Effects of adding Exchange 2013 to 2007/2010 environment?

I've got bases covered I believe for deploying Exchange 2013 to an environment that is currently a 2007/2013 co-existence, however, I am not quite sure yet on what exactly happens once Exchange 2013 is joined to the environment.
Would any mailbox users of Exchange 2007 or 2010 notice any changes or issues?
At some point I would want them to notice changes but only after having communicated to them about migrating to 2013, and I'd want to let them know about that ahead of time of course.

Only thing I can think of for now might be the OWA access. Any thing have to change with that so people don't start pointing to Exchange 2013 as soon as it's deployed?
My goal is to deploy a 2 node Exchange 2013, then when it's running and updated, then I can communicate to end-users about the new server and migrate them over.
garryshapeAsked:
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BembiCEOCommented:
You mean you have a 2007 / 2010 coexisting environment?
And you want to add 2013 now.
Coexistance between 2007 and 2013 as well as 2010 and 2013 is supported in general.
Xou have to fulfill the minimum requirements (mostly the latest SPs and CUs) for 2007 and 2010.
A bottleneck may be that the mechanism of the CAS and database access changed from 2007 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2013 again.
If the precondtions of all systems are fulfilled, you can add a 2013 system in general.
Also if you still using public folders, there are some essential changes in the way, how they are implemented. In general, they are disannounces since 2007, but there is still away in 2013 to implement them. They are not needed anymore for newer Outlook clients, and the way how EX 2013 handles them is just a public mailbox. So possibly a thought to completely remove them or to move them anyway into a public mailbox before if possible. Just avoids some additionl headache.

The general procedure is the same with 2007 / 2010. If the new server is in place, you can move the mailboxes from one to the other server. If the Outlook versions are 2010 SP2 or later, the user should not really get aware about the change which the exception of an outage during the mailbox move. The CAS can redirect your client to the right target system until they recognize the new target.

Working with alias DNS names for your Ex boxes makes the life easier. If you move out the older systems you need only to change the DNS alias names pointing to the new box. If all mailboxes are moved, and all DNS alias pointing to the new system, you can remove the old box.

Problems we mostly have seen with older Outlook clients or Win XP clients.
garryshapeAuthor Commented:
Yeah the reasoning I have for adding 2013 into the mix, is because I would be moving mailboxes from 2007 to 2010 and then decommissioning them.
If I currently just have 2 mailbox server nodes: 2007 and 2010, which I do, then in my opinion it's not going to be a sustainable system, having no DAG or high availability. It's something I inherited.

So if I have to add another server for a DAG, then that means I have to add another 2010 server and setup the dag with the existing single 2010 server, and then migrate the 2007 mailboxes to 2010 before decommissioning the 2007.

At that point, then I might as well have added 2x 2013 servers instead, setup its DAG, and migrate 2007 mailboxes as well as 2010 to the newer 2013.

By then, I'd see myself with a better, faster Exchange Server setup with 2013, and I'd have decommissioned '07 & '10, and I'm in a better position to go hybrid with O365, having less administration burden and better support and reliability.
That's what I'm assuming. Don't know what other options I have.
ZombieAutopsy81IT Manager/Network AdministratorCommented:
I'm in the same boat @garryshape. But I have 2003/2010. But I am having problems with access to owa and access to the 2010 EMC. I amd getting access denied and ws-management cannot process the request. I have delt with service packs and back/restores and all the fixes on the internet and nothing. My mailflow is fine and most of the mailboxes and roles and public folders are already moved over to 2010. I was wondering the same thing about adding a 2013 environment and then just moving the mailboxes and roles from 2010 right to 2013 and decommissioning the 2003 and 2010 servers.
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BembiCEOCommented:
@Zombie: Is this a additional question? If yes, open a separate question for this, otherwise the thread gets completely confused.

2003 is a different case as coexistence between 2003 and 2013 is not supported. You have first to move out 2003 before you can start with 2013, If everything is moved and working, move out 2003 first.  

