Best practices for moving to domain / exchange / SBS from a workgroup and PST files, still using outside hosted POP server

Posted on 2006-06-01
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
We have a workgroup configuration with users using outlook (and a PST on each machine) to connect to email accounts hosted on an outside mail hosting server (pop3).

we are moving to sbs and exchange for shared calendars and contacts with the same machines currently in use being joined to the sbs domain using server/connectcomputer.  Email will continue to be hosted outside - the bosses are not confident of our internet connection / relying on this in house server to handle email for the 15 users

I am interested in your thoughts on my options for dealing with email.

I would like emails to be backed up / stored on the server / in the exchange store? (we will be using the built in backup app of sbs 2003 - that will back up the entire exchange store, right?)

from experiments I am doing, here are some things:

on the desktop, there wil be 2 email accounts - exchange and the existing pop3.  
Both will put info in the mailbox / exchange store

I have to manually import the existing PST into the mailbox, right?  SBS doesn't do that for me

What about archiving when on an exchange store?  now, some users have their personal folders and an archive folder.  import them both into the mailbox / exchange store and then let exchange handle it?
Question by:Techsupportwhiz

    Author Comment

    Sorry, I hit send too soon.  So is it better to have the 2 accounts on each desktop - the exchange and the POP3?

    or create each account in pop connector and let exchange get the mail?  6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of another...
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    I would create the accounts using the pop3 connector, change Outlook to connect to the Exchange server mailbox (and not deliver to a .pst file).
    Then you can make a choice wether you want the existing pst files imported into the new mailboxes on the server, or have the people start with an empty mailbox. For the amount of users you have I would import the current pst files, but leave the archives as they are. People can still use the archive functionality in Outlook (although they probably need to reconfigure it for the new mailbox). When using (archive) pst's on a local computer, it is always important to have a good backup mechanism in place to "secure" yourself from data loss in case of a hard drive failure of the desktop ;)

    Author Comment

    archiving of an exchange store still comes back to a PST, if I understand what you ar saying and what I am seeing in outlooks options?  : (

    and there's no wizard / automated process for the import of the PST into exchange, right? : (  Yeah, it's a few steps to do myself.  just wondering.

    Author Comment


    Wait a minute.  So what is the process for OUTGOING mail then.... I understand the POP3 connector will get the mail coming to the user.  But what is the process / app to get mail out of the LAN?

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    -"and there's no wizard / automated process for the import of the PST into exchange, right? : (  Yeah, it's a few steps to do myself.  just wondering."
       You can use the exmerge tool ( to import .pst files into mailboxes.

    -"archiving of an exchange store still comes back to a PST, if I understand what you ar saying"
      There are other ways of Archiving possible with Exchange, but these are more related to compliance and regulations like HIPAA. There are applications that you can install on top of Exchange that take care or archiving without using PST files as well (e.g. Veritas Enterprise Vault, but I doubt this installs on SBS ;) ).

    -"and what I am seeing in outlooks options?  : ("
       I'm not sure what you mean.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Outgoing mail will be handled by Exchange (SMTP).
    LVL 104

    Assisted Solution

    With regards to archiving, what are you archiving for?
    If it is compliance, then you need a journaling tool. GFI Mail Archiver is perfect for that. Plus you can import PST - both live and archive folders in to the database. A journaling product is the only way to do compliance archiving.
    If you want to extract the email from the database, but still leave a copy in the store then you have to look at a higher end product like Commvault (or whatever its name is now). However that requires a dedicated server and is very expensive. It is also useless for compliance storage.

    Exchange is much more efficient at storing data than PST files. Therefore if you can get the PST content in to Exchange it is easier to manage. You could see a 1500mb PST use less than a 1000mb in Exchange.

    15 users can be done on a big bang. Get the server setup and ready to go for a Friday, then get your DNS records changed. Come Monday morning, email should be coming directly to Exchange.
    Reconfigure Outlook to use Exchange as primary and their existing POP3 accounts as secondary. The users can then collect email that came in to the old system while the DNS changes were propagating.
    If the host of the email server is co-operative, they might be able to give you an SMTP feed from their server.


    Author Comment

    thank you for your thoughts / advice

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