For many companies, it's tempting to migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365. The former is becoming outdated. With Exchange, the infrastructure is on-premise, meaning you have to invest in maintenance. Your data isn't as secure. Perhaps worst of all, if disaster strikes, it can be harder to recover your data.
Office 365 is easier to manage and will save on costs in the long run. The program offers more features and is much more secure. The software is up-to-date and keeps your data much safer.
Here at Wintellisys, we understand how difficult the migration process can be. It's complex, time-consuming, and requires extensive planning. Additionally, many things can go wrong during a migration.
In this guide, we'll discuss different migration methods. We'll help you determine what the best course of action is for your company. After reading this, you'll have a better understanding of how to complete a successful Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration.
Before getting started, you should know about the Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant. It's a free tool provided by Microsoft. You can use it to help develop the appropriate migration plan.
When you launch it, you'll have to answer a few questions about your current environment. The tool will then generate a step-by-step checklist. It has solutions for the most common migration scenarios.
The Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant is meant for single-domain, single-forest environments. A more complex deployment may require some guesswork.
You might be familiar with IMAP migrations. This method can be used as a shortcut for transferring mailboxes from pre-2000 versions of Exchange. However, IMAPs won't transfer tasks, contacts, or calendars. IMAP is primarily used for migrating non-Exchange email systems to Office 365.
For an Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration, Microsoft supports three native paths. They are:
Read on to see each method further detailed.
In theory, the cutover method sounds simple. You've got to get all of the users from the source server. Then, you paste them into Office 365.
In practice, however, it is much more complicated. You'll want to have a good understanding of the process before getting started.
The migration itself requires attention, but the planning and preparation might actually require more time. Some things you want to include in your task list include:
User Management Administrator
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. As you go through the process, you'll likely have to complete other steps.
There's also stage migration available for older versions of Exchange. Then there's hybrid deployment. This is considered the more modern approach.
With hybrid migration, on-premises and online Exchange can coexist. This method is perfect for when you have a lot of data to move. It's the only native method available for 2,000+ boxes. In fact, hybrid deployment is recommended if you have 150+ mailboxes.
This method can be used as an intermediate stage. Some businesses use it just for the final environment. Users are distributed to both on-premises and online environments. This will depend on what each user needs.
Deploying a hybrid environment can take weeks of planning. You must collect data on the infrastructure and current configurations. This information is used to plan migration stages. The data also will help you implement proper testing.
For this process, you'll need to use the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW). Once you launch the program, it'll search for the correct Exchange server. It'll verify user credentials to continue its deployment.
Then, you need to enable Federation Trust. This allows users to freely share information such as calendar tasks.
The next step involves establishing the connection between online and on-premises Exchange servers. A window will pop up prompting you to select the server that will receive Office 365 emails. On port 25, the server should have the appropriate SMTP certificate. Additionally, the port can't be blocked by the router or any firewall software.
Next, establish the server for the Send Connector. You also have to identify the Transport Certificate. This'll allow for secure communication between Exchange 2010 and Office 365.
Finally, enter the fully qualified domain name. This'll complete the transfer.
But you aren't done yet. You'll want to analyze the wizard's logs. The txt files show you every task the wizard performed. This will allow you to determine exactly where problems occurred. By understanding the txt files, you'll be able to locate and to resolve any issues.
In short, the wizard is easy to run, but the tasks it performs are complex. You should analyze the tasks it performs before creating a hybrid environment. This will allow you to avoid problems where possible and adjust your plan as needed.
Also referred to as the manual approach, PST import is your third native option. You will have to use the Office 365 PST Import Service.
The general idea: start by exporting mailboxes to PST files. Then, upload them to the Office 365 organization. To accomplish this, an admin will have to do manual work. They'll have to create an Office 365 environment from scratch.
You should make use of PowerShell and New-MailboxExportRequest. These tools will allow you to perform bulk exports.
Microsoft also accepts physical drives. This requires you to put PST files on physical drives and send them in via mail. The service costs $2 for every GB of data.
Each native approach has its limitations.
In general, all of the native methods can have these limitations:
The limitations of native approaches cause many businesses to look for alternatives.
A migration tool might be the way to go. This method provides the administrator with an easier experience. The process is automatic and implements convenient features. Some of the most popular migration tools feature:
The benefits of an Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration are well worth the hassle. Your office will have an interface that is much easier to navigate and manage.
Keep in mind that you have several options available to you. Native paths can serve as practical methods. That's if you are familiar with the processes.
If you aren't comfortable with doing it yourself, third-party migration tools are the way to go. They ensure the smoothest possible transfer. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.
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