How to Migrate SBS 2008 to Exchange 2013?

Summary: As SBS 2008 reached its end of life and support, it becomes important to upgrade it or migrate to a higher version of the Exchange server. In this guide, you will learn the steps to migrate SBS 2008 server with Exchange 2007 standard edition to Exchange 2013. Also, you’ll get to know an easy and quick way to migrate SBS 2008 mailbox data to Exchange 2013.

Windows Small Business Server or SBS is a server solution from Microsoft for small and medium businesses with no more than 25 users or 50 devices. SBS 2008 comes bundled with MS Exchange 2007 standard edition and runs on Windows server. It is ideal to run network infrastructure (internet access & intranet management) and provides benefits such as enhanced monitoring, remote access, integrated setup, etc.

However, SBS 2008 has now reached its end of the life cycle and Microsoft no longer provides any support, such as updates, automatic fixes, or technical assistance.

Thus, it’s critical from both the support and security point of view to migrate the SBS 2008 server, i.e. the Exchange 2007 standard edition, to Exchange 2013.

Steps to Migrate SBS 2008 to Exchange 2013

To migrate SBS 2008 to Exchange 2013, follow these steps in the given sequence:

Step 1: Complete the Pre-Requisites

Before migrating the Exchange 2007 from SBS 2008 to Exchange 2013, ensure Exchange 2013 deployment on a new server with configured AD and other pre-requisites, such as,

  • Check and add any missing Exchange component.
  • Configure the namespace (if the organization is running disjoint namespace).
  • Select an offline address book (OAF) to back up Exchange 2007 mailbox databases.
  • Create a legacy domain name system.

If you want that your Exchange 2007 coexists with Exchange 2013, create a hostname so you can associate this with Exchange 2007 and the current domain with Exchange 2013.

For instance, if your domain is xyz.com, it’s recommended to create a hostname of legacy.xyz.com.

To learn more about how to upgrade Exchange 2007 to 2013, refer to this Microsoft guide.

Step 2: Prepare Exchange 2013 for Migration

Once you’ve installed Exchange 2013 and completed the setup pre-requisites, prepare the Exchange for migration process,

Create Mailboxes for Each AD User

You need to manually create mailboxes for each Exchange 2007 user in Exchange 2013. This process can take a few minutes for each mailbox.

NOTE: If an Active Directory user doesn’t have a mailbox in Exchange 2007, you can create a new mailbox for them. This process is known as mailbox-enabling for existing users.

Configure Server Certificate and Settings

After mailboxes are created, you need to configure Exchange-related virtual directories (if you want to use Exchange Web Services, Outlook Anywhere, or offline address book).

Also, configure Exchange 2013 server certificates. This requires you to purchase and request a digital certificate from a certification authority and then install it on the Client Access server.

Configure Edge Transport Server

When you configure the Edge Transport server, it automatically sends two Send connectors for the Internet mail flow. This configuration is not required, if you’re not using the Edge transport servers.

Configure Unified Messaging

This is needed only when your organization is using Unified Messaging.

Configure Outlook Anywhere Feature

This feature will allow the Outlook clients to connect to the Exchange user accounts over the Internet without any exceptions.

Configure URLs and DNS Records for Exchange 2007

Once everything is done, don’t forget to change the URL and DNS records to new Exchange 2013 server. Otherwise, you may experience connectivity issues.

With all these configurations in place, you’re now ready for the migration process.

Step 3: Migrate SBS 2008 (Exchange 2007 Mailbox Data) to Exchange 2013

Two major tasks are involved in the SBS 2008 migration process,

  1. Move the mailboxes from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013
  2. Move public folder data from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013

NOTE: The second task is optional and only applicable if you’re using public folders. Also, migrating public folder is a challenging task. You can use Stellar Converter for EDB software to export public folders to PSTs or to migrate public folders from one Exchange server to another.

To move mailboxes from Exchange 2007 to 2013, here are a few things to keep in mind,

  • Exchange 2013 lets you move multiple mailboxes in batches. Use it if you have several Active Directory users.
  • You can move mailboxes from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 via Exchange Admin Center (EAC) or by using the Exchange Management Shell cmdlets.
  • You can use migration end-points for remote or inter-forest moves.
  • You can have automatic retry and automatic prioritization options.
  • You can move primary and personal mailboxes separately or together. Just depends on your organization’s policies and practices.  
  • Also, copy the public folders to the new server

When you’re done with these tasks, your SBS 2008 or Exchange 2007 migration is almost done. You will get an email notification along with reports as the migration process completes.

TIP: You can quickly migrate mailboxes from SBS 2008 to MS Exchange 2013 by using an EDB to PST converter software. The software helps you convert the EDB files in Exchange 2007 installed on SBS 2008 to PST format. Post EDB conversion, you can import the PST to Exchange 2013 and complete the migration process in a few clicks. You can also migrate mailboxes directly from SBS 2008 (Exchange 2007) to 2013, by using the software.

Step 4: Post-Installation Tasks

Now that you have migrated the Exchange 2007 on SBS 2008 to Exchange 2013, you need to perform a few more steps,

  • Activate your Exchange Server 2013 license, if you haven’t already.
  • Configure your mail flow and client access to enable Exchange to accept client connections from outside the network. This step is necessary if you want users to connect through the Internet.
  • [Optional] Install Exchange management tools in Exchange 2013, such as the Exchange Management Shell or the Exchange Toolbox to manage the servers within your organization.

Conclusion

SBS 2008 migration to Exchange 2013 is similar to migrating Exchange 2007 to 2013 as SBS 2008 comes bundled with Exchange 2007. However, it’s a time-consuming process and requires technical know-how to set up Exchange 2013, AD, DC, and other Exchange services for a successful migration.

You can ease up this migration process by using EDB to PST converter software such as Stellar Converter for EDB. With the software, you can export the mailboxes from Exchange 2007 EDB files to PST and then import the PSTs to the MS Exchange 2013. You can also migrate mailboxes from SBS 2008 (Exchange 2007) directly to Exchange 2013 by using this software and save significant time and resources.