How to Migrate to Exchange 2019

How to migrate from Exchange 2010 directly to Exchange 2019?
As announced on Microsoft’s blog, Exchange 2010 is close to the tip of its lifecycle. In about only 14 months from now, on January 14, 2020, Exchange 2010 will stop being supported. Although the end of the lifecycle does not mean that your Exchange Server 2010 will stop working, it is recommended to start planning the migration to a newer version of Exchange – preferably to Exchange 2019, that has already been formally discharged in October this year.

Exchange Migration
Why is it time to leave Exchange 2010?
The main reason is that you just won’t be ready to maintain the server up to date. Once Exchange 2010 reaches the end of its lifecycle, it will no longer get security updates, bug fixes and technical support from Microsoft team. This should sound to you like a good reason to start planning your migration to a newer version of Exchange, ideally to Exchange 2019, that is presently the youngest Exchange edition available.

Why Exchange 2019?
Although Microsoft continues its cloud-only strategy, there are still companies which prefer or need to stay on-premises. The reasons for that are mainly security regulations obligating companies to store business data locally. So, if you intend to migrate to a more recent version of Exchange, it is worth considering moving to the most recent (the youngest) on the market. Exchange 2019 is at the very beginning of its lifecycle, which is vital from the support and maintenance perspective. And as announced on Microsoft Ignite 2018, this is claimed to be the most reliable Exchange version ever.

Having this in mind, I will show you how to perform the migration to Exchange 2019 using LG Networks Exchange Migration.

Note: If you look for a way to migrate mailboxes to Office 365, see my other article on migration from Exchange 2010 to Office 365.

How to migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365
All you need to know about email backup in Office 365 and Exchange
How to migrate Exchange public folders to a shared mailbox in Office 365
Why choose LG Networks Exchange Migration over native migration path?
Well, you will be able to go together with native choices once migrating from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2019. This will require a double-hop migration (Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2019 can’t coexist in the same forest, so you need to move to Exchange 2016 first), some time and scripting knowledge. Though it consumes resources like e.g. above-mentioned time, it costs no money. However, as I would like to indicate you the method for quick and painless migration, I will be able to target employing a third-party tool here. Except for simplicity and speed factors, you may want to go with LG Networks Exchange Migration also for other reasons like:

Direct migration to Exchange 2019 (no double-hop);
Option for planning migration ahead, and be sure that your migration tasks will automatically start and stop once proper time comes;
Zero downtime during mailbox migration;
Automatic creation of users’ accounts and mailboxes on the target server;
Auto matching source and target mailboxes.
And the list does not end here. If you want to see more benefits, follow this link.

How to migrate to Exchange 2019 using LG Networks Migration tool?
It may sound a bit “salesy”, but the fact is that the migration with LG Networks Exchange Migration can prevent plenty of your time and energy. Below you can find a brief overview of how to set up the software and a migration job.N

In the Administration Panel of the program in the Jobs tab, click the New button and then Migration job from Exchange Server.
Exchange Server Migration
Name your migration job.
Exchange Migration
Connect the program to the source server via the easy-to-follow connection wizard.
Exchange Migration Support
Once the program connects to the source server, select mailboxes for migration.
Exchange 2019
Then, set up the target server connection by following the wizard.
Exchange 2019 migration
Match source and target mailboxes. You can do it manually or let the program match mailboxes automatically.
Exchange 2019 migration
If you want to run the migration job at a different time e.g. on weekend, you can enable scheduler to activate or stop the job automatically.
Exchange 2019 migration services
Choose which folders should be migrated.
Exchange 2019 migration support
Run the migration job and watch how the magic happens.
2019 migration
Once the migration process is finished, you can generate a report which summarizes the migration process. There are available overall, job and mailbox reports. Here is an example of the job report:

See also:

How to migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365
All you need to know about email backup in Office 365 and Exchange
How to migrate Exchange public folders to a shared mailbox in Office 365
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Exchange 2019 Migration Support
Exchange 2019 is already out so perhaps your organization starts planning its Exchange 2019 migration. It is always a good practice to keep the environment up-to-date, especially if the system security is a priority. However, before taking any big steps like migration, you should make some preparations first.

LG Networks Inc Microsoft Migration Support

Things to consider before running Exchange 2019 migration
It is nothing new in saying that before you perform any operation on your production Exchange Server, you should first plan every step carefully. To get a bigger picture and avoid eye-openers once the migration to Exchange 2019 is started, consult the list below:

Installation on Windows Server 2019 Server Core recommended
Microsoft strongly recommends installing Exchange 2019 on Windows Server 2019 Server Core. You can hear voices that it is the best match with the newest Exchange flavor. But there is also an alternative option allowing you to install Exchange Server 2019 on the desktop-experience Windows Server 2019. This option, however, does not receive the same attention span as the recommended option so, if choosing it, you might need to prepare for some roadblocks along the way.

