Using Azure with a physical network move

dbMI 0 Reputation points

Looking to perform a physical network move with the aid of Azure. Current setup is (2) physical DCs one running Exchange 2016. In addition, we have Exchange Online running using AAD Sync. We have a few mailboxes on the on-premises Exchange Server. However, these mailboxes are unused at this point and simply need to be removed or archived since they are from formerly employed users of the company. All mailboxes in use or in the cloud (Exchange Online). The goal is we are moving or decommissioning all network assets from the current physical office location. However, we will continue to maintain at least on physical server at a remote location (in another state). Most likely, this will be a new hardware server. This will provide AD. In addition, I want to have another AD server in Azure. The primary question is how to handle the existing on premises Exchange Server. My intention was to ultimately have an on-premises Exchange VM at the new location, unless I can be convinced that we should no longer have the on-premises Exchange on the network. My question is the method/migration to get from the current setup to my desired goal. I realize that I can deploy a new VM in Azure from my current DCs and have another DC in Azure. During the transition from the old location to the new, I can utilize the Azure DC for a short time period, or possibly have both physical locations (if I can swing that with ownership) concurrent for let's say a month or a few weeks before the old office is officially closed. If so, then I could have DCs on both locations and one in Azure. Then afterwards, I would have one DC on premises and one in Azure. However, this does not address how I get an Exchange server at the new location. Can I just spin up a new VM at the new location (if both exists simultaneously) and install Exchange on it. Or if we cannot have both sites up and running simultaneously can I do the same with a VM in Azure. Then once the old site is being shutdown, would I be able uninstall Exchange from the old physical server, to get my desired end result? Hope this is making sense. Any suggestions on steps or proper course of action for this?

Microsoft Exchange Online
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Exchange Server
A family of Microsoft client/server messaging and collaboration software.
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An Azure service that is used to provision Windows and Linux virtual machines.
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  1. Prrudram-MSFT 20,761 Reputation points

    Hi @dbMI
    Thank you for reaching out to the Microsoft Q&A platform. Based on your requirements, here is a suggested approach for migrating your network assets to Azure

    Deploy a new VM in Azure to act as a domain controller. You can use Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AAD DS) to provide domain services in Azure without the need to deploy and manage domain controllers.

    Migrate your on-premises domain controllers to the new hardware server in the remote location. You can use tools such as Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) or Azure Site Recovery to migrate your domain controllers to the new hardware server.

    Once your domain controllers are migrated, you can decommission the old physical DCs.

    If you want to continue using on-premises Exchange, you can deploy a new VM in the new location and install Exchange on it. You can then migrate your mailboxes from the old Exchange server to the new one using the Exchange Admin Center or PowerShell. Once the migration is complete, you can decommission the old Exchange server.

    If you want to move to Exchange Online completely, you can migrate your mailboxes to Exchange Online using the Exchange Online Migration tool. Once the migration is complete, you can decommission the on-premises Exchange server.

    Once your network assets are migrated, you can deploy a new VM in Azure to act as a domain controller. You can then configure replication between the on-premises domain controller and the Azure domain controller to provide redundancy.

    Monitor your network assets in Azure using Azure Monitor to ensure they are running smoothly and to detect any issues.

    Note that this is a high-level overview of the migration process, and there may be additional steps or considerations depending on your specific requirements and environment. It is recommended to consult with a qualified Azure expert or Microsoft support for assistance with planning and executing your migration.

    If I have answered your query, please click "Accept as answer" as a token of appreciation

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