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dimsim

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#195654 28-Apr-2016 16:35
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looking for a cloud alternative to our hosted sbs server mainly for redundancy.

 

had an internet outage (thanks spark/chorus) for 24 hours the other day and got us thinking we need something more resilient.

 

thinking hosted exchange and on-premise Server 2012/2016 for file and print ... hoping hosted exchange can be managed via the on-premise server?

 

have played with office 365 previously but it seemed to be missing the exchange tools we use everyday, Tracking Log Explorer, import export pst's, transport rules.

 

we have about 8 on-premise seats and 16 external exchange users.

 

what has everyone else done to replace their sbs servers with cloud/on-premise alternatives?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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ajobbins
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  #1543521 28-Apr-2016 17:04
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Have a look at Office365 again. I'm not sure exactly about the features you mention above, but it has come a LONG way in the last 12 months or so. Every time I log into the admin panel I can do more are more, and less that needs to be done via Powershell.





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Yabanize
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  #1543522 28-Apr-2016 17:05
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Im no expert, but it seems 'Tracking Log Explorer' is missing from new versions of Exchange too. there are other ways to view them.

 

It seems there are ways to import/export PST's too, and there are rules you can add

 

Give it another look? Huge organisations use it so it can't be that bad


Dynamic
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  #1543611 28-Apr-2016 20:34
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The message tracking logs are kept for 90 days by default, but you have to use a search web page to find what you are looking for.  Not as quick as in-house, but works OK on the occasions it is required.  It works basically the same in on-premises Exchange - the nice GUI you might be used to has gone in favour of a web front end and Powershell.

 

Use MigrationWiz to move email from on-prem to O365.  Start this early and upload the bulk of your messages (might take a few hours, days, or weeks depending on your broadband connection and the volume of email).  Re-run it the day before you switch your MX records.  Change your MX records and connect your users to their new Office 365 mailboxes in a new Outlook profile.  After the MX DNS records have changed, re-run MigrationWiz once more to mop up any last minute emails that sneaked into the old server.  You can import PSTs into Outlook which will then upload the messages to the server but this is painful by comparison.  I strongly recommend against this method.  (Source:  experience with 30+ migrations to O365).

 

We used to host Exchange mailboxes with Intermedia, but Microsoft effectively bought the market through aggressive pricing so most of our clients have switched.  Intermedia's service levels are superior and their communication when they suspect there is an issue is unbeatable.  Their prices have come down to close to O365 levels.

 

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition with the Essentials role installed will sync passwords and DisplayNames etc to  O365 from the local Active Directory.  Buying the Essentials version of Server 2012 R2 does the same thing at a cheaper price, but you are limited to 25 users which for you would not be enough.





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Dynamic
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  #1543615 28-Apr-2016 20:40
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I would not put files in the cloud at present unless your broadband is absolutely stunning.

 

OneDrive for Business file synchronisation sucks the big kumara.  Accessing files stored online in O365 is a little sluggish but works as long as the files are not huge.  It's just the synchronisation of those files to your local HDD that REALLY sucks as it still breaks too regularly for my liking.

 

You could also look at a Remote Desktop server - either on-prem or in Azure.





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rphenix
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  #1543618 28-Apr-2016 20:48
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I recently moved a couple of SBS exchange servers (in different offices) from SBS 2011 to Exchange Online (client didn't want to pay additional for 365 a bit of a shame) most things are actually there just hidden a bit more - one or two things you might need to do in powershell rather than using a console.

 

You can use the PST import service - export all the mailboxes to PST easy to do this all in one using a script.  Then use azcopy to upload the PST's (if you find it gets stuck or the internet connection locks up a bit I recommend the /NC:5 argument.  It can resume - and when your ready for the import to begin upload the csv file linking the PST's to the 365 mailboxes.

 

If your thinking of dropping SBS - I highly recommend going for standard licensing now (or run it in trial for 180 days in a virtual) that way you can create distribution groups, AD users etc.. and use azure AD sync to synchronize the accounts - I recommend using powershell to populate secondary email aliases for users by editing the ProxyAddresses field - I had that populated from a CSV export from the sbs boxes.  Once your in 365 then you can migrate straight to standard easily by simply wiping the sbs box installing standard and joining it to the domain you setup in the virtual this avoids any issues linking accounts and passwords in 365 with AD later.

 

 

 

 

 

 


dimsim

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  #1545447 2-May-2016 16:50
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Dynamic:

 

The message tracking logs are kept for 90 days by default, but you have to use a search web page to find what you are looking for.  Not as quick as in-house, but works OK on the occasions it is required.  It works basically the same in on-premises Exchange - the nice GUI you might be used to has gone in favour of a web front end and Powershell.