Coexistence conflict with Exchange 2010
If your source server is Exchange 2010 and you go along with native migration options, make sure your upgrade plans exclude direct migration to Exchange 2019. As the coexistence of these two server versions is not possible, the direct native migration is not supported (not to mention migration from Exchange 2007). The newest Exchange version supported for Exchange 2019 migration is Exchange Server 2013 or 2016. So if you are running Exchange 2010, you need to first upgrade it to Exchange 2013/2016, decommission Exchange 2010 and then migrate to Exchange 2019. Your second option is to migrate directly between Exchange 2010 and 2019 Servers by using a third-party migration tool. Taking into account time and effort needed for double-hop migrations, the direct move is worth considering.

Upgrading Office 2010 prior to Exchange 2019 migration

If your users are working on Microsoft Outlook 2010, you need to upgrade your Office to newer version before running migration to Exchange 2019. Otherwise, users will lose the connection to their accounts as Outlook 2010 is not supported in Exchange 2019 setup. The minimum requirement here is Outlook 2013. However, if you are considering migration to Exchange 2019, you may also consider the upgrade of your Office suite to Office 2019 for compatibility reasons.

No Unified Messaging

The Unified Messaging service has been removed from Exchange 2019. This means that if you have UM-enabled mailboxes in your current environment and plan migration to Exchange 2019, you will first need to decide on how to handle the lack of this functionality. You can either migrate to Skype for Business Server 2019, use a third-party voice mail software, move to Office 365 or set up a hybrid to get access to the cloud voicemail. If you take no action, your mailboxes will lose the voicemail feature after Exchange 2019 migration.

Why Exchange 2019?
Although it might seem that changes are not so revolutionary, Exchange 2019 release brings a bunch of significant improvements. So if you plan migration to a newer version of Exchange, it is worth considering Exchange 2019 because of the following:

This is the newest available version of Exchange Server on the market (at the beginning of its lifecycle)
Exchange 2019 is claimed to be the most secure and stable server version so far
It improves the meeting request forwarding feature and control of out-of-office settings
Exchange 2019 supports email address internationalization (email addresses can contain special characters specific for a given language)
It makes administration easier and faster thanks to re-built search mechanism
Interesting facts about Exchange 2019
Exchange 2019 turned out to be full of surprises when it comes to the release:

“New to Exchange 2019 is the ability to upgrade your operating system to a newer version while Exchange is installed on Windows Server 2019 or later” (source)
Exchange 2019 is ready to handle non-English characters in email addresses. While it is possible to send email to and receive it from such addresses, you cannot add a proxy or an accepted domain with special characters just yet. Basically, this Exchange version prepares ground for the change to come.
Exchange 2019 official release was announced at October 22, 2018 at the TechNet blog. Unfortunately, due to a bug in Windows Server 2019, its rollout has been paused.
Exchange Server 2019 Public Preview could have been installed on Windows Server 2016 (both Core and with Desktop Experience). The final release requires Windows Server 2019.
The Windows Server Evaluation media has been announced to be available soon on November 13, 2018 in Update on Windows Server 2019 availability. On January, 4th, still no media is available in the evaluation center ( This fact has generated some negative feedback. In the meantime, customers have the option to deploy and test Windows Server 2019 in Azure.
At the day of this article is published, according to the product lifecycle, Extended Support End Date (also known as the end of life) for Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2019 is the same: 10/14/2025. It does not mean everyone will stop using it right away (I’m looking at you, Exchange 2003 admins!) but that’s the deadline for some companies to migrate to a newer version. If it comes.
This is a short recap of what is new in Exchange 2019. If you would like to learn more about any of the mentioned topics, or feel that I have missed an important feature, let me know in a comment.

But this is just a brief overview. For more details about the key features of Exchange 2019, see the What’s new in Exchange 2019? blog post. And if you plan on minimizing the time and effort when doing Exchange-to-Exchange migration, you may be interested in using a third-party tool like LG Networks Exchange Migration.

Upgrading to Exchange Server 2019 requires the use of Windows Server 2019.

The original teething problems have been ironed out and now there is the option to install on either ‘Windows Server 2019 with Desktop Experience' or ‘Windows Server 2019 Server Core', with Microsoft preferring the latter, touting it as the most secure choice. Exchange Server 2019 will also be compatible with version 1809 and future updates.

Performance levels have been given a significant boost, with Exchange Server 2019 capable of using 48 processor cores and 256GB of RAM. Search functionality has also been given a makeover, powered by Bing to provide faster, more accurate results.

Dual Storage read/write capabilities with SSD technology will also enable faster-than-ever data caching to improve the user experience.These developments promise to ensure Exchange 2019 will allow increased numbers of users per server.

Administrators have been granted new calendar features, with the ability to assign delegate permissions and manage events on user accounts. There are also new restrictions on the forwarding of meeting requests.

We look forward to getting to grips with Exchange Server 2019 and producing some hands-on user guides for our active community of IT professionals.

You can hear the initial thoughts of our editorial team here and don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any burning Exchange Server questions you'd love to see answered on the

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Upgrades and migrations for Microsoft Exchange Server can seem like a complex and difficult process. However in most cases a migration is able to follow a standard process, with only those special or unique characteristics of the Exchange Server environment likely to cause problems or require additional planning and effort.

