Migrate Exchange Server 2016 From Onsite to Cloud

GenieMaster used Ask the Experts™
Migrate Exchange Server 2016 from onsite to the cloud.
We currently have onsite a domain eg abc.xyx.com running onsite. On this site we also have running an Exchange Server 2016 that provides emails to the staff. The problem we are having is that its now working out too costly to run the exchange server onsite as the server needs to remain operational 24 hours a day. We have some storage space in the cloud to add 1 server. I have added a vmware server to this space and now want to host 2 virtual servers.

The local subnet mask is
The cloud subnet mask is

The local site to the cloud is able to communicate no problem via a  site to site vpn.

In the cloud will be the following 2 virtual servers.

1. A secondary domain controller.
2. Exchange Server.

The secondary domain controller has the ip of and is replicating no problem with the local dc that is on

I want to now setup the new exchange server and am not sure on what to do. The plan is to setup a new exchange and then move the mailboxes from the current local exchange to be pushed to the new cloud exchange. I will then look to demote and remove this local exchange so that the only exchange is now in the cloud.

The local dc will remain as the plan is that this dc will switch on during the daytime during working hours and then shutdown at the end of the shift along with a local storage server.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Distinguished Expert 2018

how many mailboxes you have on server?

Its better you migrate to O365 exchange online and forget exchange server onpremise setup

Then repurpose current onpremise server


Hi Mahesh we did think about that but because of the cloud rackspace we have, it would work out cheaper for us to host our own exchange
Distinguished Expert 2018

You already have one dc in cloud, post working hrs, stop and disable all exchange services and use tool like vmware converter and convert server to vmware virtual machine and upload this vm to rack space and configure there as VM, i don't know how much time would be required for upload, its depends upon your link speed and image size
Now reset exchange server computer account in ad, start vm, and logon with local administrator and rejoin server to domain again
Start all services and check if database gets mounted abd if u could access mailboxes and send receive locally
Point your mx  and spf to new server
Clients may need to restart outlook once or twice
You may park inbound emails for day or two to isp if he has that facility
Probably over weekend Saturday and Sunday you can do that
Proper planning is required

Else u need to go with conventional way like install new exchange box in cloud, migrate mailboxes over site to site vpn and once all mailboxes are migrated, point mx and spf to new server and finally decommission old server
This process will take time depending upon mailbox size, count, and available site to site internet bandwidth
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!


Hi Mahesh, I opted to do the old conventional way and moved over all mailbixes and system mailboxes.
I am now trying to uninstall the old exchange but I note that if I run the command  

Get-Mailbox -AuditLog -Server [OLD exchange] it shows an entry.
If I run
Get-Mailbox -AuditLog -Server [New exchange] it shows no entry.

I assume does this Audit Log need to move from the old server to the new ?
If so I do not see any command to move it across ;

I have tried

Get-Mailbox -AuditLog -Server  [OLD exchange]| New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase [New Exchange DB]
but it give an error saying the database does not exist. I am thinking it can only move audit logs within the server and not across servers.

Can you please explain what to do as I want to uninstall the old exchange.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Did you moved discovery search mailbox

Also disable auditlog or monitoring mailbox on old server and then you can remove mailbox database on old server and then you can uninstall exchange from old server


Hi Mahesh,

If I run the command
Get-Mailbox -RecipientTypeDetails DiscoveryMailbox

it shows as on the new server so I trust its been moved is that is the discovery search mailbox ?

As for the monitoring
Get-Mailbox -Monitoring -Server  [OLD exchange] it shows some entries
likewise if I run the same command on the new exchange it also has some entries.
Do I simply just need to disable this monitoring mailbox on the  [OLD exchange] ?
If so, can I have the command to run that will disable all entries for the old exchange as there are multiple.

3. As for the Auditlog
If I run the command
Get-Mailbox -Auditlog -Server [OLD exchange] it shows 1 entry
If I do the same command on the new server it shows no entry ?
You mentioned to disable this Audit log. Can I have the command to do this.
Also should there not be an entry on the new server ?

Thanks for your support
Distinguished Expert 2018

The provided link have that cmdlets


Hi Mahesh, the commands as I said in my comments above are not there. I also asked a few other questions if you could please help
Distinguished Expert 2018

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration   > check where all arbitration mailboxes are, if they still pointing to old server, then move them with below cmdlet:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase Newserverdatabase

Get-Mailbox -Database <Database ID> -AuditLog | fl
Get-Mailbox -Database <Database ID> -AuditLog | Disable-Mailbox

what error you are getting while uninstalling exchange server?

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial