Migrating an existing Exchange enviornment to EntirelyDigital hosted Exchange 2007

General idea

The main idea is to move mailbox data from an old AD/Exchange infrastructure to an EntirelyDigital Hosted Exchange 2007 solution using the steps below:

  • re-create user accounts and mailboxes on new server
  • export old mailbox data to pst files from old AD/Exchange infrastructure
  • import mailbox data to new AD/Exchange infrastructure

 

Every step can be done manually or using some automation. We do not provide an automated solution for the entire process.

 

We propose to use independent mail relay SMTP server that can be used to accept external mail for both Exchange systems to avoid delays in changing MX records, connected to DNS zones population latency. This server will be referred as "SMTP Relay server" later in this article.

Steps to move users within one organization

Preparations

 

1. Inform users about time when they should not create new mailboxes and time when actual mailbox movement scheduled.

 

2. Configure SMTP Relay server to forward all mail for organization's domains to old Exchange system SMTP Inbound server.

 

3. Set primary MX record for organization's domains to SMTP Relay server and secondary MX to old Exchange system SMTP Inbound server (if it published on Internet and not only opened to SMTP Relay server).

 

4. Create new organization in our Control Panel based on appropriate Hosting Plan/Hosting Space.

 

5. Exchange-enable organization by creating and deleting test mailbox in it.

 

6. Add organization's domains to newly created Organization

 

7. Create all mailboxes in Control Panel for that organization with the same e-mail address (addresses). Use simple standard password for all mailboxes. You can supply us with a CSV file to automate this process.

 

8. Create all contacts in Control Panel for that organization. You can supply us with a CSV file to automate this process see related solution.

 

9. Create all Distribution Lists in Control Panel for that organization and put all needed mailboxes, contacts and other distribution lists to them.

 

10. Create all Public Folders.

 

11. Additionally inform users about time when actual mailbox movement scheduled and ask them not to use mailboxes at that time.

Migration

 

12. Reset password for every organization's user on old system to prevent them from connecting there anymore.

 

13. Configure SMTP Relay server to forward all mail for organization's domains to the new Exchange system SMTP Inbound server.

 

14. Set secondary MX to new Exchange system SMTP Inbound server (if it published on Internet and not only opened to SMTP Relay server) (SMTP.entirelydigital.com).

 

15. Send mail from some external mailbox to one of newly created mailboxes and check if mail has been delivered.

 

16. Connect to every organization's mailbox with Outlook and export it to pst file. This step can be automated with exmerge tool for Exchange 2000/2003 (http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2004/07/01/171051.aspx) or export-mailbox (http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/04/13/437745.aspx) tool for Exchange 2007.

 

17. Use one of mailboxes to connect to organization's Public Folders and export them to pst files too.

 

18. Make note what language is used in what mailbox. It can be done in pst file name. For example user_customer_en.pst

 

19. Set Autodiscover/OWA redirect DNS records in organization's domains to make Outlook/OWA connection easier. CNAME records are: Autodiscover CNAME autodiscoverredirect.entirelydigital.com, OWA or Webmail CNAME postoffice.entirelydigital.com

 

20. Connect to every mailbox with OWA with appropriate default Internet Explorer language. This will create correct default folders in correct language.

 

21. Connect to every organization's mailbox with Outlook using autodiscover (this assumes Outlook 2007).  Use Outlook to import pst files to mailboxes. Also you can use import-mailbox command let for that task (http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/04/13/437745.aspx), however it was not tested in our lab.

 

22. Import Public Folders with connection to one of mailboxes.

 

23. Set primary MX to new Exchange system SMTP Inbound server SMTP.entirelydigital.com

 

24. Disable users in old AD.

 

25. Instruct users how to connect to new server and how to change passwords.

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