers between routing groups, you CANNOT move servers between Administrative Groups.  The only way would be uninstall, re-install.  Another gotcha is the fact that you cannot rename the First Administrative Group.  So plan ahead.  Sort out the Administrative groups after you run /forestprep and before you install the Exchange 2003 binary files.  The point is that once you have run setup /forestprep then you can rename the original First Administrative Group.

Exchange 2003 Installation fails

Should the first Exchange 2003 install fail, then be sure to delete the Exchsrvr\MDBData folder before you try again.  If you do not clear out the \MBData folder you will just go around in circles.  Remember to investigate the Event Viewer, Application log for clues as to what went wrong the original installation.

Exchange stops when the store reaches 16 GB

Beware, the standard edition of Exchange 2003 only supports a 16 GB store.  Unless you are a very small company with under 50 users, invest in the Enterprise Edition of Exchange 2003.  In addition to an unlimited mailstore, the Enterprise edition supports clustering and up to 20 separate mailbox stores.

Clustering fails

Installing Clustering is a separate skill.  Sequencing is the problem.  The secret is to get the underlying Windows Server 2003 clustering operational first.  Only when you have created the Virtual server and the shared resources, should you install the Exchange 2003 components, for example System Attendant.

Either hire a clustering specialist, visit a site where clustering is already installed, or else get good instructions.  Perhaps your hardware suppliers can put you on the right track?

Errors when migrating from Exchange 2000.

Remember that the real-time features found in Exchange 2000 are not supported in Exchange 2003, so remove Chat, Instant Messaging and Video Conferencing.   Also be aware the encryption functions supplied by Key Distribution Service have been moved to Windows Server 2003’s Certificate Services. 

Gone is Exchange 2000’s MMIS, (Mobile Information Service), rumour has it that there is now a separate product from Microsoft.  However, Exchange 2003 offers OMA (Outlook Mobile Access) as an integral service.

See more on Exchange – Whole Section here

See interesting Exchange articles

E 145 Checkpoint  •E 101 OWA  • E 83 Exchange 2007  • E 53 Exch tips  • E 54 Exch tips  • Ezines

E 47 Exch tips  •E 43 Exchange Mig  •E 39 Exchange tools  •E 36 ExPBA  • E 31 Exchange Tips

E 5 Outlook  • Free Exchange Monitor  • Exchange 2010  • Windows Server 8   •Free Syslog Utility