Upgrading from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 - configure mailbox settings but not move mailbox data?

Posted on 2014-09-15
Last Modified: 2014-09-22
I currently have an Exchange 2007 server that is running extremely slow, and I'm looking into setting up a new Exchange 2013 server on better hardware.

Currently, a move of a mailbox on the 2007 server can take 12+ hours for a 500 meg mailbox. As such, I'm thinking I may not want to move mailboxes from 2007 to 2013 (perhaps move some, but not all). However, I'd like to have an easy way to create all the accounts on the new server, then perhaps export from the .ost file to a .pst, and import this data into the new server.

I haven't done an Exchange upgrade before, so I'm wondering if something like this is possible,  perhaps with Powershell? (My main goal is to avoid moving mailboxes for fear of long duration, but also try and get up as quickly as possible.)

Question by:ruhkus
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Accepted Solution

Adam Farage earned 300 total points
ID: 40324555
So lets address the elephant in the room first...

a move of a mailbox on the 2007 server can take 12+ hours for a 500 meg mailbox

I have NEVER seen this, ever! The way mailboxes are moved are through the Mailbox Replication Service, and basically the Mailbox is being replicated from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013, and then once the move is complete the older copy of the mailbox (Exchange 2007) is hard deleted, along with the attributes point the AD user object to Exchange 2013. With this said, look at your disk IO utilization on Exchange 2013 and your network bandwidth. If its neither of these, look at the IO utilization on Exchange 2007.. its most likely that from what you described, but running ExPerfWiz on Exchange 2007 ( and then parsing it through PAL ( is your best bet. It will give you a nice HTML report, and something easier to read off of.

I haven't done an Exchange upgrade before, so I'm wondering if something like this is possible,  perhaps with Powershell? (My main goal is to avoid moving mailboxes for fear of long duration, but also try and get up as quickly as possible.)

This is tricky, and convoluted solution to something you should be addressing. Either way you can do this..

- Export the mailbox to a PST (New-MailboxExportRequest -Identity -PSTFilePath C:\PST\PSTFileName.pst)
- DISCONNECT the current mailbox (Disable-Mailbox -Identity
- Create a new mailbox for the user on Exchange 2013 (New-Mailbox or just do it through EAC)
- Import the contents of the PST into the new mailbox (New-MailboxImportRequest -Identity -PSTFilePath C:\PSTFilePath\PSTFilename.pst)

This is too complex, time wasting and can cause additional slowdown as the root cause is most likely disk IO issues. Both require IO to accomplish the task so you can give it a shot but I don't think it will be much faster, if faster at all.

Assisted Solution

by:Zacharia Kurian
Zacharia Kurian earned 200 total points
ID: 40324693
Have you investigated why your exchange 2007 is extremely slow?

How you have configured your current exchange 2007 box? All roles in one box?

Is it a physical server or virtualized?

Author Comment

ID: 40324735
Thanks for the feedback. You're right the disk I/O is horribly bad with the latency numbers significantly high. I opened up a support request with Microsoft and they ran ExPerfWiz as well. Recommended solution by MS was to contact the hardware vendor to resolve the disk issues. However, given that the server is 8+ years old and has all the Exchange roles (physical server), I wasn't sure how successful going this route would be. I tried to push MS to see if it's really just one particular storage group causing the issues (since 450 gigs with most of our mailboxes), but they stuck with the whole disk I/O stance.

So yeah, regarding disk I/O as the elephant in the room, what is the best way to get past this issue, especially when dealing with 600+ gigs of data? (To clarify as well, the moves I've done to date have been within 2007, but yes, it's not unusual for these moves to take 12+ hours for the few I've done so far.)

Expert Comment

by:Zacharia Kurian
ID: 40324802
Have you ever thought of virtualization, using VMware? If you do not have budget constrains, I would suggest you to get a storage with Fiber channels  + a strong mid range server and Vmware licenses. Think of P2V your current exchange.

Make sure that you do have a proper backup of your current exchange box, make a recovery plan ASAP, with all the available sources and time.

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