Numerous organizations around the world make use of a variety of exchange servers like Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013. Now, exchange server 2003, which was present in the market for more than 8 years and beside that many administrators are aware of the program inside out, the present scenario presents a complete different picture.
The entire era has changed, and facts like introduction of Cloud, the release of MS Exchange 2013 and numerous factors are making the 2003 version out of date and forcing them to migrate from 2010 to 2013 exchange server. Adding to that, these days there are numerous mobile devices that are accessing Exchange mailboxes directly. These and many other reasons are pushing many administrators to consider migrating to more modern solutions, such as Exchange 2013. However, migrating to Exchange 2013 certainly requires and demands a deep research and choosing right email migration approach.
Beside technical issues that might occur during the migration, it is very important to count on number of other things that you as administrator need to take care of before actually setting to work. Nothing is more important than having the right plan and its successful execution, especially when it comes to migrating from Exchange 2003, 2007 or 2010 to exchange 2013. While one performs any such migration, there are few vital aspects that need to be taken care of, so that the mistakes can be avoided while migrating to exchange 2013. Few mistakes that you can easily avoid are:
Not evaluating the present existing environment
It has been observed that many companies fall into major migrations without evaluating the existing environments as well as what needs to be moved and what doesn’t(e.g., data stores, users, mailboxes). Assessing application and browser compatibility is vital point. So, it is important for you to remember that just like Exchange 2010 has removed support for Outlook 2000, Exchange 2013 has too removed support for Outlook 2003. Therefore when it comes to Exchange 2013, you must make use of Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013. Outlook 2007 must run Service Pack 3 along with the November 2012update or later, and on other hand Outlook 2010 must run Service Pack 1 along with the November 2012update or later. With Exchange 2013, users could experience Outlook Web Access in all its glory with a version of Internet Explorer as IE8. Although IE8 suffers from performance issues when running Outlook Web App 2013, it is important to consider IE9 the baseline.
Unable to define coexistence between existing and new system
Failing to provide seamless coexistence between existing and new systems is a frequent mistake, which can escort to service disruptions or lost productivity. Coexistence is essential, particularly with Exchange migrations that typically are deployed in phases. All communication for Outlook clients with Exchange 2013 generally makes use of HTTPS instead of the combination of RPC/MAPI. Now, this clearly indicates that Outlook Anywhere is used for internal clients as well as external clients. Consequently, in case your organization make use of Outlook Anywhere externally, You got to be ensure that Outlook Anywhere is well enabled on Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010. The reason is MS Exchange 2013 will proxy Outlook Anywhere requests to the version of Outlook Anywhere that corresponds to the version of Exchange Server the mailbox. Enabling Outlook Anywhere is not sufficient, you got to ensure that NTLM authentication at the IIS level is enabled for both Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010.
Not utilizing Jetstress and Loadgen
Exchange 2013 sizing is fundamentally different. Instead, you need to re-think the best way to deploy Exchange 2013. With any Exchange Server 2013 implementation, a critical step is using JetStress to ensure that the storage subsystem can get competent enough to handle the expected load. Jetstress is a Microsoft tool that has been devised to simulate the JET database I/O on your storage subsystem. JetStress has been updated for Exchange 2013. Additionally, LoadGen, simulates client (Outlook, OWA, POP, SMTP) workload against your exchange server. These applications are completely critical in any Exchange deployment and it is important that one must not skip it.
Not defining separate replication traffic
In exchange environment, it is also important that you assess separate physical NIC’s for MAPI and replication traffic. Putting everything on the same NIC could be major mistake as you could easily disturb Outlook MAPI traffic especially if you are seeding a few database copies which can flood the NIC and also interrupt traffic between the servers.
Ignorance to dedicate VMFS volumes exclusively for Exchange
When it comes to VMWare and Exchange it is always sensible to hold back VMFS volumes for Exchange only. This becomes much more prominent in medium to large Exchange deployments. Exchange is an important application and therefore you don’t want its performance gets affected with another service for I/O.
Thus, by taking care of some of the points mentioned above, you can always overcome or avoid some of the unwanted happenings that take place while migrating to exchange server 2013. However, despite taking care of some of the points highlighted above, many experts nowadays are recommending about taking help of third party exchange server migration utility like Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager. The software provides the most effective solution to conduct mailbox migration from one Exchange server to another Exchange server with least resource consumption.
No doubt setting up hardware for mailbox migration is considered as a highly expensive step, but this Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager provides a cost-effective Exchange Server migration solution and takes care of many other intricacies. The software automates the entire procedure of copying mailboxes from EDB database to different Exchange server on the network. Moreover, with this software you can migrate mailboxes from Live Exchange public folder or a Live Exchange Server to another Live Exchange Server, public folder or Office 365 mailboxes. The tool makes the mailbox migration process more effective by providing the capacity to export mailboxes in bulk. In fact, with this feature multiple mailboxes can be exported from one Exchange server to another Exchange server or PST with least efforts.
So, the next time when you require performing exchange server migration, just take care of do’s and don’ts and develop a proper strategy like executing third party exchange server migration software (if required) to get the desired result.
There are various reasons that are pushing many administrators to consider migrating to more modern solutions, such as Exchange 2013. However, migrating to Exchange 2013 certainly requires and demands a deep research and choosing right email migration approach. Besides proper planning there are few vital aspects that you need to look out in order to avoid mistakes that occur while migrating to Exchange Server 2013.
Steve Smith is a technical writer and has got a good knowledge about exchange server migration. In this write-up, he has tried to mention few vital points that one need to take care while migrating to exchange server 2013.