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Migrating from Exchange 2003 to 2013

    General discussion

  • I know there isn't a migration path for Exchange 2003 but has anyone tried any type of work around?  I'm thinking about moving one of my customers users mailboxes to PST files and them importing them into Exchange 2013 on a 2012 server.  Has anyone had any experience doing this?  Below are the details of what I have and what I was thinking about doing:

    Small Network - approx. 10 users

    Server 2003 Sp3 standalone AD DC with Exchange 2003

    Would like to move straight to Server 2012 with Exchange 2013

    If I export the mailboxes and uninstall Exchange from the 2003 server will Server 2012 join the domain and upgrade the existing AD schema (forest and domain)?  If it would, could I then install Exchange 2013 on that server, create the mailboxes for the users and import the PST files?

    Just wondering if anyone has tried this, or something similar.  They don't have an extra server to move everything to 2010 first so it's either a workaround or move them to Exchange 2010 (which Microsoft has quit selling).  I'm sure this will put a lot of small business VARs in a bad situation. 

    (Just as a side note) Is it true that Dell and HP have quit selling Windows 7 Pro? My vendor still sells it and will for 18 more months.

    • Changed type Kimberlain Friday, December 14, 2012 9:29 PM Discussion
    Friday, December 14, 2012 9:26 PM

All replies

  • Exporting to a PST and importing from a PST will work.  However, your users will likely have a miserable experience if you don't take care and retain their original legacyExchangeDN attribute as a proxy address of type X500 (no dot) when you recreate the mailboxes in Exchange 2013.  Also, I hope you don't have public folders, because they'll have to be exported and imported with permissions and e-mail addresses recreated.

    Seriously, I believe you would find it easier to transition to Exchange 2010 and then to Exchange 2013.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Monday, December 17, 2012 2:30 AM
  • I understand what you are saying.  There are no public folders, they are just using it for email, but I think you are correct.  I think it would take too much time and have too may 'bugs' to go straight to 2013.  Plus they don't have an extra server to go to 2010 first so we'll end up just upgrading them to 2010 and leave it for now.  Maybe in a few years they will purchase another server and be able to jump a couple of versions.  I can't find a feasible away round this one.
    Monday, December 17, 2012 3:05 AM
  • That is probably a wise path.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Monday, December 17, 2012 5:35 AM
  • I've got same dilema, user has only 5 user accounts, very small setup but win 2008r2 is already joined to a domain, promoted to a DC. User wants to migrate to 2013 and since he can't i am looking what is the best way to do it. 

    Since it's very small installation i would say the best way would be to install new separate forest, import PST files to newly created users and join all computers to a new domain.

    Opinions?

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 8:52 AM
  • Hi

    That would be acceptable seeing as there are only 5 users - remember to keep the legacyExchangeDN and convert it to X500 proxy addresses.

    Something that would be even more acceptable (or at least worth considering) is Office 365 - the cost for 5 users must be less than the licenses and maintenance of a local server.

    Cheers, Steve

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 8:58 AM
  • Hi Steve,

    you sure i'll have legacyExchangeDN in new forest that does not have any relation to the existing 2003 forest?

    Regards,

    Damir

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:04 AM
  • Hi Steve,

    you sure i'll have legacyExchangeDN in new forest that does not have any relation to the existing 2003 forest?

    Regards,

    Damir


    You will have a new legacyDN in the new Org but you should add the the legacyDN from the old Org as a x500 address for each user in the new Org.

    Sukh

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:31 PM
  • That approach is usually the worst way.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:52 PM
  • m$ really dropped the ball on this one not supporting a migration path from 2003 (or any other exchange product as of this writing actually). Dumping to PST and then importing PST is about the most labor intensive and time consuming method possible for us actually doing the work. If you have 5 mailboxes, sure. If you have 5 mailboxes, I am not sure why you are even using Exchange, but that's another story. When you have 5000+, please...

    As far as microsoft "quit selling" exchange 2010 (and any other "legacy" product), that's not really true. If you buy the current version via volume licensing, you have downgrade rights and can install 2010, or 2007, or whatever. We just bought a bunch of SQL and Server licenses via volume select and have rights to use server 2008, sql2008, etc.

