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Removing Exchange Server 2003 after a staged migration to Exchange Online

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Last Modified: 2014-11-23
What is the best practice for removing the Exchange 2003 servers from the enterprise after having migrated all mailboxes to Exchange Online? The AD user accounts are now mail enabled to the Exchange Online mailboxes. The Exchange 2003 Management Console still show the mailboxes, but now with a red cross, after having run the cleanup agent.

How to safely remove all the users from the Exchange 2003 environment and remove all Exchange servers on premises?
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Jasvindar SinghOffice 365 Administrator
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This morning I have updated all MX records. TTL was set to 60 seconds, so updating shouldn't take too long I hope. In EAC there is no action required for the domains anymore. So the next step is to decommission the on premises Exchange Servers.

First I still have to export some not migrated mailboxes to a pst file. Then remove these accounts.

Then power off the Exchange Servers for a few days and monitor for issues.

Public Folders were not used and are as good as empty. I will check the Deleted Item Recovery settings, make a last back-up. Then start the database deletion. How to delete the database? Dismount the store and remove the databases? Then remount to an empty database?

Next delete Recipient Update Services. Exchange Online no more uses Recipient Update Services.

Then the last step is to uninstall the Exchange servers.
Gareth GudgerSolution Architect
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Thanks for the tips.
Gareth GudgerSolution Architect
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Glad to help!
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