Migrating from SBS2003 to 2008 Standard and Integrating to Existing Forest

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    We currently have our corporate network domain corp.xxx.com which is the domain for our corporate headquarters and 6 remote sites. Each site uses the same domain but a different subnet. All of these sites are interconnected via an dedicated MPLS network.

    We have a facility in the Netherlands that we are currently working to integrate into our existing 2003/2008 network and just added to the MPLS. The current domain is yyy.local, the subnet they already use is a subnet that will fit into our network perfectly so at least that can stay the same. They currently run their email off of a 2003 Small Business Server (SBS) which we want to take away and move their email to our corporate email servers. We would also like to start replicating their data to our corporate servers for redundancy which requires domains in the same forest. We have a new 2008 Standard server on-site in the Netherlands running DNS, DHCP and Active Directory at this point.

    My plan at this point is to do the following: Export all of the email accounts via ExMerge from the SBS server. Then remove the SBS server from the network entirely. At this point I will rename the yyy.local domain to Holland.xxx.com so that both domains are in the same forest. Have the new 2008 server seize A.D. roles and I will then create a two-way trust between them. I have to do this after removing SBS from the domain because SBS doesn’t support domain renames.

    During the rename I will be working on moving the exported mailboxes to our corporate offices over the MPLS network and FTP via the internet. After moving them I will import them into our Corporate Exchange server. What is the best way to allow the users in Holland to use their Holland.xxx.com accounts to access their email on the corp.xxx.com domain? Can I link the accounts directly since there will be a two-way trust or will I need to set up an account on corp.xxx.com for each user and then edit permissions so the Holland accounts can access the mailboxes? Our goal is to make this as transparent and easy to the users as possible, we don’t want them having multiple accounts they must use/maintain.

    Also, does anyone see a better migration path than the one I’ve outlined? Our end-goal is to get the Holland network into the same forest as the rest of our locations and migrate their email to our servers. Since it takes an 8 hour flight to get to the site, I want to make sure I have a very detailed and well laid out plan before getting there. Any input or pointers you can give me would be very much appreciated.

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