 

Use MigrationWiz to move email from on-prem to O365.  Start this early and upload the bulk of your messages (might take a few hours, days, or weeks depending on your broadband connection and the volume of email).  Re-run it the day before you switch your MX records.  Change your MX records and connect your users to their new Office 365 mailboxes in a new Outlook profile.  After the MX DNS records have changed, re-run MigrationWiz once more to mop up any last minute emails that sneaked into the old server.  You can import PSTs into Outlook which will then upload the messages to the server but this is painful by comparison.  I strongly recommend against this method.  (Source:  experience with 30+ migrations to O365).

 

We used to host Exchange mailboxes with Intermedia, but Microsoft effectively bought the market through aggressive pricing so most of our clients have switched.  Intermedia's service levels are superior and their communication when they suspect there is an issue is unbeatable.  Their prices have come down to close to O365 levels.

 

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition with the Essentials role installed will sync passwords and DisplayNames etc to  O365 from the local Active Directory.  Buying the Essentials version of Server 2012 R2 does the same thing at a cheaper price, but you are limited to 25 users which for you would not be enough.

 

 

 

 

Thanks - I like the idea of being able to sync users/passwords etc with the onsite server so I can simply create a new user and have it automatically create the exchange account - does it work like that or do you have to create the accounts manually then sync them?


Dynamic
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  #1545448 2-May-2016 16:53
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dimsim: 

 

Thanks - I like the idea of being able to sync users/passwords etc with the onsite server so I can simply create a new user and have it automatically create the exchange account - does it work like that or do you have to create the accounts manually then sync them?

 

 

It does work like that but we do see delays of up to 3 hours sometimes.  An annoyance we've not been able to knock on the head as yet.





“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

 

Referral links to services I use, really like, and may be rewarded if you sign up:
PocketSmith for budgeting and personal finance management.  A great Kiwi company.




dimsim

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  #1545449 2-May-2016 16:53
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Dynamic:

 

I would not put files in the cloud at present unless your broadband is absolutely stunning.

 

OneDrive for Business file synchronisation sucks the big kumara.  Accessing files stored online in O365 is a little sluggish but works as long as the files are not huge.  It's just the synchronisation of those files to your local HDD that REALLY sucks as it still breaks too regularly for my liking.

 

You could also look at a Remote Desktop server - either on-prem or in Azure.

 

 

 

 

This was my impression last time I used it. From memory the most painful thing was that it only wanted to sync office docs and was picky about what files it would sync in the initial upload. As im looking for a direct replacement for SBS this part has to be able to store all/any files a user has in their documents folders.


dimsim

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  #1545450 2-May-2016 16:54
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Dynamic:

 

dimsim: 

 

Thanks - I like the idea of being able to sync users/passwords etc with the onsite server so I can simply create a new user and have it automatically create the exchange account - does it work like that or do you have to create the accounts manually then sync them?

 

 

It does work like that but we do see delays of up to 3 hours sometimes.  An annoyance we've not been able to knock on the head as yet.

 

 

 

 

mmm, don't see that as being workable.


Dynamic
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  #1545451 2-May-2016 16:57
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dimsim: 

 

mmm, don't see that as being workable.

 

It just means that adding users should be done before the day the user starts.  Not the absolute end of the world - just an annoyance.  We have not invested significant time in trying to speed it up.





“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

 

Referral links to services I use, really like, and may be rewarded if you sign up:
PocketSmith for budgeting and personal finance management.  A great Kiwi company.


dimsim

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  #1545497 2-May-2016 17:01
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rphenix:

 

I recently moved a couple of SBS exchange servers (in different offices) from SBS 2011 to Exchange Online (client didn't want to pay additional for 365 a bit of a shame) most things are actually there just hidden a bit more - one or two things you might need to do in powershell rather than using a console.

 

You can use the PST import service - export all the mailboxes to PST easy to do this all in one using a script.  Then use azcopy to upload the PST's (if you find it gets stuck or the internet connection locks up a bit I recommend the /NC:5 argument.  It can resume - and when your ready for the import to begin upload the csv file linking the PST's to the 365 mailboxes.

 

If your thinking of dropping SBS - I highly recommend going for standard licensing now (or run it in trial for 180 days in a virtual) that way you can create distribution groups, AD users etc.. and use azure AD sync to synchronize the accounts - I recommend using powershell to populate secondary email aliases for users by editing the ProxyAddresses field - I had that populated from a CSV export from the sbs boxes.  Once your in 365 then you can migrate straight to standard easily by simply wiping the sbs box installing standard and joining it to the domain you setup in the virtual this avoids any issues linking accounts and passwords in 365 with AD later.  

 

 

 

 

Is there much of a difference price wise between exchange online and office 365?

 

If I understand right - do you mean to use a Standard Server license to create a new domain (either virtual or physical), then create users/groups etc and then sync with the online service?

 

In the Exchange Management Console it refers to the local server as on-premise so I have always assumed that it could also manage a hosted/online service also? Is this correct? Is there a migration tool that simply moves the on-premise install to exchange online/office 365?


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