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Summary: This blog offers a detailed guide on transitioning from Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016, including prerequisites, installation steps, and mailbox migration methods. Exchange 2016’s advanced features and cloud integration make it a top choice for modern enterprises. The guide provides valuable insights and recommends a specialized tool for a smooth migration process.

This blog offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to smoothly transition from Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016. You will gain valuable insights into mailbox migration strategies, essential prerequisites for Exchange Server 2016, and the seamless installation process of Exchange Server 2016.

Exchange Server 2016 has redefined business expectations, particularly for organizations relying on it as a dedicated mail server. Its advanced functionalities, such as seamless collaboration with SharePoint and OneDrive, have propelled Exchange Server 2016 to the forefront of corporate preferences. Furthermore, it seamlessly integrates with cloud services, making it an indispensable choice for modern enterprises.

Wondering how to smoothly transition from another Exchange Server version, such as Exchange Server 2013, to Exchange Server 2016? While the migration process may seem complex at first glance, it can be executed seamlessly by adhering to a well-defined set of steps. Let’s dive into the precise steps involved in migrating from Exchange Server 2013 to Exchange Server 2016.

Prepare the Environment for Exchange 2016 Migration

Prior to initiating your migration from Exchange 2013 to 2016, it is essential to conduct a thorough review of the prerequisites necessary for a successful transition. Moreover, it is crucial to confirm that your existing environment aligns precisely with the system requirements for this upgrade.

For example, it is crucial to verify the essential parameters of the Exchange Server to ensure a smooth migration. You should confirm that critical factors such as RAM, CPU capacity, and available storage space meet the necessary criteria. The fundamental system requirements for migrating from Exchange Server 2013 to 2016 encompass:

Hardware Requirements:

Processor Intel 64-bit processor/AMD AMD64 platform.
Memory size 8 GB Minimum.
Paging File Size Minimum physical RAM plus 10 GB.
Maximum Physical RAM 32 GB.
Disk Space 30 GB on the drive.
200 MB on System Drive.
500 MB for message queue database.
File Format NTFS for System partition, Exchange binaries, Exchange Diagnostic logging files, transport database files.
Drive DVD-ROM Drive.
Screen Resolution 1024*768 pixels.

Software Requirements:

Windows Windows Server 2012.
Windows Server 2012 R2.
Windows Server 2016.
Mailbox and Edge Transport Server Roles Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Management Tools Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Windows 10 with 64-bit
Windows 8.1 with 64-bit
.NET Framework 4.8, 4.7.2, 4.7.1, 4.6.2
Supported Clients Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010 SP2, Outlook 2016 for Mac, Outlook for Mac for Office 365.

Another thing to consider here is the support for Exchange 2016 for your clients. If any of the clients are not on the list of supported clients, you need to upgrade them. To do so,

    • Install a supported operating system like Windows Server 2012 Standard/Datacenter or Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard/Datacenter
    • After installing the OS, join the server to the domain

For enhanced support and guidance, leverage the Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant tool to seamlessly deploy various versions of Exchange Server.

Installation Prerequisites for Exchange 2016

Once you’ve established a solid foundation with the essential prerequisites outlined above, you’re ready to proceed with the installation of Exchange Server 2016. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the necessary permissions in place beforehand. Before embarking on the installation process for Exchange 2016, verify that the following prerequisites have been successfully installed:
Install and configure the following frameworks:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 version
  • Windows Management Framework 4.0 version
  • Runtime version for Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0
  • Essential features of Windows.

To install the necessary feature, please follow the commands provided below. These commands should be executed in a single line within PowerShell.
run the commands from the PowerShell on a single line

Installing Exchange Server 2016

The challenging phase of the migration process is now upon us. To successfully set up Exchange Server 2016, please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Download Exchange Server 2016 from the official site and extract the setup file.
  2. Run the setup.exe file to start the installation of the Exchange Server.
  3. The ‘Check for Updates?’ screen appears. Select the first option: Connect to the Internet and check for updates, and click Next.
  4. If new updates are available, download them and proceed.
  5. The ‘Setup’ copies the files, initializing the installation process.
  6. The Introduction page appears on the screen; click Next.
  7. Accept the terms & conditions on the License Agreement page and click Next to proceed.
  8. Select ‘Use recommended settings’ under Recommended Settings and click Next.
  9. The Server Role Selection screen appears. Check the checkbox ‘Mailbox role’ and click on the Next tab.Check the checkbox
  10. Now, provide the location to install the software. You can install the software at a default location or a different location.
  11. Select Yes or No to ‘Disable malware scanning’ under Malware Protection Settings. By default, the settings are enabled. Click Next to proceed ahead.
  12. The Setup will start performing a ‘readiness check’ on the system and configuring the prerequisites.
  13. The setup process will start, and a tab will pop up stating that Exchange Server 2016 has been installed successfully.
  14. You will receive the Setup Completed message. Click Finish to end the installation process.
Migrate Exchange 2013 to 2016 – End Point

The concluding phase involves the migration of Exchange 2013 to 2016, accomplished through the establishment of the Service Connection Point (SCP). Within Active Directory, Exchange’s object plays a crucial role in directing domain-joined Outlook clients to a specific URL, facilitating the retrieval of auto-discover settings.

The default configuration aims to use the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of the server. However, it’s crucial to modify this setting to prevent Outlook clients from encountering certificate warnings. Typically, this warning arises when using the default self-signed certificate provided by the Exchange Server. To address this issue, you need to configure the Service Connection Point (SCP) with reference to the Exchange 2013 endpoint in the given scenario.

Migrate Exchange Mailboxes

There are several methods available for migrating user mailboxes from Exchange Server 2013 to 2016. The Exchange migration process seamlessly transfers entire mailboxes from the 2013 server to the 2016 server, ensuring that the mail flow for mailbox items remains uninterrupted.

We highly recommend utilizing a specialized tool such as Kernel Migrator for Exchange for your data migration needs from Exchange servers. This professional solution is specifically crafted to facilitate a seamless transfer of all mailboxes from one Exchange Server to another, ensuring a smooth transition. Notably, the software boasts advanced features that streamline the migration process. It allows for pre-migration analysis and offers the flexibility to execute various post-migration tasks, culminating in comprehensive reports. Moreover, you have the capability to initiate multiple migration batches, akin to a staged migration, without requiring any technical expertise from external experts.

Additionally, utilizing this tool is remarkably user-friendly. The process entails simply adding the source and destination servers, selecting user mailboxes, and seamlessly mapping mailboxes from Exchange 2013 to the Exchange 2016 Server database. Furthermore, the software facilitates automatic mapping of both source and destination mailboxes while offering the flexibility to generate new mailboxes if needed. This versatile tool is capable of executing various migration types, including intra-forest, cross-forest, and Hybrid Migration.
Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016 Server database

Wrap Up

Transitioning from Exchange Server 2013 to 2016 is a routine endeavor for enterprises aiming to enhance their email communication both within and outside their organization. Nonetheless, this migration endeavor can sometimes prove to be a complex undertaking, given its multifaceted nature. This comprehensive guide is dedicated to elucidating a systematic, step-by-step approach to successfully migrate data from Exchange Server 2013 to 2016. Additionally, it provides valuable insights into the prerequisites essential for a seamless migration process. Once the migration has been executed effectively, you can proceed to deactivate autodiscover following an Office 365 migration and embark on the decommissioning of Exchange Server 2013.

Kernel Migrator for Exchange