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Alex T
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Migration of emails from SBS 2011 to Exchange server 2016

Exchange server migration

We have an office with SBS 2011 server running Exchange server 2010 and another Windows Server 2012 R2 which is also a DC, obviously the SBS holding all the FSMO roles. the 2012 R2 is a dedicated application server.

My question is around the exchange server.

The mailbox database size is around 500 Gb with around 100 mailboxes of various sizes. as you can imagine the boss does't want to delete anything so he has like 60GB mailbox and the other staff is forced to delete emails to keep mailbox size down to 5GB and so on.

They have agreed to buy a new server but not replace the current server completely. The new server will be only for exchang server which will be exchange 2016 and the SBS 2011 will continue acting as file server.

So I want to know

1. Will these three servers co-exist perfectly fine with each other? Any configuration I need to change in terms of domain level or forest levels or Group Policies?

2. Is the process as simple as I understand? install new Windows server 2016, install exchange 2016 on it and then "move mailbox" command to move mailboxes to new server, uninstall exchange server from SBS 2011?

3. What hardware should I get? We only buy HP servers but what CPU, how much RAM and how much storage do I get? I know I should get SAS 10kRPM HDDs as they are the fast drives. There is also some kind of calculation we need to in terms of how many clients and email traffic etc but I have no clue about that.

Any guidence will be appriciated !
Microsoft OfficeExchangeSBSEmail ServersWindows 10

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8/22/2022 - Mon
Michael B. Smith

[1] You'll need to bump the DFL and FFL to Windows Server 2008 R2.

[2] There is a bit more to configuring Exchange 2016 than what you've got there, but yes, it's conceptually that simple.

[3] Get RAID-1 for the OS volumes, and RAID-5 or RAID-6 for the database volumes. Get large disk. JBOD. Speed of the disk isn't that important any more. Make up for it with memory, 32 GB or more; and core, 8 cores or more.
Edward van Biljon

Please use the exchange calculator to properly spec your exchange 2016 server.

If you ask my advise, you get rid of SBS and move everything to office 365. With 100 users you can do cut over migration. You get everything in office 365, especially High availability. If you still want to stick with on-premises, i will advise you to move your DC 2012 and then install Exchange 2016 and get rid of SBS.
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William Peck
Cris Hanna

If you have 100 active mailboxes are there 100 active users?  If so you are out of bounds for SBS.  

For Exchange 2016 you'll have to buy Windows Server Cals and Exchange 2016 cals for to equal the number of users connecting to exchange.

As for the boss's email I would create archives by years.  This will reduce the mailbox size down to a point that moving the boss's mailbox will actually succeed.

But Amit is correct in one regard.  Would be much cheaper to move to Office365.
Alex T

Yes Office365 is also my choice but not of the boss. There are reasons why it has to stay inhouse unfortunately.


Can you elaborate on point 2 as to what configuration i need to do?

Also, why not RAID 5 for the DB volumes? RAID1 for OS is like common sense now.


I know there need to be calculations for this but I simply don't have the data of expected mailbox growth, daily or weekly email flow, no of RPC over HTTPS connections, mobile devices etc. It is highly volatile and makes it difficult to get accurate data.

So in this case, I would overdo the hardware to make sure its covered.

I was thinking 2 x 500 GB SATA HDD for OS in RAID1. Then 4x600GB SAS 10krpm drives with RAID5 giving us 1.8TB of space for exchange DB. Even with overhead of other things, I expect 1.4TB to be available for the DB itself which should be good for next 5 years if we implement strict archiving policies....which I am sure will get relaxed as time goes on.

As for RAM, I was looking at 48GB to start with.

How does that sound to you guys?
Michael B. Smith

Hi... I suggested RAID-5 or RAID-6 for the database volumes. I have been unlucky enough to see a RAID-5 rebuild fail (bad batch of disks). Insofar as SAS 10K RPM disks - as I noted before, the speed of disks for Exchange really isn't that important any more. You aren't getting any better performance out of Exchange by buying fast disk than you will from JBOD.

Insofar as configuration - you have to configure receive connectors, send connectors, SSL certificates, virtual directories, etc. A long list of items. Installing Exchange is "next, next, next, done" but configuring it to be usable takes a lot more than that. If you want to do that yourself, the Exchange Deployment Assistant is your friend (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/exchange-deployment-assistant).
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Edward van Biljon

I would recommend raid 5, gives you more redundancy.
Michael B. Smith

Than RAID-6? No, it doesn't. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels#RAID_6. RAID-6 supports two disk failures in the array. RAID-5 only supports a single disk failure in the array.
Edward van Biljon

No Michael I was referring to Raid 5 over Raid 1.
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Michael B. Smith

@Edward - sorry, I misunderstood.
Edward van Biljon

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I advise you to use Exchange Calculator. That will give you all required details, just give details in input section: