Exchange 2003 staged migration - removing the last Exchange server in the on-premise organization

Copper Contributor

I've completed all the staged migration steps in this Microsoft procedure and now would like to decommission the Exchange 2003 server. As this is a small network, there is only a single Exchange server so this would be the last Exchange server in the on-premises organization.   Office 365 email is working great right now and I am able to keep all the Exchange services turned off on the server will no ill effect.    Can anyone give me advice as to recommended procedure for removing the last Exchange 2003 server in this scenario?   Also, after I do this, when I need to add new users do I do that in on-premises AD, wait for a sync to O365, then assign licenses (and a mailbox presumably) in the Admin portal of O365?  Do I need to create new users in on-premises AD as "mail-enabled" users?  Thanks in advance for any advice.

3 Replies

@adam deltinger   Thanks.  That's very helpful.  A follow up question for you or others in the community.  If I want/need to keep my on-prem exchange server and directory synchronization in place so I can manage users in on-prem AD, should I upgrade Exchange?  I have a single Exchange Server and it's 2003.  If I'm going to continue to run this way, I'd really like to get onto a newer version.   I'm guessing I'd have to install Exchange 2007 first, and then upgrade to an even newer version.  

I believe you have can upgrade to 2010 then 2016 for example! i don’t think you can do an in-place upgrade either, just install newer versions on a separate VM! Meanwhile it also have dependencies on server versions you have (Domain controllers), AD functional levels etc..