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What is a better method: Upgrading Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000, or loading Exchange 2000 clean and

We are planning to Upgrade to Win2k from NT 4. We currently Run Exchange 5.5 on our PDC, which we know is not the best configuration. (Does this theory hold true with Win2k) We are considering putting exchange 2000 on our first DC. What is a better method: Upgrading Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000, or loading Exchange 2000 clean and migrating our mailboxes from 5.5?

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Depending on your budget, either is an ok idea. Both Exchange and domain controllers require system resources to perform their native functions. An Active Directory DC requires significantly more resources than an NT4 PDC does, so if you do go with an in-place upgrade of your existing machine, you'll probably want to beef up the system's RAM and CPU.

If it were me, though, I would get a separate box and go that route. By that I mean, get another server and make it your new Exchange 2000 machine. Do an in-place upgrade of your existing Exchange 5.5 machine to Windows 2000 (and don't forget to change Exchange 5.5's LDAP port beforehand, since Win2K AD will want TCP port 389 for LDAP). Then, install a fresh Exchange 2000 system on a new Win2K box, and move the mailboxes. After, you can de-commission the old Exchange 5.5 and let the box be a DC.

This was first published in October 2001

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