We were mandated to migrate the customer's Exchange 2016 to Exchange 2019. The Exchange 2016 environment was deployed on Windows Server 2012 R2 which was reaching the end of support. The Exchange hybrid mode was configured. The end-users were mostly using Outlook 2013 for Windows, different ActiveSync devices, and OWA.
It was agreed with the customer to perform detailed assessment of the messaging environment in order to understand the migration requirements, current Exchange configuration and dependent systems. The assessment was performed, and the migration approach proposed to migrate 2,700 mailboxes with minimum or no disruption to the end-users. The objectives included the reduction of the number of databases and simplification of the mail flow.
- The new Exchange 2019 environment (the latest CU and Security Updates) was built on Windows Server 2022, deployed and configured in two geographically distant data centers for high availability and site resilience.
- The Autodiscover SCP, virtual directories, and certificates were configured on the new servers.
- New IP-less DAG and mailbox databases were created with 4 copies each.
- The Client Access Services, both internal and external, were migrated to new F5 VIPs, which allowed extensive testing to be performed before putting the system into production.
- The mail flow was simplified and dedicated receive connectors configured for emails coming from the message hygiene system, internal applications and scanning devices (emails relayed through Exchange), and Microsoft 365.
- The mailboxes and public folders were migrated to Exchange 2019, considering their size and number to obtain balanced mailbox databases.
- The dependent systems were configured and tested (e.g. Identity Management application, SCOM, backup, room booking system, anti-virus including necessary exclusions).
- Finally, the Exchange 2016 infrastructure was decommissioned.
The customer was migrated to Exchange 2019 with the latest CU and security updates on Windows Server 2022 machines that will be supported for many years. The migration process was completely transparent to the end users.
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