Friday, February 13, 2009

YOU try to install Exchange!

Well, I'm sure many of you could have done this quicker and easier than I did. But I have to outline how my own lack of doing research cost me three days of work.

For those who don't know. Exchange is Microsoft Exchange Server or their mail server product. If you work in a corporate environment or even small business, most-likely they're running Exchange server.

We have an old server that is dying. It is still running but it has a bad fan in a power supply and it will go pretty soon. So, time is of the essence. Our journey to install a new server has been fraught with peril.

The day I learned we needed a new server I got permission from the higher-ups to purchase it. I couldn't do it immediately because my account rep was not back from medical leave. On the day he was back to work, we had a level 2 snow emergency in Columbus and I was at home. So, I ordered the next day. The server, surprisingly was on the Museum Dock the next morning. That was fast!

However, I didn't have an Operating System yet; Microsoft hadn't approved the order. That afternoon I had two frantic phone calls from my account rep saying that Microsoft would no longer give us Charity pricing! They would, however, give us Academic pricing so I had to fax over our 501(c)(3) paperwork and things would be on their way. Well, Finance was preparing for the audit so they couldn't give me the paperwork and it was a Friday. So, Monday they said they would try but it wasn't until Tuesday when I got the paperwork. I immediately faxed it off and that afternoon I had the server software. This is getting long and I haven't even gotten to the installation!

The Museum owns Exchange 2003. We want to upgrade to Exchange 2007 but we can't just yet. Exchange 2007 requires a 64-bit installation of the server operating system. So, we decided to go cutting edge and install Microsoft Windows Server 2008 64-bit. I got it all installed and went to install Exchange but server 2008 was missing a component required to install. I googled to find that Exchange 2003 won't install on Server 2008.

So, I reformatted and re-installed Windows Server 2003 64-bit. I got it all installed with all it's patches and went to install Exchange and it says it won't run! Checking the settings it says that Exchange 2003 will not run on a 64-bit Operating System! So, I had to reformat and reinstall a THIRD TIME to Windows 2003 32-bit. Two days of work just trying to install.

We had to make a decision about whether or not we attempt to upgrade to Exchange 2007 or wait. If we wait then we would have to format and re-install the operating system on the server in order to get Exchange 2007 installed on there since it will only run on a 64-bit OS. By the time we do that, we'll probably just have to purchase another new server. Spending $6,500 more next year to save $2,240 this year. But if you don't have the 2240 to spend this year, you can't do much about it.

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