Custard was invited to assist a leading national data centre and communications provider to supply the expertise to migrate a 400-user exchange system to a virtual hosted cloud platform.

The brief

With The Customers ageing in-house hardware - 3 server, load-balanced, in house 2007 exchange architecture – due for replacement, they decided that the time was right to move their email infrastructure to the cloud.

Doing this would enable them to leverage the power of the cloud. And, with no need to purchase upfront licences or hardware, and no costs for implementing and migrating all their servers to a new, hosted data centre exchange 2013 server platform, they would save money.

Our solution

The Customers dedicated 10mb internet connection allowed the connection of the in-house infrastructure to the cloud solution.

Our task was to project plan, manage and migrate exchange with minimal downtime. This included configuring and implementing the new hosted exchange server, and preparing the current infrastructure for migration. We were solely responsible for the following areas:

  • Configuring the new exchange solution onto the virtual hosted platform
  • Patching the existing server operating system and exchange servers, and installing any prerequisites required for migration
  • Connecting together the domains and exchange servers
  • Testing the migration with a some test mailboxes, rectifying any issues and re-testing the mailboxes
  • Migrating all mailboxes to the new environment
  • Installing blackberry BES and migrating the BES users.

Entirely unassisted, we successfully completed the migration without any downtime or user issues, addressing some of the more problematic tasks out of hours to ensure minimal disruption.

Time frame

After we had completed the initial installation preparation and tested some live mailboxes, we were able to estimate a time scale for the migration. This depended on a number of variables:

  • The sizes of users’ mailboxes
  • The speed of the current server and export speed of the mail boxes
  • The speed of the internet connection.

We finished the work 3 days before the estimated completion date, and without any additional costs to any business.


Custard has a first class in-house technical team with the skill to produce results under tight time deadlines and in a complicated technical situation. All parties involved were delighted at the outcome, especially that there was zero downtime, ensuring that staff remained as productive as possible throughout the migration window.

Client comment

"I was impressed with the skill set and exchange migration knowledge provided by Custard. With a migration like this it is important that the work is completed with minimal downtime, and Custard proved to be an invaluable asset. The communication throughout the entire process was excellent. We are already talking to Custard about assisting us with additional projects that require their expertise.” 

 IT Manager.