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Cloud Services Thread, Exchange 2003 migration options in Technical; Hi Looking for ideas as to where to go with this, I'm sat arguing with myself back and forth the ...
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    AJWhite1970's Avatar
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    Exchange 2003 migration options

    Hi

    Looking for ideas as to where to go with this, I'm sat arguing with myself back and forth the pros and cons of each option.

    Currently running Exchange 2003/Windows 2003 in house and using Outlook 2010 as the client for all staff and students. Database size is about 70Gb and hundreds of thousands of emails stored within it (not really been tidied up for about 9 years...) The whole thing works fine but it's all getting very close to EOL for comfort. Budget is available for a new server if required and Exchange and CALS are already covered under EES. No plans to change from Windows 7, Office 2010 on all PC's for the next 12 months.

    As I see it, two options:-

    Option 1, migrate the lot to a new Windows 2012, Exchange 2013 box and keep it all in-house
    Option 2, migrate the lot to Office 365 for Education (plan A2?) for free using my existing EES licensing

    Could I get some feedback from users who have gone down option 2 and hosted the lot in the cloud, what is performance like for users with say 5000 emails in their inbox, how reliable is the service from Microsoft, how is it backed up, how good are the anti-virus and spam filtering and can that be managed, how easy is the migration from W2K3 to cloud, how well does it seamlessly integrate into my existing AD etc.

    If I'm honest, I'm leaning towards option 2 but I keep having nagging doubts it's still a bit early to be putting all these eggs in one outsourced basket.

    Many thanks for any feedback, happy to provide more information if I've been a bit vague.
    Andrew

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    5000 emails is nothing, performance is good but really depends on your pipe and latency. Backupless solution. You have retention periods and multiple copies of your DB.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Hi Andrew,

    I would say that the best option for you to would be to utilise the offerings of Microsoft Cloud Services (Office 365 for Education) if you have the relevant internet communication capabilities, it does not really matter how big your mailboxes once the mail has been downloaded for obvious reasons but this is something you need to keep in mind and I would do some 'spring cleaning' so to speak before you move people over to the cloud if they have large mailboxes. I would recommend that all users have a mailbox no larger than 2GB in a school unless they require more space this should be a sufficiant amount (this is all we get in the corporate world).

    You can ensure that this happens by introducing things such as Exchange Retention Policies etc.

    The migration approach that you would need to use if moving to Exchange Online will depend really on your future goal and also what features you want to be made available to users during the migration stage. These options are outlined in the following KB Article: Mailbox Migration to Exchange Online: Exchange Online Help

    The two options that you have available really are to either go for a 'Staged Migration' or a 'Hybrid Migration'. with the later this does involve more work infrastructure wise i.e. you will need to introduce at a minimum an Exchange 2010 SP3 Hybrid Server but keep in mind the Hybrid Option is generally used if you have no intention long term to decomission such server. The Staged Approach is the recommend option if your long term goal is to move all mailboxes to the cloud, if you go down the staged route you need to be aware that certain features won't be available to users i.e. Free/Busy Information between your OnPremise & Cloud Organization.

    If you require Free/Busy information to be available between the two different organizations then you will need to go down the Hybrid Deployment.

    If you go down the route to do a Hybrid Deployment then I would recommend that you use Single Sign On also as this does help streamline the process, I personally would recommend this anyway regardless but it's not always something people want to implement due to the extra servers/infrastructure they then need to support and it does mean you rely on those services. Microsoft are in the process of developing other methods of SSO such as a Password Sync Tool which runs a long side the Directory Sync Tool but I have no further information on this at the moment in time. (watch this space).

    For further information regard SSO please view the following Information:

    ADFS Whitepaper: Download Office 365 Single Sign-On with AD FS 2.0 whitepaper from Official Microsoft Download Center

    Shibboleth Whitepaper: Download Office 365 Single Sign-On with Shibboleth 2 whitepaper from Official Microsoft Download Center

    Microsoft's Infrastructure is really scalable, it is highly available and is clustered in regions around the globe, your data will be held in Amsterdam I believe in the Europeon Data Centre (the on in dublin i think is being decomissioned but i'm not 100% sure).

    Microsoft do have a Backup Process (i'm not sure exactly what this is, but when it comes to granular recovery for example then this won't be a simplistic task, you may have to go through O365 support but i'm not even sure if this is an option). You do have options to link into Exchange Online to make your own backups using 3rd Party Tools if you so wish.

    In regards to Hosted Anti-Spam Microsoft use Microsoft Forefront for Exchange Online and you do have access to Administer this service, it is good i must say and you do have the flexibity to do the stuff you probably do now with your existing Hosted Anti-Spam Service. More information about this service can be found here: Forefront Online Protection for Exchange

    If you wish to find out further information about your migration path then you can use the Exchange Deployment Assistant which should give you all the information you require on the process you will need to take to sucessfully migrate your organization to Exchange Online: Exchange Server 2013: Exchange 2013 Help

    I hope that answers your questions, if you require any further information please do let me know.

    Kindest Regards,
    James.
    Last edited by EduTech; 17th May 2013 at 10:27 PM.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    I posted the old URL to the Deployment Wizard, You should really use this one as it gives you the option as depending on weather you have an W14/W15 Tenancy some of the information will differ. If you have not created your tenancy yet then you will get W15 so (Exchange Online 2013) Exchange Server Deployment Assistant

    Regards,
    James.



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