I have an Exchange Server 5.5 server on an Alpha system. What's the best way to migrate the server to Exchange 2000 Server running on Windows 2000 on Intel?
I've received quite a few Exchange-on-Alpha questions lately, probably because people are deciding to upgrade their hardware or Windows configuration. Anyway, you have two alternatives. The first is to set up your Exchange 2000 server on a new box in your existing Exchange Server 5.5 organization, then move mailboxes to it. This method is conceptually easy. However, when you get ready to remove your existing Alpha server, remember to follow the steps in the Microsoft article "XADM: How to Remove the First Exchange Server in a Site" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q152/9/59.asp).
The alternative method is to perform a disaster recovery: Back up the Alpha, bring up the new box with Exchange Server 5.5 (on either Win2K or Windows NT), restore the backup to get Exchange functional, and upgrade to Exchange 2000 at your leisure. This method is more complicated, and it can take a long time (though it's usually faster than moving mailboxes). However, it's great practice for disaster recovery—and it lets you keep the same server name.