Phasing Out Exchange 5.5
Admin seeks the absolute final word on Exchange 5.5-to-Exchange 2003 migration gotchas before making the move.
- By Bill Boswell
We have been testing migration scenarios in our
lab for a move from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003. After many KB articles,
and a lot of your advice from various sources, we have a good plan that
has worked well in the test environment. One remaining question is when
in the migration process to move the Internet Mail Connector function
from 5.5 to 2003. What are the "gotchas" and how should it be
done to prevent interruption of mail delivery?
Help from Bill
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Stephen: You can make the Internet mail transition in phases.
Start by getting an Exchange 2003 server installed in the same site as
the Exchange 5.5 server that's running IMS. Move a few mailboxes to this
new server and make sure that messages get routed to it from all sites
Next, install the Internet SMTP connector using the wizard in EMS. Designate
the Exchange 2003 server in the main site as the bridgehead. Set the cost
for this connector very high. Over the next couple of days, you should
see Internet messages continue to flow through the Exchange 5.5 server
Now set the cost for the IMC and the Internet SMTP connector to an equal
value. You should see traffic begin to flow through the SMTP connector
and through the IMC. Monitor the queues to make sure nothing gets backed
up. Remember that the MTA gets involved on an Exchange 2003 server when
routing traffic to and from Exchange 5.5 servers, so watch that queue
If everything looks good for a couple of days, you can raise the cost
of the IMC to a high value. Traffic should now flow exclusively through
the Internet SMTP connector. Once you've verified that the new server
can handle the load, you can remove the IMC.
Good luck with the migration.
Feedback: End of NT 4
In our ongoing survey of how companies are preparing for NT 4.0
end-of-life on Dec. 31, Rich explains the perspective of a technologist
who has been stuck in the waning days of the last century through no fault
of his own:
Everyone knows that Microsoft has delayed the retirement of NT and
many of us were thankful for it. Of course, times do change and progress
is a necessity. I really do feel strongly that the progress in security
and numerous other OS features in Windows Server 2003 are necessary
in the world of technology.
While I feel quite comfortable with the migration process, upper management
in my financially struggling company does not feel any urgency to complete
the move. Currently, we have 10 servers running NT 4.0. I've religiously
patched, updated, band-aided and taken whatever steps necessary to keep
the NT 4.0 ship afloat. But, as most of us in the IT field know, there
are no accolades for keeping the system running like a Swiss watch.
Now I'm at a critical career crossroads. In the next few months, if
our technology stagnation doesn't change, I'm going to seek work elsewhere.
I've been the network admin, e-mail admin, desktop support technician,
and chief light bulb changer for 3.5-plus years and I enjoy the company
I work for. But, my big concern is the foolishness of companies like
mine that do not make the necessary OS upgrades. I assume that running
an NT system after the end of this year will be like playing Russian
roulette with a bullet in every chamber.
Contributing Editor Bill Boswell, MCSE, is the principal of Bill Boswell Consulting, Inc. He's the author of Inside Windows Server 2003 and Learning Exchange Server 2003 both from Addison Wesley. Bill is also Redmond magazine's "Windows Insider" columnist and a speaker at MCP Magazine's TechMentor Conferences.