Get answers from your peers along with millions of IT pros who visit Spiceworks.
Join Now

Have a special case V2V I need to do. I have an on-prem Exchange server that only acts as a management tool now, because we are fully in the cloud with Office365 and Exchange Email. Since I need to keep this server alive, and we are moving from Hyper-V to VMWare, I need to V2V.

I plan on using the free StarWind tool. What is unique about this VM is that it has 5 VHDX files, 3 of which are referenced by Mount Points in the OS, and I want to make sure things run when I bring it up under VMWare.

Here is my plan of attack (looking for advise on whether this will work or not, and any "gotcha's" I may run up against)

To CONVERT EXCH01 Hyper-V VM to VMWare VM

  1. Screenshot Exchange Services, so I know which ones to change back to AUTO start later

  2. Change ALL Exchange Services to MANUAL start

  3. Reboot Hyper-V Exchange VM and login

  4. In Disk Management, REMOVE the Mount Points for the 3 drives, but leave folders intact

    1. DBMain.VHDX

    2. DBMain_Log.VHDX

    3. RESTMAINT.VHDX

  5. Shutdown EXCH01 VM

  6. Use StarWind V2V tool, to convert ALL 5 Hyper-V VHDX Files to VMWare VMDK Files

    1. I think I have to convert these individually?? Not clear on this yet.

    2. Make sure these new VMDK files get stored on ESXi3-Datastore2

  7. Define a VM on ESXi3 server, using the Client App (not the web interface) for EXCH01

    1. Configure all settings exactly like the Hyper-V settings

      1. OS drive is IDE, all the rest are SCSI, 1 vCPU, 22 GB RAM, etc

  8. Start the new EXCH01 VMWare VM

  9. Mount those 3 drives in the same locations again

  10. Change all Exchange services to AUTO start (those that had it before)

  11. Reboot Exchange VM and login

  12. Test Exchange on-prem health


Thx for any feedback


Ken L
Datil
OP
Ken L

I was in a similar situation when I took over my current role.  We had an Exchange on-prem and was told that it was for management.   I decommissioned it and I still have the Azure AD Sync tool running every 30 minutes.   Now when I need to add a new user, there are some extra steps that need to be done in the AD user properties to get their mailbox setup, but unless your turn-over is extreme, then the extra steps are not that bad.    

Learn General Server Virtualization with this beginner Article
2016 Operating Systems and Hypervisor Market Share Like a towering skyscraper, virtualization usage has soared to great heights in IT. ...
TEST YOUR SMARTS
Which of the following retains the information it's storing when the system power is turned off?
  • GPU
  • RAM
  • CPU
  • ROM
88% of IT pros got this right.

19 Replies

· · ·
Ken L
Datil
OP
Ken L

Just throwing this out there, but why do you need to keep it running?  If you are just using it for management, you can do that without Exchange.  Some of the items are a little more work to do, but it beats trying to keep Exchange up and patched.  

0
· · ·
kevinmhsieh
Habanero
OP
kevinmhsieh

Why does this server still have all sorts or crazy resources, like all those drives and 22 GB RAM?

Which drive do the mounts points live on? If anything but the C drive, I would robocopy the entire drive letter and all sub directories onto a new VHDX. That would eliminate the multiple drives and mount points. You would Do this with services off. You can then swap drive letters and see if it all works. It will be much simpler going forward.

Your plan is also good.

How about using this to test your backup and recovery?

2
· · ·
Lucid Flyer
Datil
OP
Lucid Flyer

No need to perform V2V, simply deploy a new Exchange server (ideally 2016), move the certificate, define virtual directories, re-point rules in the firewall (adjust NAT), re-run HCW.

0
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

I was told by Microsoft Office365 support that I need to keep one Exchange server around for certain maintenance tasks.

I have not lowered the RAM in the VM yet, but plan on it once it is a VMWare VM.

When I used mount points, I was following a step by step guide that I found on the ExchangeServer forums, when I went from Physical Exchange 2010 server to Virtual Exchange 2013 server. Thus the Mount Points still exist.

I know I can make all kinds of changes to the box that will streamline things, but all I want to do right now is to V2V is safely. Then I can worry about all the other things.

