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Public Folder Migration Exchange 2010 to 2013

Posted on 2014-03-24
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Last Modified: 2014-04-14
Been pulling what little hair I've got out on this.

I've successfully migrated all mailboxes to Exch 2013 CU2 and has been working smoothly for several months.

Tried to migrate public folders for the first time about a month ago and at the last step in testing (verify connectivity with Outlook 2010) to the new public folder mailbox I couldn't access the new folders.

Did a rollback that went ok. Found out later the account I was using for testing had a clobbered profile.....Oh well. Waited and insured that everything was working correctly.

Started new migration this last weekend. As we didn't have very many public folders I exported their content and then deleted them all (except the news feed folder which refused to delete). My goal was to elliminate as much as possible and I'd import contents after migration.

Migration went well and have completed everything upto the point of enabling new public folders for all users but.......

Here's my problem I've got two accounts to test the new public folders from Outlook 2010 (one a test mailbox and one live). Neither one can see the public folders, nothing, zilch. Rebuilt the profile on the live mailbox with the same results, still cannot see the public folders.

Folders "are" visiable in the EAC. Live mailbox has owner rights to the root of the Public folder hierarchy and the test mail box has editor. I've got two public folders within the database. The internet newsgroup and a folder test.

I ran the cmdlet to assign both mailboxes to the new public folders. And when I run the cmdlet get-mailbox -identity etest | fl it shows the correct public folder database (same for the live account).

Where do I go from here? I've heard there are problems with CU3 and I'm not sure about SP1.

Thanks.
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Question by:RichardPWolf
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 39951395
Run
get-organizationconfig | select public*
and see what the results show. You need to make sure that the public folders are set to be local, are not locked for migration, and that the publicfoldermigrationcomplete command has been run against the organization config.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39952770
First - Exchange 2013 CU2 is no longer supported. You need to upgrade to Exchange 2013 SP1. Cumulative Updates are only supported for the current and the previous one, so SP1 is effectively CU4, so you are out of support.

Public Folder migration is a pig and I now actually tell clients not to bother, but use it as an excuse to remove public folders completely. If you need to put the data somewhere, park it in a Shared Mailbox. Then remove legacy public folders completely and start from scratch.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39953008
-acbrown- command didn't return anything (just the header).

-simon- OK I'll run SP1 and try again. Also somewhat agree with your comment on public folders but in our organization they still are a value. At least for now.

BTW; from a comment on another forum I was able to see the public folders under OWA by right clicking favorites and select "add public folder" but nothing like that in Outlook 2010.

I'll let you know after the update.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39966973
OK, update time. Over the weekend I've updated to SP1. All went well and I didn't encounter any problems with the upgrade. Great.

Came in this morning and shutdown the exchange 2010 server and if all goes well I'll decommision it later this week. But even though I finalilized the migration to exchange 2013 I noticed that my Outlook 2010 client is still trying to connect to the old exchange 2010 public folders.

Currently I don't have any public folders created (or public folder mailbox) but when I try to create a PF mailbox I'm receiving this message "An existing Public Folder deployment has been detected. To migrate existing Public Folder data, create new Public Folder mailbox using -HoldForMigration switch."

I believe it's from a failed PF migration. How can I resolve this?

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39967112
Start the old server up and go through the process to remove the last Public Folder database.

That is outlined in this TechNet article.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876883(v=exchg.141).aspx

Once you are rid of the public folder database then you should be in a position to remove the Exchange 2010 server.

Also to say, I don't advocate the "turn off and see what breaks" method being used with Exchange, as Exchange will break. It expects the server to be there and because of that certain functions do not work as expected - Autodiscover redirecting clients to the new server for example, depends on the old server being available (ie on and running) or completely unavailable (ie uninstalled). Turned off, services stopped etc is not an option.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39967148
OK, thanks. I had dismounted the old databases but hadn't removed them.

