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Plan for upgrades from Office Server 2007 to newer versions

Plan for upgrades from Office Server 2007 to newer versions.

Recently Microsoft published information on End of life roadmap for Office Server 2007 products.  Which is applicable to Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, Project Server 2007, Office Communication Server 2007 and 2007 R2 and PerformancePoint Server 2007.

What does this mean for us?

It means that after support ends date (following dates), there will be no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options (including custom support agreements), or online technical content updates. In other word, its nice way to say for time to plan your upgrade for below products.J

Server Planning Resources
Date Support Ends


Now question comes, how do I plan for upgrade from Office Server 2007 to latest Office Server versions.

Let’s start with my one by one product:

Office Communication Server 2007 and 2007 R2 upgrade to newer version:

If you have Microsoft Office Communications Server installation then that will keep working after January 8, 2018, but for all the reasons listed above, Microsoft strongly recommends moving off your OCS 2007 or OCS 2007 R2 deployments before this date (January 8, 2018).

There is different version available with different names:

  • First version after Office Communication Server 2007/R2 was Lync Server 2010 (Released in November 2010).
  • Then Lync Server 2013 followed Lync Server 2010 (released in October 2012).
  • Finally, Skype for Business Server 2015 is the latest on-premises version of the product (released in September 2015).
  • Office 365 has Skype for Business Online, which is an online version of our Skype for Business Server (Lync) product.

What upgrade options available?

Upgrade and migration requires extensive planning and dedication, so act now and plan properly with available options.

There are On-Premise (on your own infrastructure) and Cloud (hosted solution) deployment option available when you think for upgrade / migration:

On-premises environments are housed on servers and devices which you own, and you maintain them, configure them and replace them over time. Your Office Communications Server 2007 and 2007 R2 deployments are on-premises. Cloud i.e. Skype for Business Online tenant environments are maintained by Microsoft.

Below are the options for upgrade and migration-

  1. Option: Upgrade to Lync Server 2010 or Lync Server 2013 On-Premise,
    If your organization needs hold you for on-premise deployment then this option available however, this does not sound good option to me, because there is new version/product available called Skype for Business Server 2015 which is much mature and stable product with enhanced feature. So instead of upgrading to Lync Server 2010 or Lync Server 2013, go for Skype for Business 2015 on-premise which has enhanced features.
    Also, another reason is not to think for Lync Server 2010, is that Lync Server 2010 will be reaching its end of life on April 13, 2021.
    Keep in mind there is no in-place upgrade available for OCS 2007/2007 R2 to Lync Server 2010 or 2013. It should be side by side installation, so plan accordingly.
  2. Option: From Office Communication 2007/2007 R2 upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015 (On-premise):
    Again, if your organization needs hold you for on-premise deployment then upgrading to Skype for Business Server 2015 is good option. Remember as I told there is no direct way to upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015.
    First migrate OCS 2007/2007 R2 on-premises to reach Lync Server 2010 or Lync Server 2013. Once you reach Lync Server 2013 then you have option available to do in-place upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015.
    Microsoft recommend migrating to Lync Server 2013, as it has an In-Place Upgrade functionality to take you to Skype for Business Server 2015. This will also require you have met the System and hardware requirements for Skype for Business Server 2015.
  3. Option 3: Skype for Business online (Office 365)
    From Office Communication Server 2007 /2007 R2, if you your organization allows you to move to cloud (Office 365) that is the go to option. Because Office 365 (Skype for Business Online), which is always going to be the latest version of Skype for Business available to online customers. It’s designed to be managed by Microsoft, which give you access to Skype for Business Online increased functionality, combined with removing any overhead in maintaining this environment (and that includes worrying about future upgrades—O365 will do that for you).
  4. Option 4: Hybrid deployment:
    Once you have Lync Server2010 or Lync Server 2013, you can create a Hybrid deployment to allow your users to exist on-premises and Office 365 (Skype for Business online). SO, in hybrid deployment you are going to share organization domain space with Office 365.
    This option is good for customer who want to host users on On-Premise Skype for Business Server 2015/Lync Server 2013 and Office 365 (Skype for Business Online) as per requirement.

