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Moving to a Hosted Exchange Service: Need some Help

Posted on 2006-11-12
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Hello all,

I am in the process of getting ready to move 12 email accounts that are on a local Exchange 2000 server to an outsourced company that has Exchange 2003. What is the best/easiest way for me to get all client emails/calendars, etc. to the new providers server? I am an Exchange guru, but know enough to get into trouble.

Is there a way to export all the email accounts out of Exchange 2000 and Import into Exchange 2003, or do I need to have all clients create pst files of their accounts and then import those. The issue I am facing is that all the clients are scattered throughout the world, so no physical access to their computers. I do have a BLive account and can get to them if need be, but was trying to figure out a way to do it from the server itself, which I have access to.

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks.
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Question by:jsteidl
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17926639
Hi jsteidl,

You will want to use Exmerge - which will export mail directly from the databases to PST files

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=429163EC-DCDF-47DC-96DA-1C12D67327D5&displaylang=en
http://www.petri.co.il/brick_level_backup_of_mailboxes_by_using_exmerge.htm

This will only work if all mail is on the server - if you have remote users on POP3, then they will have their own PST files

Hope that helps,

-red
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Expert Comment

by:robjeeves
ID: 17926716
G'day fellas

-red > What would the best way to avoid new mails coming in and being lost during the transition from the internal system to the outsourced?  Just thinking there might be a small window here of new mails coming in after the Exmerge has been performed?

Just wondering . .

Rob
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Accepted Solution

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redseatechnologies earned 1000 total points
ID: 17926802
Good follow up Q Rob,

The solution is to migrate to the new server before exmerging data out,

Change the MX records on Friday night so that ONLY the new hosted server is listed, come sunday night you can disable port 25 on the router so that the internal exchange server simply cannot receive more mail.

Exmerge all your data out and fling it to the hosting provider.

This process is very similar to a dial tone restore;

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-Dial-tone-Restore-Method-Part1.html

Once mail is out of the stores, shut them down - meaning users cannot get in there and do silly things :)

-red
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Expert Comment

by:robjeeves
ID: 17926838
That sounds like a great way to do it. I award you 500 virtual points :-)

Rob

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Author Comment

by:jsteidl
ID: 17927446
Red,

Thanks so much for your insight. Rob, thanks for the follow-up question as well. Also, meant to say I am NOT an Exchange guru in my original post. Just know enough to get into trouble if you know what I mean.

By using Exmerge, this will copy everything associated with a persons account, mail, calendars, etc. correct?

What about Public Folders, etc.?

Any ideas as to how long it will take to do the 12 mailboxes? In total, all equal about 12-15GB of data.
Estimate would be great. 3-5hrs? More?


Here is my thinking:

Tuesday change TTL on domain so it propagates quicker. Login via web portal and setup all 12 accounts at the new hosting provider.

Thursday night do the mx change on the domain name.

Friday night export all accounts into separate pst files and transfer over to new provider. Import them all into the appropriate accounts already setup on Tuesday.

Test all Fro., Sat. and Sun. Hopefully all went well.


Sound good? Anything else you can think of that I should look out for or gotchas I may run into?

Thanks in advance.

Jake

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Assisted Solution

by:robjeeves
robjeeves earned 1000 total points
ID: 17927536
G'day mate

How many public folders are you having to migrate?  If it's just a few contacts and calendars I'd personally copy them into someones/or a new Exchange Enabled USer Account profile and export to a PST along with the mailboxes.  I'm sure there is an elaborate way using pfmigrate and trusts (if this outsourced box is not in your domain - probably not :) but this will be the most straight forward way.

Once the outsourced guys get the data just copy it back into the Public Folder structure . .


Rob
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Expert Comment

by:robjeeves
ID: 17927545
Also another thought. Do you have the permissions docummented, ie Any PA's who can access Partners Calendars, Send on Behalf etc.  HAndy stuff to know for the outsourced company to setup

Rob
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Author Comment

by:jsteidl
ID: 17927578
Rob,

Yes, I think I have the proper permissions. I just did a test on 2 accounts using exmerge and all went smoothly creating the pst files.

In terms of PA's, not sure what you mean by 'PA'. Can you elaborate? I only know of 1 person who has access to 'Send on Behalf' rights, so that's not a problem. In regards to the Public Folders, just 2 calendars is all that needs to be moved. If I were to move these to another account, how would I do so?

I will have access to full support if need be during the move to the new hosted Exchange service, just wanted to get my hands around it before the move. I will be importing the pst files via a portal I think, not sure yet. Need to get on the horn with the company tomorrow am.

Thanks so much for helping me out here. Very much appreciated.

Jake
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17927589
Just export the public folders out to PST files from Outlook (you can export directly from public folders to PST files)

Other than that, your plan seems OK, the only hole I can see is that you are not leaving enough time between MX record change and export (it can take 48 hours to COMPLETE)

Plus, be aware that once you make that change, some mail will almost immediately start going to the new hosting location - this limbo time should be when the users are not around.

-red
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Author Comment

by:jsteidl
ID: 17927613
Correct. I follow.

Thanks alot to both of you. Now I would like to split the points to both of you but do not see that option. Is it possible?

Jake
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Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17927630
Split points is at the bottom, just above where the comment box is

Thanks

-red
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Author Comment

by:jsteidl
ID: 17927652
Duh! Thanks again to both of you!

Have a good one

Jake
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17927670
Thanks Jake!

Good luck with the move :)

-red
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:robjeeves
ID: 17927689
Hi mate - Sorry been at lunch. PA is just Personal Assistant. Like a secretary.  Seems like you have permissions under control though.  Good luck with the move.

Thanks for the grade too

Rob

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