How do I connect SBS2008 W7 workstations to an external Hosted Exchange server

Hi Guys

Really in a hole here.
I have an SBS2008 box with Exch2007 and W7 pro workstations (couple of XPpro too)
I was advised that I could co-exist the local Exchange 2007 with a Hosted Exchange 2010 server as an interim solution while migrating to full Hosted Exchange 2010.

I had even created a test installation on one of the workstations with two Outlook 2010 profiles, one for Local Exchange one for Hosted Exchange. This appeared to work and so confirmed the advice.

I am now advised that the AD and integrated SRV records in SBS2008 will continually pull any attempted connection to an external Exchange account into the local Exchange. Indeed upon further inspection of my test installation the External connection now fails to login correctly even though I know the credentials are correct.

I have 15 new users who must have new email accounts by 16 January and we were planning to migrate a similar numer of existing accounts from the SBS2008 box to Hosted Exchange for one domain. Other domains would need to stay on the SBS Box for a while (few weeks) while we managed a migration plan.

Can anyone confirm that this co-existence is not possible - or preferably how I can get out of this mess by some workaround.

If further clarification is required would appreciate a switf email.
Will be back to this problem in a couple of hours.

Thanks in advance

Trevor

TrevorWhiteIT ConsultantAsked:
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jrhelgesonCommented:
I"d try connecting the interim exchange accounts as IMAP. that would be the easiest for the short term.

The alternative is to "break" your existing exchange in order to have it stop listening to AD - and stick with the manual configurations. Downside to that is it would impact all users.

Option #3 would be to break the exchange config for individual users using ADSIEDIT.msc, connect to the Default Naming Context, browse to a user, modify the properties and clear out the settings for the following attribute:
msExchHomeServerName

THis attribute should be the same for every user, so you can put the value back if clearing it for 1 user screws something else up somewhere else... but that should break it for the one user - enabling it to be manually configured.
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TrevorWhiteIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Hi JRHelgeson,
Thanks for your thoughts on thsi matter - real pig at this stage.

What are the ramifications of option3 - IE clearing that msExchHomeServerName attribute - I've navigated to it and seen this information in the User Properties but never really understood what role it played.

1. If I break the configuration for a user in this way does this essentially break the connection to SBS Exchange in AD for that user?

2. Would the user still be able to connect to SBS Exchange through some other manual means.

3, If the answers to 1 and 2 are Yes then can I (temporarily) connect to both Exchange Servers for a few weeks. How practical is this? Is there any reading I can do to help me clarify the position.

Really appreciate your view on this - otherwise I'm going to have to consider separate domains for office based and field based people which is really messy and not good for the business.

Regards
Trevor
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jrhelgesonCommented:
The answers to your questions are, "Kind-of", and "It depends", and perhaps even a fully qualified "I don't know".

There is no reading materials out there to help clarify the specific steps on how to properly break exchange, which is really what we are doing.

That attribute is what gets used by AD to link the user to wherever their mailbox is located.  If that attribute gets cleared, then Outlook won't find the server automatically.  Now, I do not know if that will break mail delivery or not,  I do not think it does, but you'd have to test it and see.  Because that field is configurable, you can always copy/paste that information back in from another user.

If clearing it does NOT break mail delivery, then you should be able to manually configure your outlook client to use OWA..

Your last paragraph caught my attention.
"...otherwise I'm going to have to consider separate domains for office based and field based people which is really messy and not good for the business."
What are you trying to accomplish?  What is the challenge you are having that you would need different setups for field employees?
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TrevorWhiteIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Good Morning,
Yes best start at the beggining.
I have a rural customer with an SBS2008 server with about 10 W7 pro workstations.
There are also a further 12 filed workers using OWA (they don't like it) 1 or 2 users have RPC/HTTPS configured but I have concerns with the local ADSL connection which is at best 2.5Mb/s.

The company has a main domain and a few further domains.

On January the 16th we have afurther 15 field workers starting.

I planned to move the office to a Cloud based Exchange system so resolving the field connectivity issue. I planned to migrate the main company domain to the cloud and operate a coexisting Local Exchange and Cloud based Exchange for a few weeks while I migrated the balance of the domains across (some of these domains are not actually required anymore so was a good time to sort out)

I was original advised that the co-existance of the two Exchange systems was possible, but found out last night that this is not the case. So I now think I need to take a bigger initial bite and migrate all domains to the cloud with mailbox contents and then tear down the local Exchange installation.

I'm concerned about this since this type of Exchange management is not something I do every day and will need to move fast to ensure the business can still operate (has mail)

Am I correct in concluding that I really have to tear down the local Exchange to guarantee a break?
Are there well defined procedures for doing this on SBS2008 - IE docs etc

BTW - Some of the mail boxes are much larger than 2Gb, are there more up to date migration tools than the old Exmerge that still used the old format .PST ??



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jrhelgesonCommented:
What are the field connectivity issues you are having, that are hoping to be resolved by the Cloud?

RPC over HTTPs is precisely how Hosted Exchange works - if you host exchange offsite, then you'll have 10 users @ HQ that will be doing RPC/HTTPs over that ADSL link, so I'm not so sure you're gaining anything.

I'd like to talk to you about this - contact me - joel.helgeson@gmail.com.

With regard to exmerge, I quit using that long ago. I just export peoples mailboxes from their outlook, then import the files to the new mail server.  Exch2010 offers external mailbox moves that will move the mailboxes for you, but I really have some concerns about the whole process.

Email me and we'll exchange numbers.
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TrevorWhiteIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Hi Experts and others,
I have this problem resolved now but not really as a consequence of EE feedback.

Basically I created all Hosted Exchange accounts and had users connect to them by OWA.
I then created exports of all the mailboxes on the SBS2008/Exch2007 through Outlook into PST files and (over a fast FTTC connection) imported to the new Hosted exchange service through Outlook (I created temporary profiles on a spare PC which was not on the domain)
At this stage I followed the MS procedure for EXchange2008 unintstall (but ensure you only disable the the exchange accounts otherwise you'll knock out the AD objects for the users - see separate post as thats what I did) You have to run some Powershell scripts to remove Public folder stuff but theres plenty on this on google. You finish up by uninstalling Exchange through the control panel
When all thats done and the mail is migrated I created the users profiles on there actual PCs and voila! job done (after the back sync completed)

I think SBS2011 copes with this scenario better. But at least I know the way forward for other sites now.

Cheers
 
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TrevorWhiteIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
No object from me
Trevor
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TrevorWhiteIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Not sure if I'm aloud to do this -answer own question.
Give it a go anyway
Trvevor
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