Exchange 2007 upgrade/migration to newer version:

Microsoft has released quite few version after Exchange 2007 like, Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, Exchange 2016 and Exchange online (Office 365).

If you haven't already started to migrate to newer version then, plan now because you have multiple option available.

Option 1: Upgrade to Exchange 2010 or 2013 or 2016 On-premise:

Remember migration and upgradation requires extensive planning and dedication. If in case your organization needs hold you for On-premise server then you can actually upgrade to Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016. I think Exchange 2010 is available however not good option because you will not be on latest and greatest Exchange version.

Another consideration is that Exchange 2010 will end of life on January 2020 and Exchange 2013 on April 2023.

So, recommended option and even Microsoft recommends that you migrate to Exchange 2016 if you can’t migrate to Office 365. Exchange 2016 includes all the features and advancements included with previous releases of Exchange, and it most closely matches the experience available with Office 365 (although some features are available only in Office 365).

What is migration path?

  1. Install Exchange 2013 into existing Exchange 2007 organization.
  2. Then move mailboxes and Public folder to Exchange 2013.
  3. Decommission Exchange 2007.
  4. Install Exchange 2016 to existing Exchange 2013 organization.
  5. Finally move all mailboxes, public folder and service to Exchange 2016.

Option 2: Exchange online (Office 365):

If your organization allows for Exchange Online, then this is the option available. Because you have a few options that’ll help you get to Office 365. When choosing a migration option, you need to consider a few things like the number of seats or mailboxes you need to move, how long you want the migration to last, and whether you need a seamless integration between your on-premises installation and Office 365 during the migration. This table shows your migration options and the most important factors that’ll determine which method you’ll use.


SharePoint 2007 upgrade to newer version:

As you know Microsoft already announced extended Support end date (i.e. on 10/10/2017) for SharePoint Server 2007, if you have not already think for upgrades and migrations then think now, because it can be time-consuming. It’s always good to know the End of Life date for product, so that you can plan.

There is multiple upgrade and migration option available for you:

  • Database attach
  • Side-by-side upgrade
  • In-place upgrade
  • Hybrid upgrade (in-place with detached databases / separate database attach)
  • SharePoint hybrids (connect online to on-premises SharePoint)
  • Manually move data between site collections or libraries
  • Upgrade to Office 365 - If you're planning to transition some, or all, of your SharePoint sites to Office 365 in the Cloud, this is a time to bookmark a link to the Service Descriptions for Office 365.

You must check the Product Lifecycle and System Requirements for whatever version of SharePoint you're going to upgrade. Because available SharePoint version also has support end date set. Like if you are planning to upgrade to SharePoint 2010, then be sure you know its End of Life date '10/13/2020'.

What things I need look before upgrade?

There are many thing need to plan ahead for upgrade and migration, some of them are below:

  1. First check for critical apps, web parts, or docs in the farm (Mission critical farm).
  2. Then look for option which meets your compliance standards.
  3. Check newer version/ product which complete your customizations requirement.
  4. You must have hardware that supports your upgrade plan. (May be your existing hardware no sufficient or you many needs to upgrade hardware in order to support newer version).
  5. Check if, in-place upgrade available for your version product so that you don't have to reconfigure your product again. (Make sure hardware requirement before in-place upgrade).
  6. Check side-by-side option. This is good option, when your current hardware not meeting requirement of newer version.
  7. Plan sufficient downtime for upgrade and migration.
  8. Look for hybrid deployment in case your organization allows missed.
  9. If your organization allows for SharePoint Online then this is also a good option, as Microsoft already said that cloud first.

Microsoft is always there to support any upgrade path. They have FastTrack support which will help you in smooth migration.

Thank you.


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