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upgrading to W2k3 with Exchange 2000

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  • upgrading to W2k3 with Exchange 2000

    As I have searched through many postings, but many have only focused on AD and not exchange. I have 8 DC throughout the country with all atleast having T1. My Exchange 2000 server is a member server within my w2k native environment, with 600 users with 4 storage groups totaling 350GB. I am planning on upgrading my network to w2k3, but have reservations because email is such a huge impact if its down for any time.

    I know and plan to introduce a new server with w2k3 R2 std SP2. run standard forestprep/domainprep, DCPromo, check replication, then move FSMO role over to new DC.

    - What should I do to prep exchange for the upgrade environment? Can it be ran during normal business hours (9-5)?
    - Do I need to run forestprep/domainprep on the other 7 DC's?
    - How should I plan for a backout plan if something happens with upgrade or Exchange?
    - Anything else you can provide or suggest I need to do prior to the upgrade?
    - Exchange any downtime with upgrade?

    I appreciate any helpful suggestion or hints