The Exchange Server Migration Support Game Plan

Exchange Migration Support

Exchange Server Migration Support scenarios for migrating old Exchange Server 2003, 2007, etc. play out in a variety of ways but the decision ultimately comes down to two things:

  • Price – $600mo in a 50 mailbox environment seems pretty hefty cost associated with hosted email
  • Size – $200mo may seem a bit more reasonable if you have an organization of 15 users or mailboxes

 

We have included three Exchange Server Migration Support scenarios for an existing network environment.Exchange Server Migration Support

  • Not So Simple Option – On-site Exchange Server
    • Migrate the whole thing which means migrating everything into a new domain, users, workstations, the lot.
  • The Simple Option – On-Site Exchange Server (New Servers in Separate Domain)
    • Setting up 2 new servers (on the vmware box) and migrating mailboxes and then re-configuring outlook. This would be a separate domain from their existing one. (so functionally it would like the Exchange was hosted by someone else, but the servers would actually be local).
    • Advantage –
      • Get the client up to a modern email system fairly easily.
      • Backup is already being performed by Veeam. This can be a tedious process otherwise.
      • Capital expenses like licences can be depreciated. Services can not.

 

  • Disadvantage – 2 hours Exchange maintenance a month.

*** This is also dependent on the amount of servers.   Redundant Exchange servers is more labor.  Each additional Exchange server is an hour more a month.

In both instances I’m assuming the use of the CodeTwo migration tool which vastly simplifies the process of getting the mailboxes between the two servers, it runs about $11/mailbox, you might want to build that into a quote so they’ve licensed the software themselves.

ProTip – You can’t upgrade Exchange 2003 to 2013 or 2016.  You have to go through the intermediary step. ie Exchange 2007 and 2010.  Use volume license through MS to downgrade.

For the mailbox migration labor I’m assuming 30 mins per mailbox which includes touching Outlook to re-configure it.

Server Specs:

HP Proliant ML350e Gen8 v2
Dual CPU, 6 cores/cpu, Xeon E5-2420 v2 @ 2.2GHz, 50 GB RAM, 2Tb Free Disk Space

 

Current Server Scenario Setup:

ESXi ESXi 5.5 HP Proliant Physical Box
VM01 7 pro Guest OS
eCW 2008R2 EMR Guest OS
SBServer SBS 2003R2 AD and Exchange Server 2003 Guest OS
Fax 2012R2 Guest OS
RDP01 Guest OS

Exchange Server Migration Support

Replacement Server Scenario Setup:

ESXi ESXi 5.5 HP Proliant Physical Box
VM01 7 pro Guest OS
eCW 2008R2 EMR Guest OS
***Decommission SBS***
Fax 2012R2 Guest OS
RDP01 Guest OS
DC 2012R2 AD/FILE & Print Guest OS
ExchangeServer 2012R2 Exchange Server 2016 Guest OS

 

 

 

The Third Option for Exchange Server Migration Support – Migrate to a Hosted Exchange Solution
($200mo for 15 mailboxes)Exchange Migration Server Support

 

With this option we will migrate all e-mail to a hosted provider, re-configure Outlook to use the hosted provider, and re-configure e-mail flow to the new provider.  There are a number of different providers to choose from, costs listed below are a ballpark average.

Pros:

  • No upfront costs for software licenses.
  • Support can be good
  • No monthly maintenance costs for server maintenance (avg of 2 hours per month).

No need to administer and maintain backups fo e-mail (as the provider will do this).  Since backups are already being maintained of eClinical Works and the File shares, the additional burden of backing up the e-mail data is not high.

Cons:

  • Monthly service costs cannot be depreciated.
  • You have less control of your data and are reliant on a third party in another state.

 

Cost:

Item Quantity Unit Cost Total
Hosted mailbox 15 $12/mo $190/mo
Migration Labor 8 $ $
Total $z

 

 

 

Upgrade Options for Exchange Server 2003 to 2016 Proposals Broken Down

 

 

The upgrade options for Exchange 2003 to 2016 were given a high level over view in the top section of our Exchange Server Migration Support post.  We set forth two proposals for migrating Microsoft Exchange for one of our client we support.   The first two options in the proposal will be to keep hosting e-mail in-house, the last proposal but definitely not least desirable will be to migrate e-mail to a hosted e-mail provider.  The hosted email service is at explained as our third option in the prior section of the Exchange Server Migration Support post.

