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Summary: After installing Exchange Server 2019, configuring it as the primary email server is crucial for mailbox migration. Roles, admin mailbox setup, public folder mailbox creation, certificate configuration, and DNS record updates are essential steps for a smooth transition. Additionally, migrating arbitration mailboxes ensures data integrity and compliance. Finally, using the Exchange Admin Center to create a migration batch facilitates seamless mailbox transfer.

After successfully installing Exchange Server 2019, the next crucial step is to configure it as your primary email server. This preparation is essential before embarking on the migration of mailboxes from Exchange 2016 to 2019. A series of configurations are necessary to establish an optimal environment for both new and existing mailboxes. In the following sections, we will examine the different roles and additional requirements that need to be implemented to ensure a smooth transition.

Mailbox Server Role & Edge Transport Server Role

The mailbox server role plays a pivotal role in hosting user mailboxes and public folders, while also managing Outlook on the Web and generating the Offline Address Book. In contrast, the Edge Transport Server Role enhances mailbox security through robust anti-spam filtering and the formulation of message policies for both incoming and outgoing messages. Notably, you have the flexibility to enable both of these essential roles during the Exchange Server installation process.

Create an Exchange administrator mailbox

When setting up the new server, it’s a prudent practice to establish an administrative mailbox and include it in the Organization Management Server Role Group. This mailbox will be instrumental whenever you need permissions to initiate the migration from Exchange Server 2016 to 2019.

  1. Open Exchange Admin Center in the web browser and sign in with your username and password.
  2. Follow Recipients>>Mailboxes>>Add>>User Mailboxes.
  3. Input all the necessary information required to create the mailbox and click Save.
  4. Under the Permissions category, choose Admin Roles. In the list, select Organization Management and click Edit.
  5. In the Members section, click Add and select the new mailbox you just created.
  6. Click Add, then OK, and Save.
Create a Public Folder Mailbox

Prior to migrating public folders from legacy Exchange environments, it is essential to establish a dedicated public folder mailbox within Exchange 2019. This approach offers a streamlined solution for preserving the entire public folder hierarchy, eliminating the need for a traditional public folder database as was necessary in earlier Exchange iterations.

  1. Login to Exchange Admin Center and go to the public folder category. Click (+) icon for public folder mailboxes and enter a name for the mailbox.
  2. Click Next and select the target database for the mailbox.
  3. Save all the changes.
Configure Exchange certificates

Various Exchange client services, such as Outlook Anywhere and Exchange ActiveSync, depend on the proper configuration of certificates to function optimally. If you already possess a TCS certificate, you have the option to seamlessly integrate it with the new Exchange system either by modifying the host names or procuring a fresh certificate from a trusted third-party vendor.

  1. In the Exchange Admin Center of Exchange Server 2016, open an empty Microsoft Management Console.
  2. Follow File>>Add/Remove Snap-in>>Certificates>>Add.
  3. In the Certificates snap-in, select Computer account, and click Next.
  4. Select Local Computer, Click Finish, then click OK.
  5. Go to Root Console, expand Certificates (local computer), click Personals, and then Certificates.
  6. Select the existing third-party certificate, right-click on it, then choose All Task>Export.
  7. A new Certificate Export Wizard will open where click Yes to export the private key.
  8. Check that the PFX file includes all possible certificates in the certification path.
  9. Select a password and input a new password.
  10. Provide a name to the private file and click Finish to export the file finally.
Move arbitration mailboxes

Arbitration mailboxes play a crucial role in preserving essential organizational data, including administrator audit logs and metadata for eDiscovery searches. It is imperative to prioritize the migration of these mailboxes ahead of user mailboxes when transitioning to Exchange 2019. Failure to do so can result in a lack of logged administrator audit cmdlet activities, and eDiscovery searches may remain queued without initiation. Therefore, ensuring the seamless migration of arbitration mailboxes is essential to maintain the integrity of your organization’s data and compliance processes during the transition.

  1. Open Exchange Management Shell in Exchange 2019 system and run the following cmdlet:
  2. Get-MailboxDatabase | Where {$_.AdminDisplayVersion -Like “*15.2*”} | Format-Table Name,ServerName
  3. Run the next cmdlet to create the move request-
  4. New-MoveRequest “Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136” -TargetDatabase “Mailbox-Database-Name”
Configure Exchange Server 2019 DNS Records

Once you’ve successfully configured your Exchange 2019 server and set up mailboxes, the next step is to ensure that your DNS records are up to date. This involves redirecting DNS connections to point towards your Exchange 2019 server. This update will seamlessly transition host names associated with services such as Outlook on the Web and Autodiscover from Exchange Server 2016 to Exchange Server 2019.

Prior to migration, when a user accesses their mailbox, Exchange Server 2019 initiates a proxy connection request and establishes a connection with the legacy Exchange Server that hosts the mailbox. This process involves two essential steps:

  1. External DNS – Change the primary host name from all email addresses to an external IP address to the external internet-facing Exchange 2019 server.
  2. Internal DNS – Change the primary host name from all email addresses to an external IP address to the internal internet-facing Exchange 2019 server.

Final Words

Once you’ve finished configuring Exchange 2019, you can initiate the migration of your primary mailboxes from the previous Exchange version to this new environment. This process involves utilizing the Exchange Admin Center to create a migration batch, which will synchronize the mailboxes and transfer all mailbox folders seamlessly.

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