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A030301: Upgrading from Exchange 5.5

When you're upgrading from Exchange 5.5, you need to watch out for a few areas to ensure a smooth upgrade. The directory services have changed between Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000/2003; Active Directory now handles these services.

If your organization has not yet made the switch to Active Directory, it is recommended that you implement Active Directory before attempting to upgrade your Exchange environment. If you try to transition to Active Directory and upgrade Exchange at the same time, you might encounter problems that cannot be easily fixed within the timeframe you have allotted to upgrading both areas.

One approach that is popular when upgrading to Active Directory is to use the Active Directory Migration tool to copy your existing accounts to Active Directory. Regardless of what method you use, make sure that you carefully plan your Active Directory migration and perform the appropriate testing before upgrading your Exchange implementation.

Upgrading to Active Directory - For more information on upgrading a Windows NT domain to Active Directory, check out http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/whyupgrade/nt4/nt4domtoad.mspx.

After you have deployed Active Directory within your organization and moved all the user accounts, the next step in the upgrade process is to decide how you want to proceed with the upgrade. The most popular method of upgrading an Exchange 5.5 site is coexistence, where you configure Exchange 2003 to coexist with your Exchange 5.5 implementation. This allows you to migrate users in a phased approach and can help make the transition between platforms run smoothly.

When coexisting with an Exchange 5.5 site, you will initially move your Exchange 5.5 directory information to Active Directory and then use a connector to keep the information synchronized between Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2003.

Follow the instructions given in Chapter 3, "Installation," for prepping your environment and installing Exchange 2003, ensuring that your servers and environment meet all the listed prerequisites.

The first step in setting up coexistence between the old and new servers is to move all the Exchange 5.5 directory information to Active Directory. This is accomplished through the use of an Active Directory connector (ADC), which you must install and configure.

To install the ADC, run D:\ADC\i386\Setup and follow the instructions in the setup program. The installation is quick; it should take about two minutes from start to finish.

After you have installed the ADC, you can open the connector from the Start menu by selecting Programs, Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory Connector. Your first task will be to match existing Exchange 5.5 Mailboxes with the Active Directory users you migrated earlier.

To perform this matching, you need to use the Resource Mailbox Wizard, which is available in the ADC under the node marked ADC Tools.

When you have finished matching the Mailboxes to your Active Directory accounts, you can configure the connection agreements using the Connection Agreement Wizard, which provides setup recommendations based on your existing configurations.

You can then continue to use your Exchange 5.5 server(s) and migrate users in groups to the new server using the tools provided with the ADC. When you have migrated all the users from your old Exchange 5.5 server, you can remove the ADC and decommission the server.

Additional Resources - For more information on other upgrade or migration strategies for Exchange 5.5 and additional tools and utilities, check out http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/exchange2003/proddocs/library/default.asp.

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