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Follow up actions after Migrating Exchange 2003 (SBS2003) to Office 365 ??

Hi All,

We have SBS 2003 and we are about to move to Office 365. Email data has already been migrated but we have not changed the MX records yet.

I am very confused about the actions after the cut off – I want to know what steps do we have to take after changing the MX records??

On some documents it is said that we have to un-install Exchange 2003 from SBS. On another it says just delete the existing mailboxes. We do have a few LOB applications which may send notifications via email, also a scan-to-email function on our printer device and the SBS 2003 itself sends reports via email. Emails should be delivered to Office 365 mailboxes once on-premises Exchange is ‘gone’.

Microsoft KB article suggests creating a SMTP Relay under IIS.  But on an Exchange Server you cannot create a Virtual SMTP Service in IIS because that function is managed by ESM (Exchange Server Manager).

Can you please provide some guidance on what and how do I do it.

Abid Muhammad
Abid Muhammad
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4 Solutions
Richard DanekeTrainerCommented:
When you change the MX record, email will be serviced by Office 365.  The email for users will be in, most likely, cached folders synching to Office 365  (OST folders).

You can, therefore, uninstall Exchange Server 2003 after the MX move.  By the way, their PST files can be archived and opened by Outlook when desired.

The applications sending email may need to be updated for SMTP values for the Office 365.  These are available for your domain in the Office 365 files.  If they send the email via the Outlook (MAPI) settings on the computer, no changes are needed.    

Obviously, set a test send for the applications you are expecting to initiate the emails BEFORE you uninstall the Exchange Server.
Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:

The applications sending email may need to be updated for SMTP values for the Office 365.  These are available for your domain in the Office 365 files.
Where exactly can I find these values on Office 365 portal??

Also, our Scan-to-Email device has these settings (please check screenshot) so I believe if I can get the values to put in should just work.

I am still confused about the SBS emails, when Exchange is un-installed where would it send it's emails if there is no SMTP Relay defined??
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
Here is how you setup SMTP relay in Office 365:

If you are only going to send to internal users, use this one instead:

As for decomissioning the Exchange server, it is up to you. But you should at least convert the migrated users to mail-enabled, to avoid issues with Outlook and autodiscover.
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Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks vasilcho,

I have seen and gone through both documents before - but the confusion is still there.

The KB article # 2799338 says, "To enable on-premises LOB applications and devices to send mail to Office 365 mailboxes, you must install and configure Internet Information Services (IIS).

1. Install IIS on an internal server. During installation, select the option to install the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) components.
2. In IIS Manager, expand Default SMTP Virtual Server, and then click Domains."

The confusion is that IIS is already installed and running the Default sites and it does not have the SMTP components under it because they are part of the Exchange System Manager.

Shall I first un-install Exchange and then attempt to re-install IIS (even though it is already installed) and try to add the SMTP component to it. Please advise what do I do in this situation??
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
Sorry, I dont even remember when was the last time I worked on 2003 machine. You certainly should not need to reinstall the IIS, but I run across some articles mentioning issues with missing nodes in the console:
Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks much,

I have checked both articles - thanks for pointing them out.

I have also gone into the Add/Remove Windows Components and can verify that SMTP service is installed under IIS. Perhaps because of Exchange Server installed the SMTP Virtual Server is showing under the ESM. I am hoping that when I have un-installed Exchange 2003 from this SBS2003 machine and rebooted SMTP should appear under IIS. If not I will try the registry edit method # 1 from the Microsoft article.

Suppose that doesn't work and I am still not able to see SMTP Virtual Server under IIS how can I ensure that I don't lose existing settings if I have to un-install IIS?

This is our main production server so just being cautious playing with it.

Add/Remove Windows Components >> SMTP component under IIS
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
Just try the registry fix, reinstalling IIS and decomissioning the Exchange might cause some complications. I will spin up one VM with SBS 2003 and play around.
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
OK, that took a LONG time to install :)

I can definitely reproduce the issue. I registered the DLL then and rebooted, with no effect. Removed the SMTP service from Add/remove windows components - no effect. Installed the SMTP service again (it asked for the SBS Install DVD) and it solved the issue.

