Thursday, March 24, 2016

Migrating from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016 Part-1

In this series I will focus on the implementation and migration steps to move from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016, also I will going to implementing features like Database Availability Groups.

Before starting it’s important to understand that a key architectural change has been made in Exchange 2016. Exchange 2010 had a number of separate roles; Client Access, Hub Transport, Mailbox and Unified Messaging.

In Exchange 2016 only a single role is used, the Mailbox role. This contains all necessary components required.

There are some best practices and recommendation before implementing /deployment/migration, so in this series we are going migrate Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016 which will also be co-existence environment.

Following are the phases we have to follow:
1.     Assessment of existing Exchange 2010 environment.
2.     Plan & Design Phase
3.     Define the Preferred Architecture
4.     Verify the Exchange Dependent Components Compatibility
5.     POC Phase
6.     Build & Integration Phase
7.     Pilot Migration
8.     Production deployment.
9.     Stabilization and Documentation
10.  Decommission
11.  Transition and Operations

Phase-1 Assessment of existing Exchange 2010 environment

This is base line any of the migration you have to have do the assessment of existing environment which will give you clear vision for future deployment, assessment points are:
·       Mailboxes States which include the size of the mailboxes in current environment, if you get last 6 months report which will help you to future forecast of the mailboxes size quota & storage calculation.
·       Email flow analysis means average mail flow monthly, you can get daily, weekly & monthly email traffic and get the average email flow.
·       Get the all Name space of Exchange 2010 environment, which will help deploy Exchange 2016.
·       Get the all virtual directory reports.
·       Run the ExBPA and other use full scripts which will give you lot of information of you Exchange 2010 environment.

Phase-2 Plan & Design Phase

·       Plan and Design of OUs and hierarchy and Active Directory
·       Plan and Design of RBAC model and Delegations
·       Technical requirement & Dependency document will be prepared.
·       Detailed Project Plan for overall program
·       Communication template
·       UAT and System Acceptance Test plans
·       Technical Design Requirements (TDR)

Phase-3 Define the Preferred Architecture

Microsoft recommends Exchange 2016 run on Physical servers, In the PA, all servers are physical servers. Physical hardware is deployed rather than virtualized hardware for two reasons:
  1. The servers are scaled to use 80% of resources during the worst-failure mode.
  2. Virtualization adds an additional layer of management and complexity, which introduces additional recovery modes that do not add value, particularly since Exchange provides that functionality.
Commodity server platforms are used in the PA. Commodity platforms are and include:
·       2U, dual socket servers (20-24 cores)
·       up to 96GB of memory
·       a battery-backed write cache controller
·       12 or more large form factor drive bays within the server chassis
Additional drive bays can be deployed per-server depending on the number of mailboxes, mailbox size, and the server’s scalability.
Each server houses a single RAID1 disk pair for the operating system, Exchange binaries, protocol/client logs, and transport database. The rest of the storage is configured as JBOD, using large capacity 7.2K RPM serially attached SCSI (SAS) disks (while SATA disks are also available, the SAS equivalent provides better IO and a lower annualized failure rate).
Each disk that houses an Exchange database is formatted with ReFS (with the integrity feature disabled) and the DAG is configured such that AutoReseed formats the disks with ReFS.

Phase-4 Verify the Exchange Dependent Components Compatibility

·       Since we are going to co-existence environment so we have to focus on dependency services also such as:
·       Check your current backup with Exchange and see if it supports Exchange 2016.
·       Check for any Transport categorizer level Third party software's compatibility. It can be any Antispam, Antivirus, disclaimer solutions etc.
·       Check the compatibility of existing journaling solution if any.
·       Check the compatibility of email Archive solution if any.
·       Check the compatibility of MDM solutions as you know there is no more MAPI/CDO support from Exchange 2016.
·       Check the compatibility of current Monitoring solution for Exchange and see if it supports Monitoring Exchange 2016. 

Phase-5 POC Phase

  • Proof of Concept (POC) will be carried out in the lab environment by simulating the target environment, Integration and Deployment activities as per the Destination Architecture and Migration Infrastructure.
  • POC will highlight the risks if any in migration to new target environment.
  • Migration steps and SOPs
  • Application Regression and Compatibility Testing will carried by respective application owners while Wipro will assist from Exchange configuration point.
  • Server Storage Re-Configuration
  • Document on POC results.
  • POC Phase will highlight the risk & provide the Deployment challenges and related mitigations.
  • Deployment procedure doc will be prepared.
  • Migration Steps as per the POCs and Lessons learn will be prepared.


Phase-6 Build & Integration Phase 

  • Prepare new structure for Exchange 2016 as per the plan and Design document
  • Deployment of the security and Group policies based on the company security requirements
  • Integration with PKI, Federation and Identity Management systems
  • Build procedure documentation.
  • Configuration and Integration documentation


Phase-7 Pilot Migration 

  • Perform Pilot Migration for few Test mailboxes as per the process identified during proof of concept
  • Capture the procedures and lessons and any mitigations of the issues occurred
  • Identify couple of Pilot based accounts and Migrate to test the migration functionalities and features users intend to see as migration results
  • Document the process procedures and the issues to be mitigated and mitigation steps
  • Issues, Lessons learned and mitigation steps
  • User Acceptance Test signoff 


Phase-8 Production Deployment 

  • Implement the communication plan
  • Perform the Mailbox Migration from Source to Target as per the Migration plan and schedule after approved by MBO department.
  • Migration Pre-checklist
  • Migration Post Checklist
  • Capture Issues and Mitigations not seen during POC and Pilot
  • Project Status report (Daily, Weekly, Monthly)


Phase-9 Stabilization and Documentation 

  •        Email routing change from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.
  •        Decommissioning of  legacy MX records
  •        Address operational issues
  •     Finalization of an OTD and any other ITS standard required artefacts
  •     All Build and Configuration document updating and Review
  •     Draft Operational 


Phase-10 Decommission 

  •            Post stabilization and verification phase once the confirmation is done that all Exchange             mailboxes are completely migrated and the access for each mailboxes is verified.
  •          Results need to be verified if any issues occurring.
  •          Decommission of source Exchange 2010 connectors.
  •          Decommission of source Exchange mailbox servers 2010. 


Phase-11 Transition and Operations 

  • Knowledge transfer to the existing support team on the new environment.
  • All build and Configuration document will be shared
  • Administrative operations related to the Incident, Service request, Problem and Change management would be carried out by respective team as per outlines solution descriptions.
  • Operational Turnover and acceptance All the project related documents will be submitted to the ops team for a complete handover


Hope this part will help you for designing and planning for your existing Exchange environment to latest version, it will apply any of the transition or migration.

On next part i will start for migration preparation from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.

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