Splitting Offices - Migrate Users to new Domain/Server/Location

We are splitting up offices and relocating 8 staff to another location.  This will become a separate entity, so it will be a different domain name at the new location.

Both offices are currently on a fractional T1 and are about 3.5 hours away from each other.  A couple of the users are hitting the 25 GB limit on their mailboxes, so it will be 100-200GB for all 8 users.  Should I make the drive and backup to external drive or let it rip all night over the T1's?

Should I use the Exchange Migration, exmerge or is their a better method?

Notes: Old server is SBS 2003 and new server is SBS 2008.
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Netman66Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Since SBS is incapable of Trusts, then these are two completely separate forests/domains.  Exmerge should likely not be used in this case.

Export to PST and import to the new mailboxes.  I think this is your best solution in this case.

Wow...that's a lot of data for a T1.Any chance you could split those mailboxes into PSTs then put them on an external hard drive then reattach to their Outlook in the new location than copy them back to the Exchange mailbox?  I'd want to look at something like that before allowing that huge amount of data to clog the T1.  I'm not even sure the copy or exmerge would even finish by morning.
exmerge won't work on mailboxes over 2g (~1.8GB realistically)
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Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I would use exchange migration during the night or you can exmerge the files to a PST file, burn those files to disc and go to the new location and import those files to Exchange.
Exmerge functions like the older brick level backups did in that they copy out each individual item to a pst file one at a time.  Also, exmerge has a 2GB limit on the size of the pst file that it can create, so you can't use exmerge on a 25gb mailbox...

Also, are you migrating to the SBS2008 server?  You can't have two SBS servers in the same Domain, the SBS server that doesn't hold the FSMO roles will shutdown every two hours because of that.

If it were me, I would setup an additional member server in the same office as the one you have now, Promote it to a Domain controller (additional DC's in an SBS domain are okay, just not additional SBS servers themselves), install Exchange on it, and then move the mailboxes with the migration tools to the new Exchange server.  Then I would take that server to the new location and it up with an IP address in that office...  Additionally, I would setup an additional Active Directory "site" and associate the IP network of that other location with that site and put the Exchange/DC server in that site.  That way when people log into AD, they will use the AD server in the local site to authenticate and will be able to get to their e-mail locally and not across the fractional T1.  

Lastly, remember to backup that additional Exchange Server.

CtrlAltDlAuthor Commented:
Both SBS servers are in two different locations and on two separate domains.

Can I use exchange migration since they are two separate domains?

So it looks like I'd have to backup each mailbox to a PST for any mailbox over 2GB and use exmerge for anything smaller.
CtrlAltDlAuthor Commented:
Exporting PST files has do be done from Outlook, correct?
yes, exmerge has the 2gb limitation
Yes.  Personal folders.

I would not venture into the 2GB realm with a PST either.

You can connect multiple PSTs to Outlook and group emails.  

Once back in the new location, reattach the PST to the new mail profile and copy them back into the Inbox (or folders under the inbox) to get them back into the new Exchange Store.
CtrlAltDlAuthor Commented:
And this won't be a problem with the new email address or domain (e.g. joe@olddomain.com -> joe@newdomain.com)?
the only issue you may run into is after creating new mailboxes in the domain
users won't be able to reply to old messages
you'll want to capture their legacyExchangeDN values and add that value as an x500 address on their new mailbox
Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Netman66 is right, I don't think you will be able to do an exchange migration
Jerry SolomonNetwork  AdministratorCommented:
A little mor clarification  on how to export the data files:
For just a few users, the easiest and most reilable way to bring old mailboxes from Exchange to standalone oOutlook is to use the File --export function of outlook while looking at the exchange mailbox.

The exact steps are:
File--import and export--export to a file--Personal folder File (PST), and select a place on the file system.
you will be able to get to later.

You will also want to back up documents, pictures, etc. as well. You may want to use the "File & Settings transfer wizard (XP) or Windows Easy transfer wizard (Vista/Win7), but if you do, do not select the email/outlook settings--that may cause issues.

Now you can "unjoin" the domain from the old office by changing the computer name to be part of a workgroup instead of the domain. shut down and move the computer.

At the new location, join the computer to the new domain, and log in as the new user. a new profile will be created.

Once you have the new outlook profile created, import the pst file following pretty much the same process as exporting, but use the "import" option instead of "export"

If you used a wizard to back up files and settings, run that before configuring Outlook.


Sorry to be late with a reply.

Yes, replying to old emails won't work unless you somehow make the new Exchange server a member of the old organization and added the new domain accounts as owners of the mailbox in that org.

It should not be a show-stopper to have these 8 people simply send new email addresses to his contact list from the new account.  Any correspondence that requires a reply out of the old mailbox can be copied into the new email from the new account.

You can certainly overcomplicate things if you want it all to work (old and new) but IMHO for 8 people - they can work around things for the short period after they have new email addresses.

You can also have any mail to the old accounts forwarded to the new as well.
CtrlAltDlAuthor Commented:
This was the way to do it, thanks!

Just to add details.
1) I had to export the PST outside of the users profile.
2) Then login as Administrator (of old domain).
3) Change permissions to Full Control for Everyone on the PST file.
4) Join the new domain.
5) Reboot
6) Login as new user.
7) Create new account in Outlook.
8) Import PST
CtrlAltDlAuthor Commented:
Now I gotta do the public folders...
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