Converting existing Exchange 2007 to VM
We have an existing Exchange 2007 SP2 server that i would like to convert to a VM to run in hyper V. The hardware that it is running on can be upgraded to run several VMs and i want to consolidate. I am trying to determine if it would be better to convert the existing server using sysinternal's Disk2VHD tool or if i should build a new Exchange 2010 VM and then move the mailboxes and public folders to it. My ultimate goal is to get to Exchange 2010 running in a VM. But i have some questions. 1. If i convert the existing 2007 server, will the UC SSL still be valid or will i have to have a new one created? (obviously, if i choose the new exchange 2010 route i need a new SSL, but i would like to avoid that). 2. The existing Exch server has a Raid 1 system drive, a Raid 1 Transaction log drive, and a Raid 10 Database stores drive. Would it be best to convert these all to the VM or should i combine transaction and database onto one VHD? 3. If i do the disk2vhd route, is there anything to watch out for when bringing the VM online? I know that the original server will need to be offline, but will my DCs and partner office exchange server (which is a vm by the way) recognize the converted exchange server without additional steps? Current config: Exchange organization with two exchange servers. Exchange 2007 SP2 on both running on Server 2008 SP2. Each with Hub Transport, Mailbox, and Client Access roles. No UC or Edge roles installed. Corporate server has 30 users (this is the one i am trying to convert) the remote office server has 6 users. OWA on both servers with UC cert from comodo. Corporate server has three drives as noted above. I will implement this transition during a weekend when i can take the exchange server offline with minimal impact. I just want some guidance from someone who may have done this. Trying to find the pitfalls. Thanks for anyone who can contribute.
July 8th, 2010 4:34pm

First, converting existing Exchange servers to virtual machines can be tricky. I have seen several failures which resulted in dysfunctional VMs such as Exchange services not starting. But as long as you keep your physical machine untouched and are able to fall back on that it should be ok to try. I'm not sure that this is supported by Microsoft though, my guess is that it is not. Yes, your certificate will still be valid, since your not changing your server setup, just running the server virtually instead of physically. I would suggest multiple VHDs, this will for example make it easier to move the disks if needed. Yes, they will treat the machine as if its coming back from normal downtime. Martin Sundstrm | Microsoft Certified Trainer | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2007/2010 |
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July 8th, 2010 5:16pm

Thanks, this is helpful. The dysfunctional VM worries me a bit. I suppose that to be conservative, i would be better off building a new VM from scratch and installing Exchange 2010 on it in a migration scenario. I will have to check with comodo and see what a reissue of the cert will cost. I will do a little more research, but thanks for the advice.
July 8th, 2010 6:41pm

I would recommend you to migrate to a new virtual server instead of converting. Not only will you be doing it in a safer way, you will get the upgrade to Exchange 2010 while your at it. Something that you probably would have to do eventually anyway? I’m not so sure that you have to reissue the certificate. Which domain names is included now? Martin Sundström | Microsoft Certified Trainer | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2007/2010 |
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July 8th, 2010 11:21pm

I totally agree with Martin Just a little addon, I've done some of these migrations using VMware converter, platespin and SCVMM Like Martin said, split up the disks for easier managing and when you convert, IF you need to have the server online, make sure you stop the services for exchange/iis etc, or even better do an offline convert of the machine so everything is unloaded But if you can install a new server and just move that's the best optionJonas Andersson MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007/2010 | MCITP: EMA 2007/2010 | MCSE/MCSA Blog:
July 9th, 2010 11:06am

Disk2Vhd may work but has not been tested with Exchange by the product group and would not be supported. You could put yourself in a bad situation if it would fail along the way. There is no support whatsoever for disk2vhd so I would suggest to create a new VM and move mailboxes to it.
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July 9th, 2010 9:09pm

Thanks all. I will be taking the safe route and build a new VM and put Exchange 2010 on it. Now i just need to find a server to host the new VM until i can get everything migrated and rebuild the old server to be the host. Too many projects, not enough resources.
July 9th, 2010 9:17pm

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