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public folder migration from sbs 2003 to sbs 2008

Posted on 2011-10-11
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We're almost complete with a full 2003 -2008 migration. The last step is public folder migration. Did exactly what MS says...Just right click public folder, click move all replicas, select server, and let it run for hours if not days...Our public folders are less than 1gb and it has been 26 hours. Users are now complaining they can still see the public folder tree, but the contents are gone.

We created a new public test folder and posted in it and it immediately appeared on the source server public datastore which tells me that is still default and active. All folders in "public folder instances" are still there.

Our replicas are set to always run..Is this an issue?

So in summary.. Both public datastores on the source and destination server are running but appear to have zero data in them.

I know there is a lot of information I need to supply but please ask I can get it to you quickly.
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Question by:deanavey
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by:ryan80
ID: 36951972
Check what the replication schedule is on the server. look at the properties of the public folder database for this. You can also select sync hierarchy and send changes. This is done at the actual public folders themselves.
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by:deanavey
ID: 36952037
The replication interval is set to ALWAYS. I just Synced hierarchy. Will there be a next step here or is it just wait?

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by:deanavey
ID: 36952063
Also..under the public store I go to Replication status and every folder except PUBLIC FOLDER HIERARCHY and SYSTEM CONFIGURATION say "In Sync".
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by:ryan80
ID: 36952066
I would give it a little bit of time, 15-30 minutes. You can watch the queue to see the replication messages being sent. If that doesnt work, use the send changes.
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by:ryan80
ID: 36952072
dont pay any attentiont to that, at least I dont. I have never found it to be terribly accurate.
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by:deanavey
ID: 36952080
Sorry..Which queue are you referring to?
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by:deanavey
ID: 36952131
Under my server Queue I see a column that says "Messages with an unreachable destination" that I have not seen before. It has 567 messages in side with a size of 5747. Anything related?
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by:ryan80
ID: 36952135
on the 2003 server go into ESM and there should be a connector queue to the new server. you will see messages being sent to the new server there and the sender will have something about public folder database. You may also see message queue up in the pending submission queue.

Now you dont have a lot of public folder messages, but just be aware that sometimes Exchange is not very smart at the replication and can hang up your email delivery, so if you need to resend the changes, I would do it one at a time.

One more thing that I forgot, right click on your Exchange instance in ESM on 2003 (the very top level icon in ESM) and make sure that public folder replication isnt stopped. If the 3rd option down says "Stop Public Folder Content Replication" you will know that it is started. If it gives you the option to start, you will know that it is stopped and that is your issue. Be carefull again with enabling it during work hours, as it could gum up your server for a little bit. Best to do that at night.
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by:deanavey
ID: 36952158
Saw the stop option for replication so that indicates its currently started. I don't see any message Queue regarding the new server. Just the normal smtp stuff.
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by:ryan80
ID: 36952344
It will be an smtp message but the sender will look different. It will look like a distinguished name including public folder in it.

So the next step would be to right click on one of the public folder and resend the changes, and put in the amount of days that it should include.

Also check the event logs for error messages related to the public folders.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955283
Nothing has changed as of this morning... I'm still very interested in the Queue that says "messages with an unreachable destination". It has grown by a few hundred message since last night. This is a small organizations and does not send that many email. Could the replica messages be getting stuck in here? I don't see how I can view those messages to verify.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955333
I see what it is now. There is an SMTP connector that says  "Source Server - Destination Server (rrouting Group Connector)" now.. The "messages with an unreachable destination" connector is gone and this in its place. It looks like it tries to transfer the replications but can't so it puts them in that undeliverable smtp folder, tries again later, but still can't. What to do at this point?
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955411
I may have found a solution but I need verification because it works in ExShell which I have not used before.

blogs.technet.com/b/asiasupp/archive/2007/06/26/public-folder-replication-issue-between-exchange-2003-and-exchange-2007.aspx

It says to enter the following command that is an example...

