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Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013 Migration RRS feed

  • Question

  • HI,

    Existing Setup:

    Internet -->SMTP Gateway --> Exchange Server2003 (EX01), with 3x DCs(GC+DNS: DC01, DC02, DC03)

    AD Forest Level : 2008 R2

    We have an exchange 2003 setup with a single exchange server and approx. 100 mail boxes. We are contemplating migrating to exchange 2013. My understanding is that it can be done in 2 ways:

    1. Upgrade to Exchange 2007/2010--> Install  2007/2010 SP3 (when released) --> Upgrade to Exchange 2013

    2. Backup all mailboxes from the existing exchange 2003 setup including public folders --> Remove Exchange 2003 from AD--> Install Exchange 2013 --->Create Mailboxes for users --> Insert backup up PST files back into the mailboxes.

    Am I correct so far?

    In case I am correct, I was wondering if the 2nd option would be better as it would mean less effort and may be less downtime if I follow this method:


    1. Isolate SMTP Gateway + 1 DC (GC+DNS; DC01) + Exchange 2003 (EX01) from the rest of the AD

    2. Ensure SMTP + DC01 + EX01 is working properly

    3. Cleanup the AD on VLAN2 with DC02+DC03 and remove Exchange 2003 organization.

    4. Install Exchange 2013 in the DC02+DC03 AD, create mailboxes for all users that had mailboxes on EX01 (exchange 2003)

    5. Point the SMTP Gateway to the new AD/Exchange 2013 (Servername EX2013)

    6. Backup all mailboxes from EX01 (Exchange 2003)

    7. Inject mails from the backed up PST files into the respective 2013 mailboxes on Exchange 2013



    • Edited by spacenoxx Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:24 AM
    • Changed type spacenoxx Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:42 PM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:05 AM

Answers

  • 1. OK - I misread your earlier post so that looks good.

    2. The PST will back up calendar information but people will lose ownership of their appointments - meaning that they cannot reschedule/change/cancel meetings they have organised.  Converting the legacyExchangeDN AD attribute to an X500 proxy address on the new mailbox fixes this.

    3.  OK.

    You should have a link by your initial post for changing it to a question but you are fine to leave it as a discussion too.

    Cheers, Steve

    • Marked as answer by spacenoxx Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:43 PM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:29 AM
  • I would always go for a mailbox move (staged) migration whenever possible.  I have done migrations to Office 365 using PST files and IMAP imports and they caused a lot of pain for the users for the reasons you mentioned.  I also like to test a new Exchange platform in parallel for as long as the client will allow because no matter how much planning you do something always comes up.  This however is based on my experience working with large organisations and you know what is best in your own environment.

    Replication shouldn't be a problem when you are importing PSTs - just don't do failover testing at the same time :-)

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:03 PM

All replies

  • I would go with option 2, but I wouldn't split my AD environment in the process. 



    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 8:13 AM
  • What is the problem in splitting the AD? Its just a temporary thing in any case.

    It doesn't affect anything in a negative way. Splitting the AD is just a fail-safe method.

    It will allow me to go back to my previous setup (Exchange 2003) without any loss of mails and minimal down time.

    Incase something went wrong with my exchange 2013 setup I can always point the SMTP Gateway back to exchange 2003 server and everything will be as it was before all the changes were made. On the other hand if everything went well with EX2013, I will just remove the DC01+EX01 servers once and for all. 


    • Edited by spacenoxx Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:31 AM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:24 AM
  • Hi

    I would personally go for option 1 but your plan for option 2 seems OK.  Just 3 points:

    1. When you say "back up" do you mean export to PST?  If so then that is fine because you will not be able to mount a restored database once 2003 is gone.

    2. If your users want to retain possession of their calendars and keep their autocomplete cache then you will need to capture their legacyExchangeDN and convert it to an X500 proxy address in 2013.

    3. Any permissions on shared mailboxes/calendars/folders will be lost.

    Something which may not be a problem is the fact that you cannot test and if something does go wrong on the 2013 side your roll-back will be painful - especially if it happens a week down the road.

    Cheers, Steve

    P.S. Could you change this discussion to a question so that it can be proposed/answered?

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:55 AM
  • Thanks a lot Steve for a detailed reply.

    1. I already mentioned that in #7 when I said the mails would be injected from backed up PST files. I plan to use ExMerge to create those PST files. I also plan to use this opportunity to create Archive files for those with larger than 2GB so that I can showcase the Online Archive features of 2013

    2. Doesn't the PST file also have Calender Information? I may be wrong but I vaguely remember seeing the "calendar" in a PST file and was kind of assuming that the calendar information would also be injected. However, this is not a deal breaker as I was expecting Calendar related issues in case of new/changed organization.

    3. I was planning to take a screen shot of each Mailbox's Forwarding as well as Access Rights in any case as there are quite a few forwarding rules in place.

    How do I change it into a question?

    Though this probably looks more like "pondering" than a real question, it was actually intended as a question, when I wrote "I was wondering if the 2nd option would be better.."

    I must admit that English is not my native language, so some help would really be appreciated.


    • Edited by spacenoxx Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:47 AM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:46 AM
  • 1. OK - I misread your earlier post so that looks good.

    2. The PST will back up calendar information but people will lose ownership of their appointments - meaning that they cannot reschedule/change/cancel meetings they have organised.  Converting the legacyExchangeDN AD attribute to an X500 proxy address on the new mailbox fixes this.

    3.  OK.

    You should have a link by your initial post for changing it to a question but you are fine to leave it as a discussion too.

    Cheers, Steve

    • Marked as answer by spacenoxx Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:43 PM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:29 AM
  • Just 1 last question Steve.

    Why do you prefer Option 1? Is it because it requires very little micro management such as Calendars, forwarders and such?

    My issues with Option 1 are that it requires more Servers/VMs to manage the entire process. I have to first migrate the setup to 2010 and then setup HA, wait for 3-4 months ?? for the SP3 to be released and do the same thing back again with 2013. Current setup is a single server setup so obviously no HA.

    However with Option 2 I can have HA/Online Archives and anything else IN PLACE with 2013 and then inject the PST files (I am assuming injecting mails after HA setup doesn't create any replication problems with the passive mailbox)

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:27 PM
  • I would always go for a mailbox move (staged) migration whenever possible.  I have done migrations to Office 365 using PST files and IMAP imports and they caused a lot of pain for the users for the reasons you mentioned.  I also like to test a new Exchange platform in parallel for as long as the client will allow because no matter how much planning you do something always comes up.  This however is based on my experience working with large organisations and you know what is best in your own environment.

    Replication shouldn't be a problem when you are importing PSTs - just don't do failover testing at the same time :-)

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:03 PM
  • If your looking for tools:

    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 6, 2013 9:47 PM