0
· · ·
Lucid Flyer
Datil
OP
Lucid Flyer

Yes, you need an Exchange on-prem since by the sound of it you are in Hybrid. You also need to keep it properly up-to-date. At the latest or at least on the N-1 version.

1
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

Lucid, no, we are not in a hybrid setup any longer. Fully in the cloud. But we do have Azure AD Sync tool that runs every 30 minutes.

0
· · ·
Lucid Flyer
Datil
OP
Lucid Flyer

ok, still no need to perform V2V, simply replace existing Exchange with a new version.
Use Exchange deployment assistant.

Edited Jul 9, 2018 at 19:09 UTC
1
· · ·
Ken L
Datil
OP
Best Answer
Ken L

I was in a similar situation when I took over my current role.  We had an Exchange on-prem and was told that it was for management.   I decommissioned it and I still have the Azure AD Sync tool running every 30 minutes.   Now when I need to add a new user, there are some extra steps that need to be done in the AD user properties to get their mailbox setup, but unless your turn-over is extreme, then the extra steps are not that bad.    

0
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

Ken, I would be interested in how you decommissioned it. I always thought that removing Exchange from the environment totally, would remove necessary AD elements and that is not good. AD still needs to have Exchange attributes.

0
· · ·
Ethan6123
Datil
OP
Ethan6123

Is the Hyper-V Exchange VM Gen1 or Gen2?

0
· · ·
Ken L
Datil
OP
Ken L

To be completely honest, I don't remember the steps that I took.  I will try to find the guide that I used, but not finding anything right now.   I know that I had to fix DirSync (Azure AD Sync as it is now known), after I removed the local Exchange.   When I setup a new user, I have to have the Advanced view turned on for Active Directory Users and Computers and then add the SNMP address in the Attribute Editor (or the Group if it is a distribution group).  Other than that, I find I don't need the Exchange tools for my environment. 

0
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

Ethan: Gen 1

0
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

Ken: So you have ZERO on-prem Exchange servers now, I assume?

0
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

I would love to decommission the Exchange box and be done with it. That would be my ideal solution.

0
· · ·
Ken L
Datil
OP
Ken L

TRogers64 wrote:

Ken: So you have ZERO on-prem Exchange servers now, I assume?

That is correct.   When I got here almost 2 years ago, there was a Windows 2003 box with Exchange (Don't remember the version - but old).   I did some research back then and honestly can't find the links today, but I currently do not have any Exchange running.  I have Azure AD Sync working and when I need to add a user or alias, I just do it in Active Directory Users & Computers in the Attribute Editor.  I have been running this way since end of Sept / early October of 2016.   

0
· · ·
TRogers64
Poblano
OP
TRogers64

I did some research and found articles that say this will work, but it is an unsupported solution. Argh~

0
· · ·
Ken L
Datil
OP
Ken L

TRogers64 wrote:

I did some research and found articles that say this will work, but it is an unsupported solution. Argh~

Yes, that is what I am finding now. I don't remember seeing that before, but may have.   The other item to add to this for you, prior to my current position, I worked for an MSP and we had a number of clients setup this same way.   If you would like to discuss on the phone, send me a PM and I will share my number and we can talk.  

I have to say, that in the 4 years that I have had systems running this way, I have not had any problems that I could not address with ADUC and the Office 365 portal.

0
· · ·
dbeato
Pure Capsaicin
OP
dbeato

Ken L wrote:

TRogers64 wrote:

Ken: So you have ZERO on-prem Exchange servers now, I assume?

That is correct.   When I got here almost 2 years ago, there was a Windows 2003 box with Exchange (Don't remember the version - but old).   I did some research back then and honestly can't find the links today, but I currently do not have any Exchange running.  I have Azure AD Sync working and when I need to add a user or alias, I just do it in Active Directory Users & Computers in the Attribute Editor.  I have been running this way since end of Sept / early October of 2016.   

It only could have been Exchange 2000, 2003 or 2007 :P maybe 2010 but rarely you saw that.

1
· · ·
Artem (StarWind)
Tabasco
OP
Artem (StarWind)

Brand Representative for StarWind

Hello Tom,

Thanks for using StarWind V2V Converter. If you’ll get any questions please drop me a line and we’d be happy to help.

Have a great day!

1
Oops, something's wrong below.