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 1:31 PM
  • They didn't drop any ball at all.  I don't know of any product where they've supported direct upgrades from three versions back.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Monday, December 24, 2012 2:36 AM
  • Hi,

    We don’t support an "upgrade" from Exchange 2003 to 2013, however, we do support a cross-forest migration. In fact, we support going from 2000, 2003, 2007, & 2010 directly to Exchange 2013 in a cross-forest scenario. Obviously, this would require a resource forest, however, it is still a viable option vs. having to migrate (i.e. move mailboxes) multiple times to jump versions and in some cases has less risk to the production AD/Exchange environment.

    Link to product:

    http://www.priasoft.com/

    Link to more info on resource forests:

    http://community.priasoft.com/blogs/exchange_migration_team_blog/archive/2010/05/20/using-a-dedicated-exchange-forest-resource-forest.aspx

    Hope this helps, Cheers!


    CJ www.priasoft.com

    Wednesday, February 06, 2013 9:40 PM
  • You can also try this tool for direct 2003 to 2013 migrations of Exchange:

    http://www.codetwo.com/exchange-migration?sts=2948

    However in this scenario it supports cross-forest migrations only. I believe it's because Exchange 2003 and 2013 can't co-exist in one forest...

    Cheers

    Friday, June 14, 2013 9:06 AM
  • Just to be clear. My client purchased a new server that is part of the domain that they are going to use to run Exchange 2013 and aware they are many revisions behind on Exchange. They have fifteen user mailboxes that we will export to pst files. Upon export completion we will uninstall Exchange 2003. We will then install Exchange 2013 on the new server. Is there anything I am missing other than this is going to take some time?

    Alex

    Sunday, July 07, 2013 2:01 PM
  • Alex, I don't think your missing anything. However, the process you are suggesting is certainly not ideal and does carry some significant risks because there will be a long period of time where there will be no mail available in the domain. That may not only affect the users, but also applications that are installed in the environment an using Exchange as a relay point. If you must take that path, it should be possible to install 2013 once all the 2003 servers are out of the environment. That aside, for 15 users, there should be some serious consideration of going to 2010 or 365 as the other community members are suggesting.

    -DK

    Sunday, July 07, 2013 4:51 PM
  • The way that I would do it is install 2012 and create virtual server 2008 with exchange 2010 and then migrate to exchange 2010. Then decommission the 2003 and remove from domain. Then install 2013 on windows 2012 and migrate to 2013. Remove exchange from win2008 and decommission that virtual server and you have successfully migrated to exchange 2013 with out any loss of data and the users will not even know they are on a new server
    Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:26 AM
  • *Plus the cost of licensing the swing Exchange 2010 server instance.
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:22 PM
  • 1. Exchange 2010 comes with 180 days trial (more than enough for such a project), so there is no licensing cost for the swing.

    2. Obviously, you will need some preparation and planing for the Exchange 2010 swing and using a virtual machine is not a bad idea.

    3. If you choose the Exchange 2010 path, you will not be pressed on time and the downtime will be minimal.

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:52 PM
  • I concur with the migrate to Exchange 2010 first. However, I would stop there. Just stay with Exchange 2010 for now. Unless there is some specific feature you desperately need out of Exchange 2013, Exchange 2010 is what you want, really.

    The users won't be clawing their eyes out and putting hate notes on your desktop over the OWA experience due to all the whiteness of the new Office 2013 look and feel. You won't be clawing your eyes out either when having to use ECP and will be able to use the much better EMC along with the additional toolsets (that aren't available in Exchange 2013, like the BPA). MAPI and other services will continue to work correctly. Most importantly, you won't have to endue the nearly endless stampede of CU bugs and pulled patches that seems to define Exchange 2013 as of late.

    • Edited by ABCFED Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:35 PM asdfsd
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:26 PM
  • I concur with the migrate to Exchange 2010 first. However, I would stop there. Just stay with Exchange 2010 for now. Unless there is some specific feature you desperately need out of Exchange 2013, Exchange 2010 is what you want, really.

    The users won't be clawing their eyes out and putting hate notes on your desktop over the OWA experience due to all the whiteness of the new Office 2013 look and feel. You won't be clawing your eyes out either when having to use ECP and will be able to use the much better EMC along with the additional toolsets (that aren't available in Exchange 2013, like the BPA). MAPI and other services will continue to work correctly. Most importantly, you won't have to endue the nearly endless stampede of CU bugs and pulled patches that seems to define Exchange 2013 as of late.


    Yes, and do not forget to move them back to Windows 95.  :)


    Please “Vote As Helpful” and/or “Mark As Answer” if this post helped you.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:44 AM
  • I concur with the migrate to Exchange 2010 first. However, I would stop there. Just stay with Exchange 2010 for now. Unless there is some specific feature you desperately need out of Exchange 2013, Exchange 2010 is what you want, really.

