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How to Upgrade from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010: Part 1

Part 2 of this Screencast is available here

We have already demonstrated the installation of Exchange Server 2010:
How to Install Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2

which is the so called Greenfield installation – implementing a new Exchange organization. In real life, most probably you will have to introduce Exchange 2010 SP1 into an existing Exchange environment.

When we are talking about Exchange 2010 SP1, we should be aware that SP1 is much more like a full-fledged release than a mere update of Exchange Server 2010; it includes a lot of bug fixes and a huge amount of new functionality.

Having in mind that many organizations are still running Exchange 2003, it comes as no surprise that transitioning from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 SP1 is one of the most important upgrades of the present day.

This is a serious project covering a lot of ground. To be able to keep our detailed step-by-step approach and make it easier for you to follow, we have split this screencast in two parts.

In Part 1, we focus our attention on the required health checks and preparation of your existing Active Directory and Exchange 2003 organization. You will see a typical Exchange 2010 SP1 installation on a member server running Windows Server 2008 R2. Finding the correct updates required by SP1 might be confusing, so we dedicate a separate step (Step4) to your server preparation and prerequisites.

Sometimes you might come into a situation, when Exchange 2010 SP1 setup fails at the prerequisites checks – like missing a required update. In our last step, we cover such an example and show you how to avoid the mistake, leading to a missing two-way Exchange 2003 <-> Exchange 2010 routing group connector.

For your convenience, we have published the text file with the commands which we are using in the Screencast, and the links to the Windows Server 2008 R2 required updates here .

Click to play 1 video
Step 1 First, we check and raise domain and forest functional levels, and perform DNS and Active Directory health checks. If your DC is running Windows Server 2003 SP2, you will have to update the Support Tools package to the latest version (which includes the required DNS tests), as demonstrated.

Click to play 2 video
Step 2 Next, we proceed with Exchange 2003 organization prerequisites and health checks. We also suppress link state updates, review our recipient policies for ambiguously non-authoritative SMTP addresses and document SMTP relay restrictions.

Click to play 3 video
Step 3 In this step, we prepare Active Directory schema for Exchange 2010 SP1 installation and run Exchange Pre-deployment Analyzer.

Click to play 4 video
Step 4 Here we prepare the Windows Server 2008 R2 which will be used for the Exchange 2010 SP1 installation. This includes downloading and applying required updates, installing Microsoft Office 2010 FilterPacks and setting Net.TCP Port Sharing Service startup type.

Click to play 5 video
Step 5 Finally, we install Exchange 2010 SP1 and demonstrate different approaches for validating the installation.

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