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Platitudes on Exchange Server Upgrades and Migrations

Upgrades and migrations for Microsoft Exchange Server can seem like a complicated and difficult process. But in most cases, a migration is able to follow a standard process, with only those special or unique properties of the Exchange Server environment likely to result into critical issues or require additional planning and effort.

The prime thing to be aware of while planning your Exchange Server migration is that in-place upgrades of Exchange Server are not going to be possible. Say, for example, you cannot upgrade an Exchange Server 2007 server to Exchange Server 2010, also, an Exchange Server 2010 server to Exchange Server 2013.

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The main factors for this are that the server architecture and internal architectural workings of Microsoft Exchange Server often change so wide among major releases that upgrades might become perilous exercises that are nearly impossible to adequately test for. Rather, an Exchange Server upgrade from one version to another includes a migration of services and data from old version servers to new version servers.

The upgrade scenarios for Exchange Server are generally N-2. In other words, a version of Exchange Server can be migrated to from the previous two versions, however not from any further older versions. For instance, Exchange Server 2013 allowed to be migrated from Exchange Server 2007 and 2010, however, not from Exchange Server 2003. An Exchange Server 2003 organization may need to be first migrated to 2007 or 2010 before they migrate to Exchange Server 2013.

To know more on some of the supported migration scenarios visit the following resources given below:

• Learning Migrating to Exchange Server 2016
• Exploring How to perform upgrading to Exchange Server 2013
• Learning about Exchange Server 2010 Migration

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Exchange Server Pro has launched a number of migration guides for Exchange Server migration scenarios:

• How to perform Exchange Server 2010 to 2013 Migration
• How to perform Exchange Server 2003 to 2010 Migration
• How to perform Exchange Server 2007 to 2010 Migration

For the purposes of this blog, an “upgrade” depicts the process of moving your organization’s Exchange Server environment towards a newer version, for instance from Exchange Server 2010, over to Exchange Server 2013.

To know more on upgrading in terms of service packs or cumulative updates, kindly refer to the following resources:

• Installing Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2016
• Installing Cumulative Updates and Service Packs for Exchange Server 2013
• How to Install Updates on Exchange Server 2013 CAS Arrays
• How to Install Updates on Exchange Server 2010 Database Availability Groups


For organizations that do not want to upgrade their on-premises Exchange Server environment, there is also the option to migration over to Exchange Online, which is the cloud-hosted version of Exchange Server that forms a part of the Microsoft Office 365 service.

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