I understand what you are saying about not powering down the old server but I was following some documentation that said to do that. As it was it did let me know I had some printers that I needed to change where they were sending there notifications to (pluse some websites).
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39967162
I don't think any Microsoft documentation says to do that, and that is the only things that should really be followed. There is a lot of FUD in many third party documentation.

Dismounting the databases isn't enough - Exchange will still think it is there and still direct Outlook traffic to them.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39967304
OK, good point. I've removed the databases. After I do some more checking I'll update again.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39969428
OK, been working with this problem and I thought I had it resolved. But.....

To date;
  1. have successfully migrated all Exchange processes to 2013 SP1.
  2. have removed all databases from 2010.
  3. have removed send connector and disabled receive connector between the two boxes.
  4. have successfully created new Primary Hiearchy mailbox.
  5. have created two test public folders.
  6. have set owner permissions on root mailbox and a couple of users as publishers on test PFs.
  7.  have checked client permissions via PS (all OK).

Now for awhile I was able to see the public folders in OL2010 and was able to create posts, change permissions on folders. Great thought problem was done, but.....
After about a hour folders have disappeared. No other test users ever saw the PFs.
  8. have deleted OL profile and created new. No change.

I've read where autodiscover could be the culpreat and if so how do I check it?
I've also read where split-DNS could affect it. DNS appears to be correct.

Now there is one issue that may affect everything. I know that things like Out-of-Office depend on the client (either internal or external) need to be able to tag the external public IP of the organization for it to work. That's a problem for us as our firewall is managed by another vendor and they don't allow internal clients to use the external IPs.

I've also notified management that until this problem is resolved we won't be using public folders and I've found away around it. It's not pretty but it's working.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39969540
" I know that things like Out-of-Office depend on the client (either internal or external) need to be able to tag the external public IP of the organization for it to work"

I don't understand that comment at all. There is no related to the IP address with out of office. The only thing is Exchange recognises where the email came from and if dual OOTO messages have been set the right one is returned.

The major problem with OOTO is often related to Autodiscover. Autodiscover internally makes a query to the domain, which you can see here:

get-clientaccessserver | select identity, autodiscoverserviceinternaluri

The host name should resolve internally to the Exchange server and also be on the SSL certificate. You may want to set it be the same on both the old and new server.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39969566
OK, I'll check it out again.

Could my problem with public folders be realated to autodiscover?
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39972814
Followed MS article to check for correct autodiscover -srv record in DNS and that's ok. It's a good thing that I've got work arounds in place as this has been a pain in the side. Up to this point Exchange has been a great package. Now.....? I just hope this is just transition pains and will get resolved.

Thanks from a very frustrated admin. I really appreciate the support that I get from this site.
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39975521
You shouldn't need an SRV record in your domain for Autodiscover, as it wouldn't be used.
I hate being blunt but if the previous installation had been setup correctly you wouldn't have these problems. Too many admins felt that autodiscover was an optional feature that they could do without (As they didn't understand it) and it has now started to cause them problems.

The only part that Autodiscover would play in public folders is finding them in the first place. You need to look at getting Autodiscover to work correctly.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39975591
I did have a host record for autodiscovery. Exchange 2010 worked flawlessly. I didn't have a single problem with it. Migrating to Exchange 2013 hasn't been an issue until public folders. And yes it's my fault as when I did the first attempt to migrate public folders it "appeared" to have failed and so I did a roleback. That turned out to be the profile on the test user Outlook account. Since then it's been downhill.

As far as I can tell autodiscover does work. The only part that I have a problem is it seems that when using autodiscover it tries to access the external url for our domain and that's a problem because our firewall vendor doesn't allow that. i.e. when autodiscover attempts access to mail.domain.org at address 24.242.xxx.xxx our firewall will block that access and there's no getting around that. Accessing it from the internal url works fine.

