I work in IT, mostly as a network / systems engineer, and have done so since the 80s.

As anyone who works in IT will tell you, if something goes wrong we are the ones who eventually end up having to fix it. It’s ALWAYS my problem.


  1. Hi Rob,
    You answered to the following question back in 2011, I;ve the same situation and don’t know where to start from, can you please help?

    Its a company merger of aaa.com and bbb.com

    Server : 2003 Exchange server
    IP : ip)
    Domain : aaa.com

    Server : 2003 Exchange server (remote location)
    IP : ip)
    Domain : bbb.com

    now, within 2 month bbb.com is moving in to our building, so we both will be using same office and same domain (aaa.com)

    should I migrate from exchange 2003 (aaa.com) to a new exchange 2010 server and add bbb.com as accepted domain and give them outlook anywhere?

    should I install additional exchange server on the same network with different domain name?

    Should I consider any conflict between these exchange servers?

  2. Hi Ashwin,

    As long as the servers have different IP addresses and netbios names then they’ll happily work on the same physical network, totally unaware of each other, so you can take your time to research and plan what to do next. You can set up a smtp connector between the two exchange systems to allow people in one domain to send email to the other too.

    If you’re merging the two companies then why not upgrade the domain you are keeping (aaa.com?) to Exchange 2010 and then do a “cross forest” migration to move the mailboxes from the Exchange 2003 server in bbb.com to the exchange setup in aaa.com. That’s probably what I would do – It essentially involves setting up a trust between the two windows domains and then you can use the various tools available to migrate both Windows accounts and Exchange mailboxes from the old domain to the new one. It’s a bit time consuming but not really difficult.

    There’s a decent blog post here http://padmandesilva.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/how-to-move-a-mailbox-across-forests-from-exchange-2003-to-exchange-2007/ that explains how to do it – the article mentions Exchange 2007 but that’s close enough to Exchange 2010 for what you’re doing.

    If there’s only a few users in bbb.com then you can do this with a more manual process that isn’t quite as nice but might be less work to set up to only move a few users – export their email to a PST file from their mailbox on bbb.com, set up a new windows account and create a new mailbox on aaa.com and then restore the PST file to the new mailbox. Not pretty but for a few users it will work.

  3. Hi Rob,
    First of all thank you so much for your reply. and yes, Great suggestion!!!
    I’ve few user on BBB.COM so i’ll export them in to PST. now, as u said just migrate exchange 2003(AAA.COM) to exchange 2010.

    1. is exchange 2010 good for outlook anywhere? the reason i’m asking you this question is because BBB.COM users will be using outlook remotely for 2 to 3 month.
    2. can I move (AAA.COM) 1 or 2 user mailbox to exchange 2010 every night or I’ve to move every user in one day means on weekend?

    1. Outlook Anywhere should be fine with Exchange from 2007 onwards (better with 2010, and even better still with 2013 but 2010 will be fine).

      You can move the users however you like. I tend to go for the “big weekend move” method myself but that’s just my preference and moving them at a slower pace will work equally well.

      What you will need to do if you’re moving users by exporting PSTs is to ensure that users have their outlook settings updated as you move them, but as long as you do that you can move users at whatever pace you feel like. In fact, whatever method you use to move the mailboxes it’s probably a good idea to move one or two test users, then stop for a while and make sure both you and they are happy and you know what questions are likely to ask before you carry out the rest of the move.

  4. Last question,

    So what I understand from your last comment is….

    1. Install exchange 2010 on existing 2003 environment.
    2. move 2 or 3 users and wait for few days how is it going.
    3. if everything works great then move all users.
    4. unstall exchange 2003

    am I correct?

    1. Yes, that’s right. That’s how I’ve done it in the past. It usually works really well. Good luck 🙂

  5. Hi there,
    i just finish reading your reply on a question on Serverfault.com (http://serverfault.com/questions/218005/how-do-i-deal-with-a-compromised-server).
    I am not in the situation that my vserver has been compromised. But I want to thank you personally. Your answer, which was written in perfect style(just sayin’), just demands a personal “thanks” from someone who appreciates people that feel like putting a lot of effort into helping others.

    My respects,

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