With the arrival of Exchange 2010 SP1 the process around mailbox import and export, along with the requirements around it have changed significantly (for the better).
Under Exchange 2010 RTM the export import process required Outlook 2010 x64 to be installed on the mailbox server where the export was taking place, there were several issues with this, firstly when Exchange 2010 launched Outlook 2010 was a beta product & more to the point you probably didn’t want Outlook installed on your mailbox servers. Another key issue was that the reliability of the process was pretty poor – sometimes it would just work, other times it would refuse altogether (leaving the admin with the option of having an Exchange server which was also a DC, which resolved the issue) or as happened to me recently it would work for a while and then stop. Another key issue is the need to run the export interactively, I generally got around this with a scheduled task. Clearly this isn’t a robust scalable option.
So Exchange SP1 came along and the process has changed radically, some key changes:
- No requirement for Outlook to be installed on the server
- A changed set of criteria parameters allowing more flexibility to be applied to what is exported
- The process is no longer dependant on the PowerShell session used to start it, once submitted the process will run in the background, under the ‘Exchange Trusted Subsystem’ privilege – the location for your import / export must grant this group read / write access
The last option is the one which pleases me most (well shortly followed by the first), much like a mailbox move in 2010 you use the new-mailbox(export/import)request commandlet to request that exchange perform a mailbox export, once the request is submitted you are free to log off the server & walk away, your import / export will continue in the background. You can view the status of mailbox imports and exports with the Get-mailbox(import/export)request commandlet.
More detail on these commandlets is published on technet:
Managing mailbox imports and exports: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee633479.aspx