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Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 Mailbox Migration Best Practices?

I have, in the recent past, migrated several clients to MS Office 365 Hosted Exchange Services from various versions of MS Exchange Server including Exchange 2003.  I like the ability to pre-populate the online user mailboxes by moving the mailbox data but not moving the actual mailboxes before making a final DNS cutover to the new site.

Is it possible to do something similar when moving from local legacy Exchange Server to a new local Exchange Server 2013?  

If not, are there easy ways to move large mailboxes without inconveniencing the owners of those mailboxes?  

Finally, when migrating from SBS2003 to SBS2008 (or SBS2011) Microsoft automatically set up bridgeheads and connectors that allowed all mail to flow from the legacy server until the final cutover was made.  To accomplish this task in Exchange 2013 should I simply setup a second public IP address for the new server and make sure that there is mail flow through the firewall and email gateway service provider before I move any mailboxes?

I realize that I've asked three separate, but hopefully closely related, questions.  If someone can provide an easy "best practices" approach to my answer I'll be grateful.


1 Solution
First you cannot populate the mailboxes here as the mailboxes are available on legacy server. As this is a exchange 2007 I would recommend to move the mailboxes during weekend because once the mailbox started moving you will not be able to access the mailbox.

The second IP is not required as the email flow will be fine. Once the mailboxes are move you can redirect the traffic to the new server on firewall.
QualitycomputerAuthor Commented:
My thought on the second IP address is that I could move a few mailboxes at a time and have mail flow from both servers rather than needing to move all the mailboxes at once and then cutting over the firewall settings.

Thanks for your input on this.
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