Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Decommissioning Exchange 2010 and Later Mailbox Servers

Hi folks,

As Exchange 2016 is around and Exchange 2013 has been around even longer many of you are dealing with decommissioning of your Exchange 2010 servers. Another reason for decommissioning 2010 servers is moving to the cloud. Surely this is one of the greatest versions of Exchange and will be greatly missed.

In this post I will focus on decommissioning of Mailbox servers, especially DAG members. You can read this article for more details on decommissioning of Exchange 2010 servers and consideration on every role.

This post assumes that all mailboxes have been moved off servers, otherwise we won't be able to decommission mailbox databases.

First we need to remove every mailbox database copy on the server. As a lazy man I prefer to do it using one code line (two if possible). One liner didn't work for me:

Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus -Server SERVER01 |foreach {Remove-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity $_.Name -Confirm:$false}

I got the error as below:


So I ended up feeding database copies to the variable $DBCop, After this I ran Remove-MailboxDatabaseCopy against every DB in the $DBCop variable. The code looks as below:

$DBCop = Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus -Server SERVER01
$DBCop |foreach {Remove-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity $_.Name -Confirm:$false}

After mailbox database copies are removed we will need to remove mailbox databases themselves:

$DB = Get-MailboxDatabase -Server SERVER01
$DB |foreach {Remove-MailboxDatabase -Identity $_.Name -Confirm:$false}

You are not mistaken to see Get-MailboxDatabase command with -Server parameter. Though in Exchange 2010 and onward DBs are managed globally, still this command works and retrieves all mailbox DB copies stored on a server, This is ideal for limiting output of mailbox databases to a server which we decommissioning. And I don't want PowerShell to complain me about buffer so I create here $DB variable almost immidiately.

After this we will need to remove every DAG member from DAG. Firstly, we will need to disable DAC mode from DAG:

Set-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup DAG01 -DatacenterActivationMode Off

After this we will need to remove each DAG member by runing this command:

Remove-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG01 -MailboxServer SERVER01 -Confirm:$false

After all of mailbox servers are removed from DAG you can kill DAG object in the AD as well:

Remove-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Identity DAG01 -Confirm:$false

Remove CAS array (the only ugly thing about Exchange 2010) object from the AD:

Remove-ClientAccessArray outlook.contoso.com -Confirm:$false

Finally, you will need to uninstall Exchange binaries. For Exchange 2010 this command does the magic:

setup.com /m:Uninstall




For Exchange 2013 and later you will need to run

setup.exe /m:Uninstall /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Enjoy!