Exchange 2010 migration to new server

Current Exchange 2010 is on Server 2008 R2
New Exchange 2010 will be on Server 2012 R2 - or if P2V is works with Exchange then it will of course stay on server 2008 R2.

I am getting conflicting responses from around the web and from other admins I speak to.
What I currently have is a single exchange 2010 environment running on a physical machine that is running out of space.
I have purchased a new server (server 2012 R2 Hyper-v) that is going to host the new exchange server as VM. We are planning on migrating to office 365 in 2016 so we are not wanting to upgrade to Exchange 2013, just looking to move 2010 from one machine to another.  
I have looked into using "Database Portability" and received info from Will here at EE ( ), but then I was told from other sources that this process should be used as a last resort to get an exchange server over to a new server, and that is also doesn't move over Public Folders That I should instead be using some sort of P2V conversion tool.. but others have warned me off of that when dealing with Exchange.
I have also been told that since Exchange 2010 is on both servers, I can install Exchange on the new server, backup the old server and restore the data to the new one.. which seems, on the surface to be the best option, but I am unsure on this due to the different OS types.

What is the best way to migrate from one Exchange 2010 server to a VM running either the original OS or a new install of 2012.. ? Down time is not an issue. My only concern is I am doing to the "right" way.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The reason people warn people off doing a P2V, is because they cannot do it, never done, it got it wrong!

We do many P2V's for clients on a weekly basis, and have zero issues, we do what the client asks, we can advise them, that the recommend Best Practice, is to create a new Exchange server, and then do the dance of transfer mailboxes from old Exchange Server to new Exchange Server, causes downtime of the mailbox, whilst the transfer is in place, and often causes issues with users profile, so there is an impact to the End User, and you have to transfer many mailboxes, maybe manually, via scripts or use a human being....

Often, we get, what are the risks with a P2V, very few, if none, if the server is down for Scheduled Emergency Downtime for 1 hour... ALL the time we get, what is the cost, which is cheapest, and we do a P2V....

Microsoft has now also produced a free tool to do can see my EE Articles here, step by step tutorials, with screenshots

HOW TO: Convert a physical server or virtual server (P2V/V2V) to Microsoft Hyper-V using Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE to Hyper-V -  Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.1

So there are your options....., there is also another product.... you can use called Double Take Move

HOW TO: Migrate physical, virtual and cloud based workloads with real-time replication to VMware vSphere (ESXi) using Double-Take MOVE

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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
"New Exchange 2010 will be on Server 2012 R2 "
No it will not.

Exchange 2010 is not supported on Windows 2012 R2. The latest version of Windows you can go to is Windows 2012.

You also need to use Exchange 2010 SP3 media for the installation. You cannot use older and then upgrade.

I don't P2V Exchange for any reason whatsoever. It isn't worth the risk.
Build a new server and move the mailboxes. Don't try and shortcut by doing a backup/restore of Exchange. Again not worth the risk when move mailbox is completely risk free, requires zero downtime and can be done in production hours.

Your biggest headache will be the clients. Unless you have a CAS Array in place already, you will have to touch every client to get them to move to the new server. Configure a CAS Array now, so any further changes are easily managed by DNS.
If you have a CAS Array already, then great, you just need to move the DNS entry to the new server.

RichardPhippenAuthor Commented:
well $H!T ... I do not think the IT consultant before me even thought about that, and to be honest it didn't even cross my mind.
They currently have two DC's running on server 2012 R2 and Exchange running on 08 R2.
according to ( )  this setup will only work if they installed Exchange SP3 update rollup 5. Which I need to confirm.
Seems like we have more problems then just getting the mail server moved.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Domain Controllers on Windows 2012 R2 are fine - it is just the host OS for Exchange that has to meet the requirements.

RichardPhippenAuthor Commented:
Turned off all MS Exchange services, stopped inbound SMTP from internet, turned off all backups and cleared out Shadow Copies then used MVMC to convert server to .vhdx file. Turned off original server, brought up the .vhdx server (had to turn off Exchange services and backups again) tested a few things. When I was satisfied that the server was running correctly I turned on the NIC and then tested that is was behaving correctly on the network. Sent a few test messages around internally, when that was running smoothly I turned on Exchange and re-enabled SMTP traffic into the server. All seems fine. Watched it throughout the day.
Thanks for info, I was afraid of trying this with Exchange, but it seems to have gone great.
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