Exchange Server Deployment Assistant

Are you planning an upgrade to your messaging environment? Do you have Exchange 2003, 2007 or 2010? Do you need assistance getting to the next version of Exchange? Then look no further than the Exchange Server Deployment Assistant.


So what does the Assistant do for those looking to upgrade? Let’s run through a sample scenario. Suppose you want to upgrade your on premises servers to Exchange 2013. First, click on the “On-Premises” button.


Then click on “Exchange 2013 on-premises”.


Select which version you are upgrading from, in our test scenario, we are using Exchange 2007.


For this scenario we want to co-locate our roles because we want to keep our deployment simple and not complex.


Most companies do not have Disjoint Namespaces in their environment. So we will select ‘No’ for this option.


To keep this scenario simple, we will not deploy an Edge server. Select ‘No’.


At this stage we’ll get some information about the next steps regarding the upgrade check list. Read through all the bullet items and get familiar with the rest of the process.


Read this section as well and then click ‘Next’.


In this step, the Deployment Assistant goes over the the prerequisites for Exchange 2013 deployment. Read through these carefully and then click ‘Next’.


Now we are on the the substance of the Deployment Assistant. In this step you’ll configure the Offline Address Book (OAB) for Exchange 2013 moves.


Next, we’ll disable IPv6 due to issues that can occur between Exchange 2007 and 2013 with it turned on.


For this step, we need a legacy host name that will allow coexistence to occur for mid to long term migrations. The legacy host name is used on the Exchange 2007 servers.


In this step Exchange 2013 is installed into the environment. Make sure to patch it to the latest version which is CU3 as of the writing of this blog post.


Next we need to create a mailbox that will allow management of the new Exchange 2013 servers. Make sure to grant the correct permissions as well.


For this step configure the external URLs for Exchange 2013.


Then we need to configure the internal URLs for Exchange 2013.


After the URLs have been configured, we need a certificate to secure these virtual directories for client connections.


After the certificates for Exchange 2013 are configured, we need a certificate to secure the new Legacy namespace on Exchange 2007.


Read this important note about client impact.


Configure Outlook Anywhere if you are going to use this feature in Exchange 2013.


Configure AutoDiscover Service Connection Point (SCP) to point to your Exchange 2013 server.


Configure the Legacy namespace on Exchange 2007.


Configure the DNS entries for the URL/name changes.


Now we can move mailboxes to Exchange 2013.


In this step we can finalize the Exchange 2013 installation.


Then lastly, we can check the deployment for any final issues that may have cropped up.

In the end the Deployment Assistant is a good tool for assisting the IT professional who doesn’t do Exchange as their primary job function. It is not a perfect tool. If you are using it and you notice some issues, please make sure to use the feedback button on the website. Also, the other downside is if you have any questions as to why they heck you are configuring or following a certain step, you won’t get any live feedback or help. This is the value add of consultants or IT professionals that can provide that kind of assistance.

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