Exchange 2013 to 2016 and DAG concern

Hello Guys,

One month from now I will be implementing an Exchange 2013 to 2016 migration. I would like to seek your assistance if you have a documentations and scripts on your end that applied on your organization successfully. And also I have a bit of concern after the migration. I will implement also DAG but it is not on the same area. Svr1 is located on the client HQ and Svr2 will be on the other place. Is that possible? I need your expertise. Thank you!
Jhay DionioExchange Support EngineerAsked:
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IvanSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,

Exchange 2013 to 2016 is usually as any other Exchange migration, with one difference, and that is you don't need to move mail flow from 2013 to 2016 before starting to move mailboxes. In this migration you can move mail flow at any point in time, since 2013 knows how to proxy/ redirect traffic to 2016.

So you would:
1. Install 2016
2. Export certificate from 2013 and bind to 2016 IIS, SMTP (and any other service you are using)
3. Configure autodiscover service and all other services
4. Configure receive connectors
5. Create DB
6. Move users and all other mailboxes.
7. Move mail flow and DNS records
8. Remove 2013

Regards,
Ivan.
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Jhay DionioExchange Support EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Ivan,

Thank you for your advice. Now how can I handle the DAG from site to site?
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IvanSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,

is that same company, same AD domain? Are those locations connected via site-to-site vpn?
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Jhay DionioExchange Support EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Ivan,

From your first and second question will be yes.
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IvanSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,

do you have users in both locations? If so, then you would need to configure active-active DB on both locations.

Problem with that setup is that if WAN fail's, then DAG would fail. In order to prevent it, you would need to have 2 DAG. 1 DAG for users in location 1, and second DAG for users in second location. You would need 2 witness servers, one at each location.

If you have users only in 1 location, then you would put witness at that primary location, so that Exchange keeps on running in case of WAN failure.
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
First, i don't see any major benefit in migrating from Exchange 2013 to 2016. My advise, you should wait for Exchange 2019. As far as designing HA solution for Exchange. It is a wider topic, just setting up Active/passive or active/active for DB HA, you can do it easily. I don't see any concern.

However, if you are looking for complete HA solution, you need to start from scratch. You need to start from your server hardware level HA, like dual power supply, network load balancing, SAN HA etc.
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Jhay DionioExchange Support EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hi Ivan,

Yes they have users in both location. The client want to aim if the HQ is down. They can still have access on the outlook since it will be triggered to the DR site. Please correct me if Im wrong and what is the best strategy.
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Exchange HA does not work, the way most of admin or client think. It is way more complicated. If you primary goes down, nothing will happen autimatically, you need to manaully work and bring back user in other site up. note setting up HA is an expensive solution. In your case better you move to Office 365. By default you will get HA.
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Jhay DionioExchange Support EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Amit,

Well this is a pain of IT Engineers to the client. Take note that they do not want to subscribe to Office 365. So I seek your help if any other options will be apply for on premise HA architecture.
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
If your client is ready for on-prem HA. I advise you to hire, IT architect, who can help you in designing the solution. You can also check with Microsoft, they also can help you in designing HA solution.
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Jhay DionioExchange Support EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Amit,

Thanks for the advice. I will post again once I've done implementing the Exchange On Prem and I will tag you if there is concern.
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