A bit off topic but completely relevant:
I have a client with a pair of 4-year-old Dell tower servers with Microsoft Volume Licensing copies of Server Standard 2012R2 and the servers have Dell’s better support, so called Pro Support Plus. Dell has recently changed the terms of their support agreement and now they refuse to support any system tht doesn’t have OEM server software installed, with the OEM sticker on the box. Exchange 2013 is now out of mainstream support as of April 2018 and as I said, Dell now refuses to support these systems and I decided it made more sense to just migrate to Exchange 2016 rather than pay retail per hour rates or fighting Dell’s legal department.
I’d be interested in talking with anyone who thinks they could help me get Dell to reinstate the 5-year support agreement that we aid so much for, but that’s not directly relevant here. Meanwhile, Microsoft enterprise support won’t support any product that is out of mainstreams support without paying another $500 per incident fee. But they’d support 2016 under the existing contract.
So, rightly or wrongly, I decided to install Exchange 2016 on a Hyper-V guest and then turn off the 2013 exchange server. If this was a seriously dumb move, I will walk away from the exchange 2016 and try something different.
Which brings me to the technical question(s): how simple is this to do while the 2013 server is in production? The Server 2012R2 Standard host only has only one guest on it but the license allows 2. I want to spin up another 2012R2 guest and install Exchange 2016 on it and initially move the mailboxes while keeping 2013 running. I’m hoping that this means that OWA and ActiveSync will behave like nothing’s changed and I won’t need to do a touch all, especially of the cell phones and off-site laptops.
There are a number of problems with the Exchange 2013 server that I hope I can sidestep by moving the mailboxes to 2016. If not, then I hope the rest of the migration will resolve the issues. One user with a 10-gig mailbox, set to unlimited capacity gets repeated out of capacity errors every 3 to 6 months even with the mailbox down to about 10 gigs. None of the other users has this issue. Another user gets OST “unable to send” errors at a 40-gig mailbox limit even immediately after rebuilding the mailbox. No problems in uncached mode or with OWA. I’m aware of the 50-gig limit and the need to compact the mailbox when using OSTs with mailboxes this big but this happen immediately. Various users lose the ability to search for subject lines and text within emails in both OWA and outlook of varying versions, from 2010 to 2019.
I’ve considered moving to hosted exchange but unless I’m misinformed, Hosted exchange has a 50-gig limit, same as on-prem exchange does if it uses OSTs, which I understand is needed for searching. So, by itself it wouldn’t solve my underlying problem.
So again, the questions are (a) would a move to 2016 buy me some time to get them onto a document management system that would allow me to greatly and get the mailboxes smaller, at which point I could move to hosted exchange or on prem 2019; and (b) can anyone help me with doing this or point me to insrtucuitons that would be clear enough that I’d likely be successful