Option 1: Keep E-Mail in house using Exchange server

This option will have the benefit of keeping all e-mail in house and not “in the cloud”, meaning less management cost with third party vendors as well as the security of knowing that you are not at the mercy of an unknown entity.Microsoft Volume Licensing

For the purposes of this proposal we will refer to an operating system instance as a server.  The client’s current physical server is capable of hosting multiple operating system instances, so unless stated otherwise, when we refer to a server we will mean an instance running on that physical server.  The physical server is an HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 with dual processors and 50GB RAM running an HP customized version of VMWare ESXi 5.5.

The current environment is running Exchange Server 2003 in a Small Business Server solution.  This means that there is one server that is responsible for Active Directory, File and Print Sharing, and Exchange server.  Newer versions of Exchange will not run in this scenario and need to run on a separate server from the Active Directory server.  Microsoft does not offer a solution to upgrade directly from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2016.

We propose to install two new servers on the HP ProLiant and set them up in a new domain.  We would install Active Directory on one server and Exchange server on the other.  We would migrate the mailboxes from the old sever to the new server, re-configure Outlook to use the new server, and change the flow of incoming e-mail to the new server.

Cost:

Item Quantity Unit Cost Total
Windows Server 2016 2 $715 $1430
Exchange Server 2016 1 $650 $650
Exchange Server CALs 15 $80 $1200
Server Labor 12 $ $
Migration Labor 8 $ $
SSL Certificates 1 $300 $300
Total $z

 

N.B. Windows Server 2016 is licensed in a core model so these will be a total of 32 core licenses.

Option 2: Keep E-Mail in house using Exchange server (Not so simple)

This option will have the benefit of keeping all e-mail in house and not “in the cloud”, meaning less management cost with third party vendors as well as the security of knowing that you are not at the mercy of an unknown entity.

For the purposes of this proposal we will refer to an operating system instance as a server.  The client’s current physical server is capable of hosting multiple operating system instances, so unless stated otherwise, when we refer to a server we will mean an instance running on that physical server.  The physical server is an HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 with dual processors and 50GB RAM running an HP customized version of VMWare ESXi 5.5.

The current environment is running Exchange Server 2003 in a Small Business Server solution.  This means that there is one server that is responsible for Active Directory, File and Print Sharing, and Exchange server.  Newer versions of Exchange will not run in this scenario and need to run on a separate server from the Active Directory server.  Microsoft does not offer a solution to upgrade directly from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2016.

We propose to install two new servers on the HP ProLiant and set them up in a new domain.  We would install Active Directory on one server and Exchange server on the other.  We would migrate the mailboxes from the old sever to the new server, re-configure Outlook to use the new server, and change the flow of incoming e-mail to the new server as part of Exchange server migration support package.

We further propose to move all existing network services (File and Print shares, Active Directory, DNS, DHCP etc.) off of the current Small Business Server and onto the new servers.  The old Small business Server will then be retired.  This will have the benefit of getting the Active Directory/File and Print server into a completely supported environment which will make the business more HIPPA compliant (this is because the old version of Windows Server is not getting any more security and operating systems from Microsoft).

Cost:

Item Quantity Unit Cost Total
Windows Server 2016 2 $715 $1430
Exchange Server 2016 1 $650 $650
Exchange Server CALs 15 $80 $1200
Server Labor 12 $ $
E-mail Migration Labor 8 $ $
SSL Certificates 1 $300 $300
Server Migration Labor 8 $x $y
Total $z

 

N.B. Windows Server 2016 is licensed in a core model so these will be a total of 32 core licenses.

 

Exchange Server Migration Support Summary

For a business of this size, it probably isn’t the best move for them to continue on with their own locally hosted Exchange Server.   The additional up front hours for the Exchange Server Migration Support, plus the two hours each month in maintenance make for a more expensive service to host yourself.  Also, the Microsoft Office 365 have released some pretty cool features such as Azure AD,  Sharepoint File Server, and Power BI Pro along with standard hosted Exchange.

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