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Migrate Exchange Users to New Domain?

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  • Migrate Exchange Users to New Domain?

    I have a somewhat tricky (for me) scenario that I need some help with. My company has bought a portion of another company's assets, along with the associated personnel and the domain name that they used (for example, assume the company uses the domain name "" and they had a subsidiary using "". My company has bought only the "" portion of the operation. The other company (Widgets) has maintained an Exchange server (Exchange 2003) functioning as a domain controller for their widgets.local domain in several locations worldwide. These Exchange servers are currently all connected via VPN to the old company's main site here in the US. All of the users' mailboxes reside on one of these servers.

    My job is to migrate only the users from the existing widgets.local domain to my company's domain (we'll call it "woggles.local"). The migration doesn't have to happen all at once - it can happen on a site by site basis. Since I am under the impression that the existing Exchange servers cannot be simply removed from the widgets.local domain and then added to the woggles.local domain, here's what I think needs to happen. Please feel free to let me know if you can think of an easier way to do this:

    1. I purchase a new server for widgetsrus site 1, add it to my domain, set up replication schedules, install Exchange, and create user accounts for users at site 1
    2. I establish a VPN connection from widgetsrus site 1 to my location
    3. I ship the new server to widgetsrus site 1
    4. I exmerge all the mailboxes from the existing widgets.local domain controller/Exchange server, then import them to the new server.
    5. I migrate clients from widgets.local domain to woggles.local domain
    6. I remove the existing widgets.local domain controller from the widgets.local domain and ship it back to my office here
    7. I wipe the machine and start over for the next site using the old hardware from site 1 for site 2, etc., etc., etc.

    I hope what I've written makes some sense. I know there are those of you who can run rings around my knowledge of Exchange and AD, so I welcome any suggestions you might have.

  • #2
    Re: Migrate Exchange Users to New Domain?

    Nothing wrong with the plan as I see it.
    However the only thing you need to consider is how the users communicate with each other while the users are spread over two organisations.

    The way that I would do it is via secondary domains.
    You obviously have your domain and the parent of the other company have their own domain. Therefore if you ensure that all users on your Exchange org have an email address in your primary domain (as well as their real domain) and ask the company you are migrating off if they are prepared to do the same thing with their domain, then you can forward email between the two sites as the users are migrated across.
    Once the migration is complete the accounts can be removed.

    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

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