Microsoft launched Exchange Server 2019 as the latest version of the on-premises Exchange Server in 2018. Still, many users only see it as the extension of the previous Exchange Server 2016 as it has not brought any significant changes. Many existing features like MetaCache Database and Dynamic Database Cache have improved their database disk sizes, etc. As Exchange 2019 has the same structure as the previous ones, the Exchange Experts have advised using the same migration procedure as 2010/2013/2016 to 2019.

Why should you migrate to Exchange Server 2019?

Exchange Server 2019 has not brought any revolutionary changes in its system, but it has more improved security features which are quite remarkable. So, if you are considering migrating to the latest version, then here are the reasons –

  • Exchange Server 2019 is the safest and most stable version of Exchange till date.
  • It handles the meeting request forwarding in a much better way.
  • Email Address Internationalization is active in Exchange 2019. It means you can add distinct characters in the email address based on a particular language.

Prerequisites of Exchange Server 2019 migration

  • You cannot perform a direct migration from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2019. So, you need to first upgrade to either from Exchange 2010 to 2013 or 2016 and then go for 2019.
  • There is no dedicated Unified Messaging role in Exchange Server. So, you should go for Skype for Business Server 2019
  • Update your Active Directory, DNS, & Exchange environment.
  • Supported versions: Windows Server 2016 (Standard and Datacenter) and Windows Server 2012 (R2 Standard and Datacenter).
  • Run the command in Exchange Management Shell:
  • Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation, RSAT-ADDS

Install Exchange Server 2019

Follow these steps to install Exchange Server 2019 to your Windows Server –

  1. Download and install the latest version of .Net, MS Unified Communications API, and Microsoft Visual C++.
  2. Input the Exchange Server 2019 DVD and launch its setup.
    Note: The Server setup will automatically extend the schema, forest, and domain for you. But, you can also choose to do it manually.
  3. Select ‘Mailbox Role’ and ‘Automatically install Windows Server roles and features.’
  4. Select the option for readiness checks.
  5. Finally, reboot the Server.
  6. Now, you can go in the Exchange Admin Center and see the latest Exchange Server 2019 in the Server list.
  7. Enter the Product key to validate the Exchange setup.
  8. Note: A warning message will tell you that the changes will not take place until you restart the Information Store Service. So, open the Exchange Services and restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store.

  9. If you have any certificate for your Domain Name Service, then migrate the certificate to the new server. In EAC, go to certificates under server. Select the certificate and choose the option to export Exchange Certificate. Provide the UNC path and password. Finally, click OK.
  10. Go to Exchange Server 2019 EAC and under the certificates, select the option to import Exchange Certificate.
  11. Add the Services to the Certificates.
  12. Rename the default Exchange database name to a convenient name.

Start the Exchange Server 2019 Migration

After preparing Exchange Server 2019 environment for migration, you can take the assistance of Exchange Admin Center to initiate the migration procedure.

  1. Open Exchange Admin Center and follow Recipients >> Migration and click Add+, and select Move to a different database.
  2. In the New local mailbox move wizard, add the mailboxes to migrate and provide necessary details.
  3. On the Move configuration page, provide a new batch name, select the archive mailboxes (optional), select the destination Exchange Server 2019 database as a destination, start the migration, and other details. Click Next.
  4. On the Start the batch page, configure the migration settings as per the requirements and click Next.
  5. The batch migration will start, and you can see its status as ‘Scheduled.’ After successful migration, the status will change to ‘Completed.’

    Apart from using the Exchange Admin Center to migrate the database, you can use the Exchange Management Shell commands to migrate mailboxes, arbitrary mailboxes, audit log mailboxes, and monitoring mailboxes.

  6. When you have migrated the entire database, you can delete the Exchange database using the following command
  7. Get-MailboxDatabase -Identity “DatabaseName” | Remove-MailboxDatabase

  8. Uninstall the Exchange Server 2016 using the command –
  9. cd “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Bin setup.exe /mode:uninstall

Conclusion

After completing the migration to Exchange 2019 and deleting the Exchange 2016, you can proceed to post-migration tasks so that your users can access their mailboxes. The process is really time consuming and only a seasoned Administrator can complete the process expertly. If you do not want to face any unwanted situation, then use Kernel Migrator for Exchange tool. It is a business-friendly Exchange Migration software which can access the entire database from Exchange Server 2016 and place them directly in Exchange Server 2019. It provides best suited filtering and scheduling options. It also shows a complete migration report after completion of each job.