New-RoutingGroupConnector -Name "Interop RGC" -SourceTransportServers "Ex2007Hub1.contoso.com" -TargetTransportServers "Ex2003BH1.contoso.com" -Cost 100 -Bidirectional $true -PublicFolderReferralsEnabled $true

I understand what this is doing, but the "Ex2007Hub1.contoso.com" is an example I'm guessing? So in my instance it would look more like "SourceServer.domain.com" and "DestinationServer.domain.com"?
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955427
i am assuming that regular mail is flowing between the servers correctly? If you have a user on the 2008 server, they can send and receive to the user on the 203 server?

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by:deanavey
ID: 36955444
I'll have to take a moment to create a user on the 2003 server again. All users are currently on the 2008 server.
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ryan80 earned 2000 total points
ID: 36955452
Yes, this is correct for the server format. You will use

New-RoutingGroupConnector -Name "Interop RGC" -SourceTransportServers "2007server.yourdomain.com" -TargetTransportServers "2003server.yourdomain.com" -Cost 100 -Bidirectional $true -PublicFolderReferralsEnabled $true

I had to do this manually one time when testing a 2003 to 2010 migration. You can give it a shot and see how it works. But it looks like you have certainly found the source of the problem, now just to figure out a solution.

Also, make sure that the databases that you have selected to replicate to are valid.

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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955501
And can I use Shell on the source server and it will create the connector or do I need to do this on both?

It looks like yes, a 2003 mailbox is still able to send to a 2008 mailbox.
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955525
Ok, you will use the powershell command on the 2008 server. It will create a bi-directional connector so you do not need to run it on the 2003 server.

I would just check the public folder databases specified for replication as well, make sure everything there looks good first.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955558
Ok. I've created the routing connector. It was promising at first.. the message queue went from 777 messages to 774 and then back up again however.. I also went to check out the 2008 public store database and in the EMC under server config -> mailbox the database management tab is greyed out, like it's thinking, or its inaccessible due to transfer. This normal?

Yea just checked again, and the message queue keeps jumping between 774 and 777.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955564
Never mind, disregard the greyed out tab.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955573
OK update. The server-server routing group now has a green check and has no messages inside and a new routing connecter called "Interop RGC" now has all the messages. Looking good so far!
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955589
You are going to have a flood of messages at first. With a Gig of mail, expect it to take under an hour, but you will see that message queue stay up there for a little bit. You can check on the public folder mail count to verify that everything is flowing.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955591
It doesn't look like it's making the connection though. It keeps having to retry.
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955593
I meant a GB of public folders.
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955595
Did you check on the database targets?
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955617
Under additional Queue information it says "The connection was dropped by the remote host"
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955633
I would check the database targets, and then you could enable smtp logging on the 2007 server and see what it is saying.

Also did you check the event logs on the 2007 server to see if there is anything in there?
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955663
Logs show positive things. Only error is a system DCOM 10009 error. The application shows good things with MSExchange ADAccess information. No errors.

Sorry, for my novice tech knowledge, but how would I go about testing/checking the database targets? I probably know what you mean I'm just not making the connection in my head.
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by:ryan80
ID: 36955764
on 2003 go to the public folders. select a folder and go to its properties. under the replication tab you should be able to see what the databases are. Verify that they are the correct public folder databases that you are using on the 2008 server.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36955776
Going under the primary public folder, it shows it is in Public Folder Database, second Storage Group on the 2008 server. So supposedly this is already there?
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Expert Comment

by:ryan80
ID: 36955802
i was thinking just to check on the public folder targets, make sure that the databases spceified for replication exist so that isnt the issue.

I would look at the smtp logs, if that all looks good and see if there is more information about why the connection is being closed by the 2008 server.
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Author Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36957682
Well, Ryan, you have been an incredible help and I've learned much more about our sever going through this. However we could not get it to work properly so we just used some exchange extraction software and edited the backup of the public datastore and extracted all the public folders into a .pst file and imported them into the new public folders.  I don't think I'll ever follow Microsoft's migration instructions anymore. They've led to nothing but headache!

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Author Closing Comment

by:deanavey
ID: 36957694
Everything you told me to do was right on. There was just some other setting that was completely bogus and wouldn't let the servers communicate for replication. Thanks so much for the help!
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Expert Comment

by:ryan80
ID: 36957728
glad to hear that you got it working.
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