So, try removing only the SMTP service and reinstalling it. Should be a lot less destruptive than reinstalling IIS or removing the Exchange. And make sure to run the regsrv command beforehand.
Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks @Vasilcho for going the extra mile. I really appreciate that!!

I have got the answer now - and this is what I have already done:

>>  Shared mailboxes became regular mailboxes after migration - Converted them back to shared mailboxes using PowerShell
>>  Created Resource mailboxes (still need to assign everyone Editing rights using PowerShell)
>>  Tidied up Distribution Groups and created external contacts etc
>>  Created another set of Temp passwords for all users (the ones auto created didn't seem to work)
>>  Verified that Incremental Sync is working OK
>>  Purchased licenses for the number of users we have
>>  Set up all DNS records at our DNS registrar (except MX and SPF record for Exchange)

This is what I am planning to do next:


Assign licenses to all the migrated users


Send login details to users


Change MX record to point emails to Office 365


On end user machines run Office365 software setup tool to install updates and also install Lync. Then create a new Microsoft Outlook 2007 profile to sync emails with Office365 and also set up their smart phones


Once all is set, un-install Exchange 2003 from SBS and reboot server, also uninstall the email filter tool


Do the registry edit for SMTP and verify if it worked


If not, un-install and reinstall SMTP Component only and verify it shows under IIS


If all good – configure a SMTP Relay


Verify emails from scanning device and server reports are also going to Office365
Have I missed anything?? before I go ahead with step 5 (uninstall Exchange) I will further investigate to find out more about the potential complications it may cause.

Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
Move step 4 up the chain :)

You can also set up dirsync with password sync, to make it easier for the users. Not a necessary step though.

As for the Exchange server, you can simply disable the local mailboxes for the first step.
Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks again -

Could you please elaborate this "As for the Exchange server, you can simply disable the local mailboxes for the first step."

Once I have changed the MX records, I want to prevent end users from using their existing Outlook profile or their mobile phones to send/receive emails via existing Exchange server -  how can I achieve that? I was thinking of turning off the Exchange services on SBS as soon as the new MX/DNS records have propagated.
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
My understanding of the recommendation to decommission the local Exchange server is that is done in order to prevent issues with domain users incorrectly connecting to the on-prem mailboxes after the migration. To avoid this, you can edit the autodiscover, disable the SCP or use registry settings to instruct Outlook to look only for the cloud mailbox. Or, disable the local mailbox, so even if Outlook connect to the local server, it will not be able to find it. And probably the other reason is that they really want businesses to switch to the cloud :)

Other than that, you should not have any issues with the local Exchange. I would put of decommissioning for at least few weeks to make sure people have all their mail, contacts, stuff stored in shared mailboxes, public folders, etc. But it you are certain that you have taken care of everything, just go ahead and uninstall it after the migration is over.
Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Vasilcho - for whatever reasons I am still having issues with creating the end users' Outlook profile in Ms Outlook 2007. It works on some machines and for some user accounts - all very random.

I tested the AutoDiscover records at Microsoft Exchange Connectivity Analyzer site and the result is OK.

I thought it is the updates issue but I am able to create profile for one user on the machine but not able to do it for another user. It is not a problem on our LAN - I tested it on a home laptop as well - same thing is happening - I even ran the Setup from the Office365 portal and it finished with all greens.

Any thoughts - I was just about to close this ticket and assign points but thought I will just update it first with the current situation.
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
The desktop setup is mandatory for older systems, you also need SP3 and other updates for Outlook 2007. You can get the list here:
Abid MuhammadIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Sorry it took me sometime to update the thread. All Office 2007 updates are installed and almost all systems are installed with Office 2007 - Service Pack 3.

I will raise a new question if I continued to have trouble with it.

For the migration - I will cut-off/change MX records on Friday 15th November in the evening and will utilise the time I have in setting up end user machines for the new profile. From that weekend end users will be using the online portal or the new Outlook profile.

Furthermore, I am un-installing Exchange on the server straight away and will just turn off the services for a week and if all is OK only then I will un-install Exchange and the email filter  (CA Gateway Security) on the next weekend.

I have got my question answered and @vasilcho you have been a great help!! Much thanks!

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