Ok here is the deal. In my company we have what i think to be a complicated exchange environment.
There are 2 domains, Domain A-Alpha(the old domain) and Domain B-Bravo(the new domain).
Email domain name: @companya.com
Our company has forced us to migrate users to Bravo and keep exchange running at the same time. Now these domains are in different forest and there is a 2-way transitive trust between the forest.
Alpha has 2 exchange servers.
Alpha1- is the bridgehead exchange enterprise 2003 sp2 server. This server is the original exchange server of the company and has the remaining mailboxes on it. All mailflow goes through this server.
Alpha2- is a secondary exchange 2003 server i installed which just has mailboxes on it(this was installed for performance reasons).
Also there is a brightmail server which is on our DMZ which is where our MX records point to. All email in/out of our company goes through this server. Alpha1 is configured to route external mail through this brightmail server by using it as a "smarthost" in the exchange configuration.
Bravo domain currently has 2 servers.
Bravo1 - Exchange 2007 enterprise sp1 which i installed in order to get mailflow between the 2 domains working. After working with microsoft i was able to get smtp name sharing working across both the domains so that all mail went in/out the Alpha1 exchange server.
Bravo2 - Exchange 2010 server which i installed all the roles on (except for the UM role). There are no mailboxes on this server as of yet as i plant to migrate everyone/everything to this server.
Couple of things to note:
A. There is smtp name sharing configured between the 2 domains(we wanted to keep the same @companya.com name between the 2 exchange servers in different organizations).
B. Exchange 2010 has already been installed in Bravo domain with all the roles on a single server(Bravo2). So all the AD and exchange pre-reqs on the bravo domain have already been installed
C. There are public folders replicating between the Alpha and Bravo exchange servers
D. We have about 900 mailboxes in total and our executives use iphones to check email.
E. We have a blackberry server on the alpha domain which we also have to migrate.
Here are my issues.
1. What are the best practices as far as "roles" in an exchange 2010 environment.
Should the mailbox role be a physical server with local storage?
Can the cas server be a VM? if so how many cas servers would we need? Would having CAS on a VM affect user front-end performance?
Can i separate the 2010 roles after I have already installed them all on Bravo2?
I would like to setup at least one DAG for redundancy after everything has been migrated, or can this be done prior to the migration?
2. What are the steps I need in order to get everyone on the 2010 environment and get rid of the name sharing between the forest and connect Bravo2 directly to our brightmail box on the dmz. We also want to get rid of the exchange 2007 server(bravo1).
3. Many of our executives have 8+gb mailboxes and are complaining of performance hits in outlook when tryign to browse email on alpha1 server. Will this still be an issue with 2010? we do not have any archiving solution in place(yet) so they need to keep all these emails.
4. There is a captaris rightfax connector on the alpha1 server that also needs to be migrated to 2010.
All the executive/corporate mailboxes are still on the Alpha1 server. This is mainly because we havent migrated there pc's to the new bravo domain, and because they are using blackberrys which our bes server is on the alpha domain so i cant move them over until i setup a temporary bes server on the new domain.
All the other mailboxes for the company have already been migrated to the Bravo1 server on the new domain(regular staff).
I apologize for the long explanation but I felt it was necessary. And i may have even left some stuff out.
Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me out with this as it seems like a huge project.