How to migrate from Exchange 2007 CCR to Exchange 2010 DAG on existing hardware (Part 1)

If you would like to read the next part in this article series please go to How to migrate from Exchange 2007 CCR to Exchange 2010 DAG on existing hardware (Part 2).




If you are currently running an Exchange Server 2007 Organization with high availability configuration in a Cluster Continuous Replication Setup and you are planning to upgrade to Exchange Server 2010 SP1, you are often considering a way to move without changing your hardware. The reason for this might be that the hardware is only 1-2 years old or has been leased for five years.


In these series of articles we will discuss the way to move to Exchange 2010 SP1 DAG (Database Availability Group) setup without having to buy new hardware. The plan implicates that you are losing high availability over a short period of time but if you are planning the migration on a straight-forward project, the time window you are running with no high availability can be calculated and is quite short.




As one of the first steps before you start your project plan to move to Exchange 2010 SP1 you should check if your existing hardware is suitable for Windows Server 2008 R2. In general one of the preparation steps is to flash your servers ROM to the newest available release to make sure that Windows Server 2008 R2 is supported. You can easily check this here.


After being successful with your hardware compatibility the next step is to update your Exchange Server 2007 environment to be prepared for Exchange Server 2010 SP1. The easiest way to do this is updating your current messaging infrastructure (all servers in your Exchange Server 2007 environment) to Exchange Server 2007 SP3. The way to update is starting on your servers with the Client Access Role, moving to those ones that hold the Hub Transport Role and finally moving to the Mailbox Server Role. You can download Service Pack 3 here.


Also you need to make sure to update your CCR environment as described below in order to make everything work properly after the update.


Updating Exchange Server 2007 CCR to Service Pack 3


Basically Exchange Server 2007 supports rolling Service Pack Updates, you only need to make sure that you are always upgrading the passive cluster node.


The straight forward method can be run as follows:



  1. Move all cluster resource group to Node A
  2. Stop performance counter Services and System Center Operations Manager Services (if installed)
  3. Restart the Remote Registry Service
  4. Open a Command prompt and navigate to the Exchange Server 2007 SP3 installation files logged on as Exchange Organization administrative Group member
  5. Run the following command:
    SETUP /m:upgradeSetup
  6. Restart Node B after Setup has completed
  7. After having finished the passive Node B is running SP3
  8. Now you need to run the Stop-ClusteredMailboxServer cmdlet to stop the clustered mailbox server using the following syntax:
    Stop-ClusteredMailboxServer <Clustername> -StopReason “Upgrade to SP2”
  9. Now we need to move the clustered mailbox server to Node B using
     Move-ClusteredMailboxServer <Clustername> -TargetMachine
    <NODEB> -MoveComment “Upgrade to SP2”
  10. At a Command Prompt navigate to the Exchange 2007 SP3 installation files
  11. Run the following command to upgrade your CCR Cluster:
    Setup /upgradecmsSetup
  12. Setup upgrades the CCR server and brings it back online again
  13. Now we need to stop any services that have open handles to performance counters and System Center Operations Manager Service on Node A
  14. Restart the Remote Registry service
  15. Open a Command Prompt and then navigate to the Exchange 2007 SP3 installation files
  16. Run the following command on Node A to upgrade it to Exchange 2007 SP3:
    Setup /m:upgradeSetup
  17. Restart Node A to finish the upgrade to Exchange Server 2007 SP3 completely
  18. Use Exchange Best Practice Analyzer to check whether further configuration changes need to be done before the update
    Update Active Directory Schema to Exchange Server 2010 SP1


As a next step we will need to import the Exchange Server 2010 SP1 schema to your Windows Server 2008 based Active Directory environment.


The easiest way to do this is as follows:



  1. Logon as member of the Active Directory Groups of Enterprise Administrators and Schema Administrators on one of your existing Exchange Servers.
  2. At first we need to make sure that non Exchange Server 2007 or 2010 servers can run properly in the new security model:
    setup /PrepareLegacyExchangePermissions
    or setup /pl
    If no Exchange Server 2003 or earlier versions are part of your Exchange Organization you can successfully skip this command.
  3. Afterwards we need to import the new schema entries to your Active Directory Schema Master using this command:
    setup /PrepareSchema or setup /ps
  4. Now we need to automatically create some security groups and further settings for Exchange Server 2010 SP1:
    setup /PrepareAD or setup /p
  5. Finally we need to make sure that all security groups are properly filled in using:

    setup /PrepareAllDomains
    or setup /pad
    The easiest way is to run this properly for all existing domains in one step. If you do not want to do this, you can run
    setup /PrepareDomain or setup /pd


After having finished this procedure you should make sure that Active Directory replication took place and has finished successfully. You can check this using the Event Log on your Domain Controllers.


Decommissioning your passive Exchange Server 2007 SP3 Node


Now after having finished all necessary steps we can start over with the migration to Exchange Server 2010 SP1 DAG by decommissioning your passive Exchange Server 2007 SP3 node. When starting this task, you will lose redundancy temporary.


The steps for this procedure are as follows:



  1. Make sure that all Databases are running on the active node
  2. Move responsibility of OAB-Generation to the active node
  3. Uninstall Exchange Server 2007 SP3 from your passive cluster node using:
    Setup /mode:uninstall
  4. Evict the formerly passive node from Failover Clustering
  5. Disjoin the machine from Active Directory and shutdown the computer


Finally we have finished freeing up server hardware to prepare the rollout of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 on this machine in the future.




With this straight forward method you have finished the preparations to free up one of your Exchange Server machines for Exchange Server 2010 SP1, the next step is described in Part 2 of this article series.



If you would like to read the next part in this article series please go to How to migrate from Exchange 2007 CCR to Exchange 2010 DAG on existing hardware (Part 2).

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