There’s a Lot to an Exchange Server Upgrade

One of our employees is off to Meteghan River this weekend in the beautiful (full disclosure: I’m from there) Acadian district of Nova Scotia. He is doing an Exchange Server upgrade for a client who is moving from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2013. Simple, n’est-ce pas? Copy files from A to B and Bob’s your N’Oncle.

Well as it turns out, you can’t get to there from here quite that easily. There is no direct route from 2003 to 2013, and you must go via an interim install of Exchange 2010 running on a Windows Server 2008, which you do in a virtualized environment. Then you have to migrate all the user mailboxes, then decommission the old Exchange 2003 server, then install the new Exchange 2013 server (which needs a new version of Windows Server, by the way), then migrate the files again from 2010 to 2013, then decommission the Exchange 2010 server.

Then test everything. Oh, and there can be no downtime for email while all this is going on.

I know Orin’s up to the task. And he’ll get well fed while he’s down there.