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Small Business Server Deployment with Delayed Exchange Migration - Advice

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2014-03-12
I will be deploying a new Windows Small Business Server 2011 to a business with about 30 workstations this weekend.  Unfortunately, the email solution(s) this particular business is currently using includes a mix of about (6) hosted Exchange accounts and (25) basic POP/IMAP accounts purchased through their ISP.  Due to the complexity and time requirements of the server installation, migration and workstation joining, we will not have time this weekend to pull down all of their mail and make the switch to onsite Exchange at the same time.  We will, however, be making the switch within the next 30 days.

We will be using ProfWiz to migrate their local profiles into their new domain profiles.  They did not currently have a DC in-place.  In my experience, when joining workstations to a SBS, Outlook wants to connect to the local Exchange server to handle mail.  I want to avoid this for now.  My main fear is that I will have issues with their existing mail profiles after joining each workstation because the new SBS will want to configure their mail profile for use with the local Exchange server.

I figure there must be other techs out there that have had to stagger the SBS install and the Exchange migration with an existing hodgepodge of email profiles on local workstations for one reason or another.  I would love to know how you have handled this situation or get some ideas from my fellow techs on how to avoid serious mail profile problems during this install.

Thanks a million.
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Question by:jHillyman
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 39913369
Hi:

Hosted Exchange  = user@domain.tld?
Pop = user@different_domain(s).tld?

I think I would simply turn off all the exchange services until you are ready to deal with the mail.   If OL does not find the exchange server it will not default to the exchange server for data store.

The users will be different users... user@internal_domain_name so OL may have to be repointed to the users .pst file, but that is trivial.

Once you have the MX record pointed to the external IP of the firewall and the ports forwarded you can turn on the exchange services and deal with moving the hosted mail down to the exchange server (be SURE you check with the hosting company to get this in the right order), and then deal with moving whatever is wanted from .pst to mailbox.
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by:jHillyman
ID: 39913393
Hosted Exchange = user@domain.tld
POP = user@domain.tld

Apparently, their ISP is calling this config a split-domain.

I am really hesitant to turn off Exchange services on the SBS because it seems to cause all sorts of wonkiness.  In the event that I do decide to do so, does anyone have a list of the services to turn off?  Just any service with MS Exchange in the name?

I am considering just not running the Internet Name wizard on the SBS box which will result in user@domain.local Outlook profiles.  Was hoping to get others' experience in performing the staggered migration this way.

Setting up the MX records and other DNS records for Exchange and the SBS is not a problem for me.  That I have done many times.
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Larry Struckmeyer MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39913940
Well, with no mail arriving at the exchange server (no mx record) you really don't have much to worry about.  OL coexists very well with pst and exchange mailboxes.
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