1.) very hard without having an extra server,(would be best if you had one more server and leave what you have now in place) you can try the method you mentioned, I would take a DiRT backup from what you have now, and then restore to this old server you mentioned, also follow what I have listed below, to minimize the outage.
2.) No real upgrade, you will be reinstalling from scratch because you are changing domains.
3.) see #2
with the new 5.0 server, no you do not install exchange on the server, only the 2003 Exchange tools.
Not to discourage you, but this is gonna be a long process and you need to really plan for this, a lot can go wrong, so yeah be sure to open a TAC case.
The hard part here is the fact that you have a VM solution all on box, and I am assuming the exsisting customer Exchange is in a seperate domain than the VM only box. At a high level you will have to use ExMerg (Microsoft tool) if you want to transfer the old voicemail they have saved to the new UM environment, which is gonna be tricky with two different domains, I would recommend to leave the old server in place after the UM conversion, assign it a different pilot number, and tell the users to access their saved VM, 'dial XXXX' and that it will be decomissioned after a period of time.
As far as no interuptions, if this is really a critical factor, I would suggest a cold cut over, meaning, leave the current server inplace, install the new 5.0 on a different server, import all the users from the off box Exchange server using Bulk Import tool, integrate this fully with the CCM but do not change the pilot number in everyones Vm profile yet, first test everything and when you are ready you just go in and change the VM profile to point to the new Unity server.
well we do have an old server and i just migrated all the info to that server and that is fine so we have cutover the old server already and now i can work with the new.
so now im starting to plan.
tell me if im wrong here.
First, i saw that you could use a new tool called COBRAS instead of DIRT.
second the plan is (and pleasssse tell me if im going wrong here), since i have the exchange on the unity, migrate the exchange to the existing customer exchange (basically moving the exchange out and placing onto customer domain.
then i can install 5.X and use COBRAS to restore messages and call handlers.
obviously im seeing a zillion grey areas here but am i even getting a little warm ?
Obviously im going to LAB everything here before i even attempt to do this
As far as migrating the old Exchange, do you really have a lot of voicemail that needs to be saved?
The biggest issue is the separate domains, you cant just change that in Unity, you have to reinsatll everything.
I am assuming that all your users have accounts for email in the 2007 environment, so to get them on the new Unity server you will just import them, so no real need to transfer/move their accounts from the old to teh new.
The problem with the COBRAS is that it is beta only, so no TAC or BU support, Jeff Lindborg will help as best he can, but he is a very busy guy.
One option that you do have, is upgrade your current server to 5.0, take a DiRT back up saving voicemail and all settings and then restore to your new server which is integrated to the 2007 server. This should work, as long as the users alias's match on both servers.
just to advise. the customer said they would rather a fresh installation and dont worry about existing messages or personal greetings as they intend to standardize on this as well :) the only thing i need to retain are the call handlers for thier Auto Attendant.
makes the job much easier but im still gonna spend some time migrating all subscribers in teh lab to ensure that the next time around i can post answers instead of questions
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