Essential Guide

Three essential steps for preparing to migrate to Exchange 2013

This guide covers everything you need to prepare to migrate to Exchange 2013, including initial migration decisions, Exchange 2013 features to consider and ensuring a smooth migration process.

Introduction

If your enterprise has decided it's time to migrate to Exchange 2013, the migration process might seem overwhelming. But we broke down the important preparation steps into three phases to make the process easier to navigate.

The first step is to consider all other options before settling on a migration to Exchange Server 2013. Looking at the pros and cons of what Exchange 2013 offers is also an important part.

The second step is to look at the new and improved features in Exchange 2013. Some features may be more helpful than others. If you're looking for integration with SharePoint 2013, shortcuts for easing compliance or more load-balancing options, Exchange 2013 will get you moving in the right direction.

The final step is making sure your enterprise does as much as possible ahead of time to keep the migration simple. What happens here is important because it not only sets the course for how the migration goes, but also can prevent future problems. Knowing what to look for and what to do can prevent these problems.

If you feel overwhelmed, don't be -- this is where we come in. We compiled the best tips to help ease the migration process -- covering each step in detail to make sure your enterprise is ready to migrate to Exchange 2013.

1Weigh a move to Exchange 2013-

Step 1: Confirm that a move to Exchange 2013 is the right decision

As your enterprise looks to migrate to Exchange 2013, begin the process by making sure Exchange 2013 is the right choice. Be sure to look at all other options, including cloud deployments and hybrid setups. Weighing the pros and cons of what you'll get with an Exchange 2013 migration is also important. These tips cover some of the initial steps to take as you ask why you should migrate to Exchange 2013.

Tip

How to simplify your enterprise's migration decisions

The most important decisions to make early on are related to picking the best migration path to pursue, and you need to answer important questions to keep the process simple. Do you want to stay on-premises, do you want to move to the cloud or do you want a combination? Look at how your enterprise could benefit from Exchange 2013. Continue Reading

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The pros and cons of an Exchange 2013 migration

Comparing the pros and cons of migrating to Exchange 2013 can help you narrow down the best fit for your enterprise. Once your enterprise moves to Exchange 2013, for example, you can maintain control of your environment and keep an eye on email data. But keep in mind that this is more costly because it means owning and maintaining all software and hardware. Continue Reading

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How does price factor into a potential Exchange 2013 migration?

The price tag of a migration is a major factor in how the migration proceeds, so do your homework about how the move to Exchange 2013 will affect your budget. Consider costs for licensing, hardware, individual end-user storage and the staff you'll need to support the environment. Continue Reading

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Three reasons why enterprises should consider an Exchange 2013 migration

One Exchange MVP argues that enterprises should migrate to Exchange 2013 as soon as possible. By moving to Exchange 2013, they will have a good chance of being able to reduce their Exchange infrastructure, get better use out of their existing infrastructure or move to an infrastructure model that costs less than what they use now. Continue Reading

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But some enterprises are holding off on a migration (for now)

The reasons not to migrate to Exchange 2013 right away should hold just as much weight as the reasons to migrate. Exchange experts have voiced quality concerns, for example. These and other concerns are factors in some enterprises' decision to hold off on a migration, at least until they have had the chance to test and install Exchange 2013 SP 1. Continue Reading

2Features in Exchange 2013-

Step 2: Look at the features that will be most helpful

Once your enterprise decides to migrate to Exchange 2013, you'll have access to new and improved features to ease your workload. Exchange 2013 can help your enterprise see tighter integration with SharePoint, meet compliance requirements, and even open up options for anti-malware protection and load balancing. These tips take a look at some of the features that can help your enterprise.

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Exchange 2013 benefits include tighter SharePoint integration

Two new features offer integration capabilities with SharePoint that haven't always been available. Exchange 2013 site mailboxes are useful for communications among team members and for logging those communications. And the in-place e-discovery feature makes it easier for enterprises to meet compliance requirements. Continue Reading

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Compliance and e-discovery get a boost in Exchange 2013

A major advantage of a migration to Exchange 2013 is the improvements that were made to it for e-discovery and compliance. Enterprises can meet compliance requirements with built-in tools and features, which wasn't always an option before. One major change enterprises can expect to see is its replacement for legal hold and multi-mailbox searching. Continue Reading

Tip

Ten new PowerShell cmdlets that can ease Exchange 2013 usage

Exchange 2013 comes with 187 new PowerShell cmdlets, but there are 10 cmdlets all admins should know to ease management tasks in Exchange. These cmdlets can help with a number of tasks, including licensing information, checking the health of a number of server components, and verifying existing communication and mobile device listings. Continue Reading

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Taking a closer look at Exchange 2013 anti-malware protection

After Microsoft included anti-malware protection in Exchange 2013, many enterprises wondered if it was enough. Built-in anti-malware components can provide basic protection, but they lack the kind of protection commercial anti-malware offers. Knowing what your enterprise needs can help with this decision. Continue Reading

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A look at Exchange 2013's load-balancing options

The good thing about Exchange 2013 is that it allows for a number of ways to support load-balancing requirements. Do you need a physical load balancer or a virtual appliance? Do you need another option? No matter which load-balancing option you choose, you'll always work with at least three basic components. Continue Reading

3Ensure a smooth migration-

Step 3: Keep the Exchange 2013 migration process smooth

After your enterprise looks at the features in Exchange 2013, the next step is preparing for the actual migration. What you do at this point in the process is important because your actions will determine how smoothly the migration goes and the types of problems you could see once the migration is complete. These tips walk you through the prep steps to take just before you migrate to Exchange 2013.

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How will server roles changes affect a migration to Exchange 2013?

Microsoft consolidated a number of server roles in Exchange 2013, which could affect the migration. There are only two roles now -- mailbox server and Client Access Server -- but the functions of the abandoned roles are incorporated into the two that remain. The company says the migration should be much simpler with fewer roles. Continue Reading

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Checklist prepares you for an Exchange 2013 migration

Before your enterprise starts the migration, use this checklist to make sure you've done everything to keep the process smooth. Some actions may seem obvious, such as phasing out older versions of Exchange and double-checking your enterprise's licensing information, but other steps may be a surprise. Continue Reading

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Complete these four essential tasks before the migration

If you take care of these four tasks before bringing an Exchange Server 2013 Client Access Server into your environment, you can prevent a number of issues from developing during and after the migration. These tasks shouldn't come as huge surprise to admins, but they're essential to a successful migration. Continue Reading

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Five gotchas when migrating to Exchange 2013

There are a few important factors to keep in mind to make sure your Exchange 2013 migration is a success. Updating clients is important because it requires special attention to service packs. Tracking performance and sizing is also important because your enterprise may need to buy additional hardware for the migration. Continue Reading

Answer

Why is a required coexistence period necessary in an Exchange migration?

A coexistence period can be inconvenient, but it's an important step to make sure the entire migration goes just right. Microsoft changes certain features as Exchange develops, and it takes time for your environment to get used to these changes. But be careful about having too long a coexistence period. Continue Reading

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Don't forget mailbox database size when planning for storage

As you plan out storage for the Exchange 2013 migration, the decisions your enterprise makes affect everything from performance to reliability. You should plan on having one volume for storing Windows Server without Exchange Server binaries, one volume for Exchange Server databases and one volume for Exchange database transaction logs. Continue Reading

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