I still don't understand and I'm at a loss to where to start is "why" did public folders work for me after the last and final migration/setup for about 4 hours and then they disappeared not to come back. So I need to know "what" to check and possibly the cmdlets to do the checking. It's probably something simple that I've missed.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39979889
The firewall vendor not allowing external host names internally is normal - most firewalls do that. You need to setup a split DNS system so that the external host name resolves internally. http://semb.ee/splitdns

This is pretty much mandatory as you cannot get an internal host name on to a public SSL certificate that expires after November 2015, so is something I do on all deployments.

You are aware that public folder migration to Exchange 2013 is a cut process? You cannot stage it, test it etc? You have to replicate the content, move all the users, then do a cut over to the new public folders.

Any chance of eliminating public folders? That is what I am doing for most of my migrations. Moving the content to a shared mailbox so that public folders can be completely eliminated. Then if the client wants to use them after the migration is complete, a new hierarchy is built.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39983057
Thanks, I'll check out the Split-DNS. I thought I had it setup that way but I'll double check.

OK, good to know about normal for firewalls. The last one we did our selves didn't have that restriction.

For eliminating public folders. That is pretty much what I'm going to do and have. One area where it still would be good is for calendars as the method describled in using a share mailbox or group mailbox is clumsy. What I mean about that is when a user connects to the shared mailbox they see an entire mailbox even though the only thing used is the calendar. I have worked around this buy just having the main user of the organizational calendar just setup a shared calendar on her system.

Still can't connect to the public folders I created in 2013. They just won't show up in Outlook. That is still a mystery. Maybe the split-dns will solve that. So after I check that out and correct any errors I'll let you know. Hopefully I'll be able to get it done today.

Thanks for your patience.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 39983352
Have you cut over to Modern Public Folders? If not then you will be unable to access them.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39983608
Yes we have. The PFs I'm talking about are the ones in Exch 2013. What's odd is after cutting over and finishing the migration request I "did" see the new folders I created in EAC. I was able to create new ones from Outlook, change permissions etc. Great. Went to a couple of test users to have them check to see if they had them, nope. Went back to my Outlook and after about 4 hours they disappeared and I've not been able to get them back.

Now it's my understanding that even with modern public folders that they would still show up in Outlook the same way as before. Is that correct? It's not going to be a show stopper as I said earlier we've got a workaround but.... If it's suppose to work then it should even if I don't use it.
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Author Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39986105
Simon, It does appear that autodiscover is the culprit but....... I'm not sure.

Question, "could" my problem with Out of Office and Public folders be related to autodiscover not completely working the way it should?

What i get while testing OoO is what "appears" to be a permissions issue as I'm getting an error when testing autodiscover within Outlook (autodiscover.xml failed 0x80072F78) and when I run test-outlookwebservices I get; ( Tried to format for best viewing)
Source             ServiceEndpoint            Scenario                       Result  Latency
                                                                                      (MS)
------              --------------            --------                       ------  -------
TAZ.hoodview.fcu  mail.texaspartnersfcu.org   Autodiscover: Outlook Provider Failure      48
TAZ.hoodview.fcu                              Exchange Web Services          Skipped       0
TAZ.hoodview.fcu                              Availability Service           Skipped       0
TAZ.hoodview.fcu                              Offline Address Book           Skipped       0

Also when I run; Get-ClientAccessServer | ft Identity.AutodiscoverServiceInternalUri -autosize   Returns;
Identity AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri
-------- ------------------------------
INKI     https://mail.texaspartnersfcu.org/Autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml
TAZ      https://autodiscover.hoodview.fcu/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

And could the problem be in that I haven't removed the exchange 2010 (INKI) box?

Thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:RichardPWolf
ID: 39998906
Simon I believe I'm done with public folders for now at least. After all the checking and reconfiguring here's the summary of what I've done and found.
1. As you and others have pointed out PF are a pain under 2013.
2. I've decommisioned and removed the legacy Exchange 2010 server.
3. I've successfully setup Split DNS which has helped my autodiscovery issue.
4. Out of Office still doesn't work at least internal with OL2010 (I will open a new ticket on this) but I believe it's an SSL issue.

Thanks for your help and patience.
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