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Eight critical steps for migrating to Exchange 2010

Answers to the eight top questions to ensure a smooth, successful switch.

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The features in Exchange 2010 are compelling enough for IT decision-makers to already set in motion their plans to adopt it. Requirements for those implementations depend, of course, on where you're coming from. Exchange 2007 shops are only one hop away, while those running IBM's Lotus Domino/Notes will have to consider a few more hops. All in all, the move is possible with a little help.

Here are the answers to the eight key migration questions that most IT shops will face:

1. If I'm working with Lotus Domino and want to move to Exchange 2010, what do I need to do?

First off, this is a case of migration as opposed to transitioning. Migration doesn't allow for the configuration settings to smoothly transition over as they would if you were moving from Exchange 2003 or 2007 Exchange to 2010. However, according to Henrik Walther, an Exchange Certified Master and MVP for Exchange, you could use an Exchange 2007 Server and the Microsoft Transporter Suite (a free set of migration tools for Lotus Domino) to first migrate to Exchange 2007 and then transition to 2010. The reason you can't use Transporter Suite to go directly from Domino to Exchange 2010 is that Microsoft didn't update the tool for Exchange 2010. The company says it will help third-party software developers create tools to do so.

2. Can I simply upgrade an Exchange 2007 organization to 2010 by upgrading my server in-place?

Unfortunately, no. You will need to install an Exchange 2010 server into your Exchange 2007 organisation first and then move things over. Does this mean you have to buy additional hardware? Not necessarily. If you have a virtualized environment and Exchange 2007 (which is a 64-bit app) in place, you might be able to simple install another VM with Exchange 2010 integrated into the 2007 organization. After a period of coexistence to move items over, you can drop your Exchange 2007 servers.

3. If I drop my Exchange 2007 servers, will I lose WebDAV support for Mac Entourage clients?

Entourage, which is Microsoft's Mac OS X client for Exchange, can connect to the Exchange environment using the WebDAV protocol or the POP and IMAP protocols. WebDAV provides more capabilities than POP and IMAP, which provide just basic send/receive functions; commonly, WebDAV gives Mac users access to most of Exchange's capabilities.

But Microsoft is dropping WebDAV in Exchange 2010, replacing it with Exchange Web Services (EWS), which it says will support more Exchange capabilities than WebDAV (Entourage's inferior capabilities compared to Outlook is a frequent complaint of Mac users). So you'll have to move your Mac users to the EWS-capable version of Entourage, which Microsoft recently made available for download, or switch to the forthcoming Outlook for Mac client that Microsoft says will replace Entourage next year.

You have two other options to maintain access to Exchange functionality if you're not ready to go the EWS or Mac Outlook routes: One, if your Macs run the new Snow Leopard OS, you can use the included Apple Mail client instead. Two, you can keep an Exchange 2007 server in the mix for WebDAV connectivity since Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 can coexist peacefully.


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