Exchange Server 2007 on Windows Server 2008

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.08.2007 at 13:38

Some interesting facts on running Exchange Server 2007 on the upcoming RTM version of Windows Server 2008.

  • Running Exchange Server 2007 RTM on Windows Server 2008 RTM is not supported
  • You will need to upgrade to Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 if you want to run Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008 RTM
  • You can’t install Exchange Server 2007 Management Tools on Windows Vista unless you have Exchange Server 2007 SP1

If you already have Exchange Server 2007 installed on Windows Server 2003:

  • You CANNOT upgrade Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 on a computer running Exchange Server 2007 and then upgrade to Exchange 2007 SP1
  • You CANNOT upgrade Exchange Server 2007 to Exchange Server 2007 SP1 on a computer running Windows Server 2003 and then upgrade to Windows Server 2008
  • Yikes! So how are you going to upgrade anyway? Here’s the answer: you need to build a fresh Windows Server 2008 machine and install Exchange Server 2007 SP1 on it. (Ouch!)
  • Clustered Mailbox Servers: Due to immense differences in Windows Server 2008 clustering from Windows Server 2003, you CANNOT do a rolling upgrade of an Exchange Server 2007 cluster. The only way out is to build a fresh failover cluster with Windows Server 2008 running on all nodes and then use Move Mailbox to migrate data to the new cluster. (Ouch again!)

Early adopters of Exchange Server 2007 looking to also early-adopt Windows Server 2008 may now find themselves slightly challenged, given all the above parameters.

If you have Exchange Server 2003 installed on a domain that contains Windows Server 2008 RODCs (Read Only Domain Controllers):

  • Do NOT force Exchange Server 2003 to use RODCs or ROGCs. Not supported and ‘unexpected’ behaviour ‘expected’.
  • Exchange Server 2003 when in the default “auto” mode (i.e. set to automatically use any available DC) will not try to use an RODC or ROGC.

At the time of writing this post, Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 is in Beta 2 and is available in MSDN/Technet subscriptions only.

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