@GarryShape:
Yes, good idea..., at least the target should be to have one system (one version) at the end. Moving to Exchange online also has preconditions and you need a hybrid situation for a while to move the mailboxes into the cloud. I'm not quite sure if you still get Exchange 2010 online or if you have to move to Exchange 2013 anyway. Preconditions for Exchange online my be subject of change.
If you plan to go to Exchange online anyway, DAG doesn't make sense to me because the content of the databases is moved into the cloud anyway, so doing it directly may save some license costs.
If you are currently unsure (or just want to keep the option) , you have to fulfill the preconditions at the time, when you decide to go to Exchange online. So possibly you need later another migration step. Just to keep this in mind.
Also be aware about Office online and Exchange online, the general rule is: everything online or everything on premise. There are some essential limitations in the cloud as Microsoft never allow you to touch the system base, what possibly excludes access to server APIs and some other possibilities.
Working in the cloud means to work with the standard functionality.

If you are sure that you want to work with exchange 2013 on premise for the next time, then your description sounds reasonable. DAG gives you higher availability. But also keep your frontend in mind. High availability means also a doubled frontend. And as DAG on the backend and load balancer / fail over on the frontend doesn't work on one single machine, you need 4 servers, 2 DAG backends and two load balanced frontends. DAG alone is only a duplication of the database. If the frontend fails, the clients are dead, with or without DAG.

So, coming back to your first question:
Under the precondition that 2007 and 2010 is up do date (2013 coexistence preconditions are fulfilled), you can add the 2013 server to the organization and set it up as needed. With some test mailboxes you can check the functionality. Make sure mail flows in and out as well as between the servers.
If you havn't worked with DNS alias names until now, its a good point to start now. So all names used for exchange 2013 should be alias names.

If everything is fine, move test mailboxes from 2007 and 2010 to 2013. You should recognize, that it is not the biggest deal. Better to logoff the clients before move, this way the should recognize the new server with the next logon. If Outlook stays open, the user may get some messages / login dialogs.

Due to this, we usually move user mailboxes during the night. You may calculate the data transfer rate by moving some single bigger mailboxes first and then calculate, how mayn mailboxes you can move in one single night. Depends from the total size, The next sequence the next night.
If the user logs on the next morning, he may observe a little bit longer time Outlook needs to open, but should not be aware, that the server has changed.  
At the end you can remove the empty 2007 and 2010 servers.
Let the old server run empty for a while to make sure, all clients has got the new configuration. The client changes its configuration with the first logon, THE old CAS redirect them to the new CAS and they should change their client configuration. But maybe you have to take holidays or other absence reasons into account. If there are still some single clients left over, you can also add an alias name for the old server pointing to the new server into DNS for a while.
ZombieAutopsy81IT Manager/Network AdministratorCommented:
Not really a separate question, was just curious about the coexistence of three environments and I was going to post a question about it and then ran into this.
garryshapeAuthor Commented:
Bembi, thanks for the feedback and advice.
As for the cloud, yes we'll definitely want to go hybrid for a while.
This is a school, and the idea is to put students/alumni into the cloud, so we're not keeping on-premise thousands of  mailboxes going back to 1999 for Alumni students. Our licensing is freely provided by Microsoft.
Faculty/staff would be dedicated to our on-premise Exchange until compliance policies are re-written to permit the cloud for their mailboxes, and with only about 300 of those mailboxes, I'd try and get by with a 2-node Exchange 2013 setup w/ DAG without getting too advanced on the additional servers and front-end load-balancers, if possible.
BembiCEOCommented:
Zombie: No problem, just want to mention, that 2003 is always a two step process as 2003 has some completely different structures and 2003 structures have to be removed from AD before an 2013 can be involved. For 2007 / 2010 / 2013 there are also different techniques involved, but they a more close together so coexistence is supported.

garryhape:
OK, I see, so it will be a permanent hybrid solution. Fine.
Two servers as DAG is fine, just be aware that load balanced CAS and DAG can not reside on the same machine. For 300 users a 4 machine environment also would be a bit oversized. But depends from the availability expectations. A CAS is not really critical because just a peace of software + configuration. Loosing mailboxes is the bigger disaster. But DAG also do not replace a regular backup.

If you separate administrative and students mailboxes, you even may think about to work with different mail domains or subdomains. This makes routing a bit easier as you can tell a connector what to do and where to send a specific domain.
Just a thought.

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