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Reversing move to Hosted Exchange

Posted on 2013-11-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-11
If we decided we wanted to move back to on-premise email, and away from Microsoft Hosted Exchange, is there a process for that?
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Question by:HELFIT
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Vasil Michev (MVP) earned 334 total points
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Manual one, unless you have on-prem Exchange 2013. There are also some 3rd party tools that can help you move mailboxes and/or SharePoint content, at a cost.

That being said, the average user is mainly concerned about his email, and you can easily export that to a .pst and save it locally if needed.
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by:HELFIT
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Understood. We're currently in hybrid mode with an on-premise Exchange 2010 SP3 and having Directory Sync running. I've got a few mailboxes on hosted and the rest still on-premise. I now have a few "bosses" who are asking how we can switch back if they don't like it. Their other question pertains to backups. They fear having their email in the "cloud" means we don't have a backup of our email. Any thoughts on that?
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by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
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Yeah, this one is a bit tricky. It's important to understand that Microsoft will never do a "please restore the mails I deleted on Jan 1st" type of backup/restore. It will be your responsibility.

Data is of course backed up, spread across multiple data centers in different geolocations, so this part is covered. Signle-item recovery is on by default, but I would strongly recommend augmenting it with some kind of local .pst backup or paying the extra $ for litigation hold. Journaling is another option and it's very easy to set up, but if you ever need to recover something from the journal mailbox you will, things can get ugly.
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by:JaredJ1
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Absolutely there is a process. It really just depends what platform you want to move to. If you want to move from Exchange Online back to an Exchange on-premise solution, you have several options:
1. Configure a Hybrid deployment of Exchange 2010/2013 - this will allow for a period of coexistence and you will be able to move mailboxes between the two Exchange orgs using the native mailbox move functions in Exchange.
2. PST/Export/import.

If you're not going to Exchange but a different product, you may need to see what tools/options the product has - could potentially do IMAP connection to 365 to extract mail.
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