The first thing to be aware of when planning your Exchange Server migration is that in-place upgrades of Exchange Server are not possible. For example, you cannot upgrade an Exchange Server 2007 server to Exchange Server 2010, or an Exchange Server 2010 server to Exchange Server 2013.

The reasons for this are that the server architecture and internal workings of Microsoft Exchange Server often change so much between major releases that upgrades would become perilous exercises that are nearly impossible to adequately test for. Instead, an Exchange Server upgrade from one version to another involves a migration of services and data from old servers to new servers.

The upgrade scenarios for Exchange Server are typically N-2. In other words, a version of Exchange Server can be migrated to from the previous two versions, but not from any older versions. For example, Exchange Server 2013 can be migrated to from Exchange Server 2007 and 2010, but not from Exchange Server 2003. An Exchange Server 2003 organization would need to first migration to 2007 or 2010 before they could migration to Exchange Server 2013.

For more information on some of the supported migration scenarios refer to the following resources:

How to Decommission an Exchange Server After Office 365 Migration

In a recent article I discussed the requirement to retain an on-premises Exchange Server after migrating to Office 365 when directory synchronization is being used. That article addresses a very frequently asked question in online forums. However, a less frequently discussed scenario is the safe decommissioning of on-premises Exchange Server when directory sync is not being used.

There's a few ways to end up in a post-migration scenario where Exchange can safely be removed:

You used a cutover migration to Office 365, and have no plans or business requirement to later implement directory synchronization
You used a staged migration to Office 365, and have turned off directory synchronization
You used a hybrid migration to Office 365, and you've removed the hybrid configuration and have turned off directory synchronization
The common element of those three scenarios is that directory synchronization is not being used. If you still plan to use directory synchronization, your server needs to stay.

Assuming it's safe to get rid of Exchange, the biggest mistake people make at this point is just turning off the Exchange Server. Some people do it because they're unaware of proper removal steps, and others do it because they might want to turn it back on some day to recover some data from it.

Exchange Server does need to be properly uninstalled from your environment due to the integration it has with Active Directory. You might think that it doesn't matter, your email is running in the cloud now anyway, but one day in the future you might have a need to reintroduce Exchange to the environment, and the existence of an old server object in AD is going to cause you problems. On one project I worked on, the customer needed to off-board from Office 365 to on-premises Exchange. The consultants who had previously migrated the customer to Office 365 had just turned off the old Exchange 2007 server. When we came along to install Exchange 2013, we ran into problems with the old server object that ultimately cost more time (and money) than a proper removal would have in the first place.

To correctly remove Exchange you need to uninstall the Exchange Server software from the server it is running on. At its simplest, that means going in to Add/Remove Programs and hitting the Uninstall button for Exchange. But there are some preparation steps involved.

To begin with, Microsoft does publish some information about uninstalling Exchange.

How and When to Decommission your On-Premises Exchange Servers in a Hybrid Deployment (covers multiple scenarios)
Modify or Remove Exchange 2010
Decommissioning Legacy Exchange Servers (PFE blog post written for 2007 but many concepts still apply to 2010 and later)
Remove the Last Legacy Server from an Exchange 2010 Organization (covers removal of 2003 and 2007)
How to Remove the Last Legacy Exchange Server from an Organization (covers removal of 2000 and 2003 – I really hope you don't need this one!)
If you're unfamiliar with removal of Exchange servers you should read through those articles. You'll notice they repeat the same concepts, and even though none of them cover the topic in full they all give you an idea of what's involved. I've also written some tutorials for removing Exchange servers after on-premises migrations.

If you haven't completed any of the preparation steps to allow Exchange to be uninstalled, you'll be blocked and a message will explain what you still need to do (e.g. disable remaining mailboxes, remove connectors). Setup can't detect all of the dependencies though. For example, if your on-premises Exchange server is still performing SMTP relay for devices on your network, that won't stop it from being uninstalled. You will still need to inspect your transport or protocol logs to determine when the server is no longer being used for that purpose.

The last point I want to address is the data recovery scenario. This usually comes up after a cutover migration when the customer is not 100% confident that the migration successfully moved all of the mailbox contents. As a “just in case” measure, the on-premises server is turned off and kept in place for potential data restores in future. Proper removal of Exchange would conflict with this goal, so the proper removal is never performed.

I don't think this is a good long term strategy, because the server is usually forgotten about (see my earlier notes about future deployment blockers due to the legacy Exchange LG Networks server still existing in AD). Perhaps for a short time it is acceptable, but I think you should always aim to remove Exchange correctly. If you want to retain just the EDB files for restores, you can do makes copies of them prior to uninstalling Exchange and then use a tool like Veeam Explorer for Exchange to extract data from them later.

For recovery from tape or other backup media, you can spin up a temporary virtual environment to perform the restore, which also isolates the restore from your production environment which is a good idea in case of operator error.

Hopefully this article helps clarify the need to correctly remove Exchange from an environment when it is no longer needed after migrating to Office 365. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments below.

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