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Installing Exchange Server 2007 : Implementing Active Directory from Scratch (part 1) - Installing Windows Server 2003

6/13/2013 7:41:02 PM
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1. Upgrading from Previous Versions of Microsoft Windows

Many organizations already have an existing directory structure in place such as Windows NT 4.0 domain or Windows 2000 Server AD domain in their environment. It is great if a company has the opportunity to implement a new Windows Server 2003 AD environment from scratch; however, this is not always possible or practical because of costs, company politics, hardware limitations, or a business goal of minimizing end-user disruption during the migration. That being said, organizations typically upgrade their environment from a Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 domain to the Windows Server 2003 AD to implement Exchange Server 2007.

Upgrading from a Windows NT 4.0 Domain

The first decision to be made when migrating from a Windows NT 4.0 domain is to determine which type of migration strategy best fits your requirements and AD design. Of the three migration paths described in the following list, each one is unique in characteristics and requires different tasks to complete. Therefore, each migration path should be planned in detail, scripted, and tested before you actually perform any migration tasks.

  • The first migration option is an in-place upgrade. This migration path is a direct upgrade of the Windows NT 4.0 operating system and domain to Windows Server 2003 and AD.

  • The second option is to migrate the NT 4.0 objects from an existing NT 4.0 domain to a brand-new Windows Server 2003 forest and AD.

  • The third option is to consolidate multiple existing Windows NT 4.0 domains into a single AD domain configuration.

Each domain migration path offers different characteristics and functionality. Before you continue, review each migration path and perform all preparation tasks to prepare your Windows NT 4.0 environment to be migrated to AD. Begin by determining the specific criteria for your migration, such as the time frame in which to complete the migration and your final AD design. Understanding these key areas will assist you in determining which migration path is best for your organization.

Note

The Windows NT 4.0 upgrade is supported by Service Pack 5 (SP5) or later. If an earlier version of service pack is installed, the upgrade is not possible.


For more information on upgrading a Windows NT 4.0 domain to Windows Server 2003 AD, it is recommended to reference Windows Server 2003 Unleashed, R2 Edition, by Sams Publishing (ISBN: 0-672-32898-4).

Upgrading from Windows Server 2000 Active Directory

Because it is required to run Exchange Server 2007 on AD using Windows Server 2003, organizations need to upgrade their Windows 2000 domain controllers to Windows Server 2003.

In many ways, a migration from Windows 2000 Server domain to Windows Server 2003 is more of a service pack upgrade than a major migration scenario. The differences between the operating systems are more evolutionary than revolutionary; consequently, there are fewer design considerations than in upgrades from the NT 4.0 operating system.

Because the fundamental differences between Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 are not significant, the possibility of simply upgrading an existing Windows 2000 domain controller to Windows Server 2003 is an option. Depending on the type of hardware currently in use in a Windows 2000 AD environment, this type of migration strategy becomes an option. Often, however, it is more appealing to simply introduce new domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 into an existing environment and retire the domain controllers running Windows 2000 Server from production. This technique normally has less impact on current environments and can also support fallback more easily.

2. Implementing Active Directory from Scratch

The following sections focus on installing Windows Server 2003 AD to support an Exchange Server 2007 installation. This AD example consists of a single site and single domain controller representing a small organization. The order of operations of this installation includes the following:

  • Installing Windows Server 2003

  • Installing Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or higher

  • Installing the first domain controller

  • Configuring AD Sites and Services

  • Configuring a global catalog server

2.1 Installing Windows Server 2003

The mechanism that lies at the base of Exchange Server 2007 functionality is the operating system. Exchange draws from Windows its base functionality, and it cannot be installed without it. Consequently, the operating system installation is the first step in the creation of a new Exchange server.

As previously mentioned, Exchange Server 2007 requires an operating system to supply needed core functionality. The operating system of choice for Exchange Server 2007 is Windows Server 2003, Standard or Enterprise Edition with the latest Windows service pack or at least Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. 

Note

It is highly recommended to install Exchange Server 2007 on a clean, freshly built operating system on a reformatted drive. If the server that will be used for Exchange Server 2007 was previously running in a different capacity, the most secure and robust solution is to completely reinstall the operating system using the procedure outlined in the next passages.


Installation of Windows Server 2003 is straightforward, and takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Many hardware manufacturers include special installation instructions and procedures, which might vary from the procedure outlined here, but the concepts are roughly the same. To install Windows Server 2003, Standard or Enterprise Edition, perform the following steps:

1.
Insert the Windows Server 2003 Standard CD into the CD drive.

2.
Power up the server and let it boot to the CD-ROM drive. If there is currently no operating system on the hard drive, it automatically boots into the CD-ROM–based setup, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Running the CD-ROM–based Windows Server 2003 setup.

3.
When prompted, press Enter to start setting up Windows.

4.
At the licensing agreement screen, read the license, and then press F8 if you agree to the license agreement.

5.
Select the physical disk on which Windows will be installed. Choose between the available disks shown by using the up and down arrows. When selected, press Enter to install.

6.
At the next screen, choose Format the Partition Using the NTFS File System by selecting it, and press Enter to continue.

Following this step, Windows Server 2003 setup begins formatting the hard drive and copying files to it. After a reboot and more automatic installation routines, the setup process continues with the Regional and Language Options screen as follows:

1.
Review the Regional and Language Options, and click Next to continue.

2.
Enter a name and organization into the Personalization screen, and click Next to continue.

3.
Enter the product key for Windows. This is typically on the CD case or part of the license agreement purchased from Microsoft. Click Next after the key is entered.

4.
Select which licensing mode will be used on the server, either Per Server or Per Device, and click Next to continue.

5.
At the Computer Name and Administrator Password screen, enter a unique name for the server, and type a cryptic password into the Password fields.

6.
Check the Date and Time Zone settings, and click Next to continue.

The next screen to be displayed is where networking settings can be configured. Setup allows for automatic configuration (Typical Settings) or manual configuration (Custom Settings) options. Selecting Custom Settings allows for each installed network interface card (NIC) to be configured with various options, such as static IP addresses and custom protocols. Selecting Typical Settings bypasses these steps; however, they can easily be set later. Proceed with the following steps:

1.
To simplify the setup, select Typical Settings, and click Next. Network settings should then be configured after the OS is installed.

2.
Select whether the server will be a member of a domain, or whether it will be a workgroup member. For this demonstration, choose WORKGROUP because the server will be promoted to a domain controller in the upcoming steps.

3.
Click Next to continue.

After more installation routines and reboots, setup will complete and the operating system can be logged on to as the local Administrator and configured for Exchange Server 2007.

 
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