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Exchange 2016

Migrating to Exchange Server 2016 from previous versions

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This article is the first part in a series on migrating to Exchange Server 2016. To demonstrate the Exchange 2016 migration process I’ll be using the following scenario.

The customer, Not Real University, is currently running a mixed Exchange 2010 and 2013 environment. They were in the process of upgrading to Exchange 2013 but were delayed by some technical issues. With the release of Exchange 2016, Not Real University has decided to stop the Exchange 2013 project and upgrade the entire environment to Exchange 2016 instead.

That scenario provides the opportunity to demonstrate many of the technical requirements for migrating to Exchange 2016 from both Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013.

Environment Overview

To begin with, let’s perform a review of the existing environment to gather information that can be used for planning the migration project. Steve Goodman’s environment report script is a good tool for this purpose. Running the script reveals the following information about Not Real University.

environment-report

The existing environment contains:

  • An Exchange 2010 SP3 UR14 multi-role server, hosting one database for 78 mailboxes, and a public folder database
  • An Exchange 2013 CU13 multi-role server, hosting one database for 33 mailboxes
  • An Exchange 2013 CU13 Edge Transport server for inbound/outbound mail flow

Not Real University makes use of a broad range of Exchange features, including:

  • Webmail, Outlook Anywhere and mobile access for staff and students
  • SMTP relay for internal devices and applications
  • POP and IMAP for some legacy clients and systems
  • Shared mailboxes for various teams
  • Public folders for collaboration and information sharing

The current environment basically looks like this:

exchange-2016-migration-start

During the migration project, Exchange 2016 server will be introduced to the environment:

exchange-2016-migration-coexist

The end goal of the project is to decommission the Exchange 2010 and 2013 servers, leaving only the Exchange 2016 server running.

exchange-2016-migration-end

To get from the current state to the end state will require many small steps and changes along the way to take into account the different Exchange features that are in use, and to ensure a seamless migration for end users with no downtime. In this series of articles I’ll walk you through the Not Real University scenario to demonstrate how to perform the migration to Exchange 2016.

Abdulsalam Garba

The author Abdulsalam Garba

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