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Moving from Exchange 2003 to cloud based email

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
We have a Windows 2003 Server (a domain controller)  that is running Microsoft Exchange 2003 and hosts ten mailboxes for the company.  We have installed a new Windows Server 2012R2 (also a domain controller) box to be the file and application server for this small network.  We have already moved everything to it and the old 2003 server just remains to run Exchange for now.  When I decommission the old server, I do not want to buy Exchange and put it on the new server since it just doesn't seem necessary or cost effective.  I am looking for a cloud based solution where I can just export the mailboxes to PST files and import them to the cloud solution.  I also want the users to keep using MS Outlook since it is what they know.  Would Office 365 hosted Exchange be the best solution for this?  I am just curious what opinions are out there.  The main thing is, I do want to be able to easily import the PST file to their cloud box so that it is centrally located and accessible.
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Question by:Steve Bantz
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by:ncomper
ncomper earned 25 total points
ID: 40212022
O365 is very easy and the import/export is a very simple process.

Other solutions would work just as well you just have to decide if you want a learning curve moving to a different tech and evaluate the support options if/when it goes wrong. From a cost point of view £2.60 per mailbox on 365 is very competitive and the bonus of SSO and/or Federation services for online AD authentication could add protection for future expansion to tech such as Sharepoint/Azure online servers.
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Gareth Gudger earned 100 total points
ID: 40212034
Absolutely. You can do just the basic Exchange Online Plan 1 for $4 per user/month. It is a subset of the bigger Office 365 plan. So if email is all you need/want, then just go with that. It includes a 50GB mailbox per user. If you want an unlimited mailbox and a couple extra features you can do Exchange Online Plan 2 for a little more. But Exchange Online Plan 1 is normally enough. If you want SharePoint and Lync as well you can go the full Office 365 suite.

Exchange Online's native migration tools can pull mail directly from your Exchange 2003 server if you desire. Without having to export and import to PSTs. It does require RPC over HTTP to be functional though on the source 2003 server. Or you can do export/import to PSTs if you desire.

Reference:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/compare-microsoft-exchange-online-plans-FX103764022.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:Steve Bantz
ID: 40212114
Thanks for the quick direction and link to reference materials.  While I could have researched it a bit myself, I do like hearing from others who have used it.  :)
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40212145
Absolutely! Thanks for the grade!
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