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Exchange 2010 Mailbox Database move

My company has an Exchange 2010 server that has CAS and HUB roles. It holds mailbox database for US users. Another branch of the company is in China. They currently have Exchange 2003 and mailboxes for those users reside at that site.
A VPN ties the two sites together and ALL Internet mail is received through the Exchange 2010 US server. Routing groups are set up to handle Email between the sites.

We have 20 users in the US and approx 20 users in China. I am having trouble providing the users in China with Web and phone mail but local Outlook client work fine in China.
My question is can I just move the China staff (mailboxes) to the mailbox database in the US and retire the Chinese Exchange 2003 server?
This way I will have one 2010 Exchange server more than capable of running 40 mailboxes. I have already converted one Chinese user and that have been fine and now have web and phone mail.
These reason for the concern is latency /performance. A microsoft engineer said this not a good idea !
Any advise would be appreciated
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nigelIT
Asked:
nigelIT
2 Solutions
 
Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
My question is can I just move the China staff (mailboxes) to the mailbox database in the US and retire the Chinese Exchange 2003 server? - You can but that would require users to use Outlook either over Internet (Outlook Anywhere) or through some VP or WAN link.

This way I will have one 2010 Exchange server more than capable of running 40 mailboxes. I have already converted one Chinese user and that have been fine and now have web and phone mail - So try with another 4 and check .... but check the network as well.

These reason for the concern is latency / performance. A microsoft engineer said this not a good idea ! - This is more of a Network that would be used by 20 China users and the amount of email flow and data access they will have :)

- Rancy
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mlongohCommented:
I'd go for it.  There are hosting companies that provide Exchange (2007/2010) services to their cilents who ONLY access the server via the Internet.

The primary concern is likely the reliability and speed of the VPN link.  As you move users over to the 2010 server, more Outlook to Exchange traffic will traverse the VPN link.  If there's heavy use of Exchange within the China office, this might be seen as poor performance (people trying to set up meetings at the same time end up waiting a long time to see the availability of the people they want to invite or sending mail back and forth frequently may have a second or seconds longer delay because it traverses the VPN instead of staying on their local network).

If the Internet/VPN connection is poor, then it's likely to be a bad idea; but if it's good then anyone that notices a delay may be OK with an additional second or two.

I'd find out who the heavy Outlook users in China are, and include them and move half of your China users over and see what their experience is over the course of a week or two.  If all is well, then move 5 more over.  And then the last 5.  Then after a reasonable period of time you can retire the China Exchange server (properly... uninstall Exchange once everything has been migrated... including Public Folders, and resources).
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nigelITAuthor Commented:
Rancy and mlongoh. Thanks for your ideas and observations. Both comments contain thoughts I have mulled over but now I think it is probably the way to go.
Thanks for your comments
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