Microsoft’s Exchange Server Deployment Assistant helps engineers to prepare for migration of Exchange Server environments to current versions of Exchange. Migration has always been an obstacle for organisations and engineers alike, and even in 2014, organisations ran platforms dating as far back as Exchange 2010, 2007, and 2003.
It is understandable why earlier versions of Exchange pose difficult choices – in 2003, nobody understood how cloud based infrastructures would develop commercially. Exchange 2010 was the first platform designed with consideration for future cloud developments. Whereas once backups were a major consideration, the evolution of Exchange’s Database Availability Groups (DAG) means that with mail databases replicating across multiple servers, backup practices which sag under ever increasing data volumes, have given way to the alternate pursuit of high availability services which make single points of failure a minimal risk.
Plotting a path for migration is not for the faint hearted. Neither Exchange 2003 nor 2007 can be migrated to 2013. Exchange 2007 needs a path of some description via 2010, and problems with 2003 migration can be alleviated with some nifty tricks in Exchange 2013 Online by porting ‘2013 to 2010 Client Access Server (CAS) and then conducting migration to Exchange 2013 Online.
Microsoft’s Exchange Server Deployment Assistant gives both engineers and IT advisors an invaluable roadmap for bringing services into line with today’s powerful functionality.