Microsoft Exchange 2003 – Migration Home

Introduction to Exchange 2003 Migration

Exchange Migrations always take much longer that you think.  The answer is detailed planning and a good test network.  My goals are to get you started on your migration quest and open your eyes to areas that you haven’t yet considered.

Topics for Exchange 2003 Migration


How to Research Your Exchange 2003 Migration Project

When I visit companies it amazes me the diverse ways that people use the same software.  Another surprise is that each person believes there is only one way to deploy Exchange software.  If you stand my observation on its head, what I want to say to you is this, select an Exchange configuration to suit your size of company.  Sift the advice to suit your present position.  For example, if you have only Exchange 5.5 servers, skip advice on upgrading from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003.

To illustrate my point, here is a true story.  I am often rude about the Standard Edition of Exchange.  My principal objection is the 16 Gb limit** on the database store.  Brian, the owner of a ‘Mom and Pop’ company said, ‘Guy we have only 15 people, by choosing the Standard Edition of Exchange, instead of the Enterprise, we saved enough money to buy us a nice little dedicated server to run Exchange 2003.’  An as we don’t need clustering we settled for the standard edition of Windows 2003 and had a great holiday with the money we saved on that deal.

Naturally if you are bigger than a 15 person company, then my advice still holds, buy the Enterprise Version of Exchange 2003 or you will soon hit that 16 Gb storage limit.

** Good news, once you apply Exchange SP2, you can edit the registry and increase the database limits to 75 Gb.

Exchange Monitor from SolarWindsGuy Recommends: The SolarWinds Exchange Monitor

Here is a free tool to monitor your Exchange Server.  Download and install the utility, then inspect your mail queues, monitor the Exchange server’s memory, confirm there is enough disk space and check the CPU utilization.

This is the real deal – there is no catch.  SolarWinds provides this fully-functioning freebie, as part of their commitment to supporting the network management community.

Free Download of SolarWinds Exchange Monitor

Topics for an Exchange 2003 Migration

The Horseless carriage syndrome

Beware the ‘horseless carriage syndrome’.  When the car was first invented the driver was on the outside, this was because historically, the coach driver had always been out near the horses.  My point :- with any new product like Exchange 2003, take the time to check out the new features and do not just carry on doing the same tasks in the same old way.

In particular, open your mind to multiple stores, clustering, OWA and OMA.

Guy Recommends:  SolarWinds’ Free Bulk Mailbox Import ToolFree Download Bulk Mailbox Import Tool

Import users from a spreadsheet, complete with their mailbox.  Just provide a list of the users with the fields in the top row, and save as .csv file.  Then launch this FREE utility, match your Exchange fields with AD’s attributes, click and import the users.  Optionally, you can provide the name of the OU where the new mailboxes will be born.

There are also two bonus tools in the free download, and all 3 have been approved by Microsoft:

  1. Bulk-import new users and mailboxes into Active Directory.
  2. Seek and zap unwanted user accounts.
  3. Find inactive computers.

Download your FREE bulk mailbox import tool.


Moving to Exchange 2003 will be a complex project.  Every migration will be different, so make sure you get advice to suit your situation.  Each new system brings improvements, so do take the opportunity to research what’s new in Exchange 2003.

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