Public Folder Migration from Exchange Server 2003 to SBS 2008/Exchange 2007

I am trying to avoid, if possible, doing a complete migration for a client of mine. They are a small office of only 7 people. They're running a Server 2003 Standard box for their DC/AD and a second Server 2003 Standard box with Exchange 2003. I'm thinking of just creating PST files of their mailboxes and then importing their mail via Outlook 2010 once the SBS 2008 server is setup. Migrating their data is also a fairly simple matter. Resetting permissions for 7 people is not a big deal. My real dilemma is their public folder store. It is nearly 60GB. I'm looking for a good way of getting that data back onto the SBS 2008 public folder store. They have BackupExec 12.5, but I'm not sure if a restore from a 2003 store to a 2007 store is even possible. Are there any workarounds... like third party software that will somehow create importable PST files from their gargantuan Public Folder store?
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If it's a 7 user ORG, I'd do the same thing with mailbox - Exmerge and import.

The thing is, you can do the same thing with public folder data too.
Export it to a PST and then import it back.

I did this for a 2003-> 2003 different hardware. Havent tried this for 2007.

However I am not sure if you want to attempt this with 60 GB of data.
Exmerge will top out at 2 GB. You can try exporting to PST form outlook 2007 connected to exchange and see if it goes past 2 GB.

Public Folder migration from 2003 to 2007, the ms-recommended way (by setting-up replication) I am dealing with so many issues where after you delete the 2003 public folders, it leaves behind traces in 2007 of Ghost System Folders.

However here's a guide on how to do that if you want to attempt this.

I will wait for other experts to post.

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philodendrinAuthor Commented:
I appreciate the responses thus far, but unfortunately none of this is new information. I've yet to see any documentation on migrating from an Exchange Server 2003 environment to a SBS 2008 environment. Most documentation discusses only a SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration. I'm sure the process is relatively similar, but probably not entirely. Moreover, when I do read through admin's blogs and postings about large public folder database migrations, the indications are that they generally don't go well... with lots of residual issues. My hope is really to find a way to work around the ExMerge 2GB limitations and find some type of Backup or Archiving software that I can use as a tool for working around an actual migration. Rather, I'd restore the Exchange 2003 data to the SBS 2008/Exchange 2007 box. I think BackupAssist might work for this purpose since it works specifically with PST file backup and recovery. I have no idea if it's possible for Backup Exec 12.5 to restore a 2003 database or use Granular Recovery Technology to restore to an Exchange  2007 databse. I don't see this documented anywhere... so, I'm assuming not.
You are correct about:
a) No migration docs from Exchange 2003 > SBS 2008. These are heterogeneous migrations - not supported by microsoft.
Homogeneous migrations are:
exchange 2003 > Exchange 2007
SBS 2003 > SBS 2008

So any docs which you get will probably be something which someone tried and there's a blog post about it.

b) PF migrations can be nightmare, and there are issues with orphaned / ghost child folders left in new Exchange 2007 or free/busy stops working.

c) If you have to go with a tool, give this a read.
You will get migration support from quest when you are doing this.
Also you can call them up and verify if this type of migration is supported.

d) GRT / IDR backup and restore assumes its the same domain, it can be different hardware. I am not familiar with backup assist. As far as backup and restore to a different hardware - BackupExec is your best bet above any other competition.
But i am not sure if that will work.

Please post back your thoughts.

philodendrinAuthor Commented:
I too saw the Quest software when researching this issue. Unfortunately their software costs $40k. It's targeted towards huge corporations. I'm thinking Another way around migrating the 60GB public folder store would be to Archive it first using any number of third party archiving software... and then possibly use the archiving software to restore it back to Exchange 2007. I believe this may be possible.

Another vendor advised me to dismount the 2003 store, make a backup of the store, copy it to the Exchange 2007 server and mount it in the recovery storage group... then migrate the data back. I'm not sure if that would work or not. It seems too simple to work
That won't work
Edb files are different in 2003 and 2007

I will post back if I come up with cheaper option
philodendrinAuthor Commented:
Funny... I just read and confirmed the same thing. RSG in Exchange 2007 will not mount an Exchange 2003 store. I figured as much since 2007 doesn't use streaming files and I know there are a bunch of other differences that would also prevent that from happening.

Thanks for thinking about this Sunnyc7.
let me figure out the PF part - will post back.
philodendrinAuthor Commented:
It's looking like, as third party software goes, BackupAssist, is the best option/price point and I'll be experimenting with their software to make this migration less of a migration.  

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BackupAssist / BackupExec or for that matter any third party backup software will restore the log files in the same format as the original one. Your issue is about moving EDB's from 2003 > 2007.

There is another way out.

This will convert your EDB to PST and you can import it back and thus avoid a migration.

There is a trial download available where you can see the mails - but not extract the full database. You can give that a shot.

I've been out of EE for few weeks. Sorry for not posting back here.


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