    The users won't be clawing their eyes out and putting hate notes on your desktop over the OWA experience due to all the whiteness of the new Office 2013 look and feel. You won't be clawing your eyes out either when having to use ECP and will be able to use the much better EMC along with the additional toolsets (that aren't available in Exchange 2013, like the BPA). MAPI and other services will continue to work correctly. Most importantly, you won't have to endue the nearly endless stampede of CU bugs and pulled patches that seems to define Exchange 2013 as of late.


    Yes, and do not forget to move them back to Windows 95.  :)


    Please “Vote As Helpful” and/or “Mark As Answer” if this post helped you.

    No, I think Windows 7 is g-reat. No need to install Windows 95. But, um...not sure what problem you had with my points.

    1. The new look and feel of the "new" OWA looks like Office 2013, which a number of users don't like. 

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/df70a27c-f3d3-41e8-a0ab-a408229b2b31/are-there-any-plans-to-add-more-office-2013-themes

    2. The EMC is, even still, a better tool at presenting the data to the admins. Rather than a drop down box that hides the servers before you click it, you can see all the servers in a list in the EMC, for example. The EMC takes less mouse clicks to accomplish the same task. 

    3. The toolbox is just plain gone now. The BPA is gone. All the neat tools are gone in Exchange 2013. There isn't a replacement. 

    4. MAPI doesn't work now, so Exchange 2010 will support older clients and Exchange 2013 won't.

    5. They just pulled the CU2 update and just a few days ago pulled another critical patch. Look at all this "wonderful" feedback they have received: 

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2013/08/14/exchange-2013-security-update-ms13-061-status-update.aspx

    All of those I listed above are reasons why one should stick with Exchange 2010. Being the "latest and greatest" in this case isn't a good thing. Skip Exchange 2013 until at least the SP1 comes out then re-evaluate it. It's just not baked yet. They've focused way too much development effort on their cloud on not enough for their onsite customers in this release. 

    That's of course my opinion, others will of course have different opinions.

    :)

    • Edited by ABCFED Thursday, August 22, 2013 1:48 AM asdasd
    Thursday, August 22, 2013 1:40 AM
  • If you consider any of the following...

    Initial costs.

    Cost of ownership.

    Compatibility with other email systems.

    Security and responsiveness of vendor (MS) to known issues.

    ...any one of those issues is enough to drop (Virus) Exchange from consideration. Take a look at Kerio or Zimbra, both have migration tools. The typical uptime of either running on Linix or Ubuntu equals the age of the server. The mail systems need restart of services with upgrades but yes, the OS of my mail servers run for years without reboots.

    Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:31 PM
  • If you consider any of the following...

    Initial costs.

    Cost of ownership.

    Compatibility with other email systems.

    Security and responsiveness of vendor (MS) to known issues.

    ...any one of those issues is enough to drop (Virus) Exchange from consideration. Take a look at Kerio or Zimbra, both have migration tools. The typical uptime of either running on Linix or Ubuntu equals the age of the server. The mail systems need restart of services with upgrades but yes, the OS of my mail servers run for years without reboots.

    I call BS here.  I'm not a lover of MS products, but Exchange is solid.  And if you're really running servers for years without reboots then you're not applying critical updates (yes, Linux has them too) in a timely manner. 

    Uptime isn't the factor it used to be with virtual machines.  I can restart my Exchange environment in less than one minute.  Painless. 

    Wednesday, April 09, 2014 7:17 PM
  • If you consider any of the following...

    Initial costs.

    Cost of ownership.

    Compatibility with other email systems.

    Security and responsiveness of vendor (MS) to known issues.

    ...any one of those issues is enough to drop (Virus) Exchange from consideration. Take a look at Kerio or Zimbra, both have migration tools. The typical uptime of either running on Linix or Ubuntu equals the age of the server. The mail systems need restart of services with upgrades but yes, the OS of my mail servers run for years without reboots.

    I call BS here.  I'm not a lover of MS products, but Exchange is solid.  And if you're really running servers for years without reboots then you're not applying critical updates (yes, Linux has them too) in a timely manner. 

    Uptime isn't the factor it used to be with virtual machines.  I can restart my Exchange environment in less than one minute.  Painless. 

    Well Said!
    Friday, August 15, 2014 1:37 PM
  • It's easy enough to stand up an Exchange 2010 server to perform intermediate migrations.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Friday, August 15, 2014 3:46 PM