On-premises Exchange to Office 365 Migration

Aftab Alam Aftab Alam Updated On - 06 Jun 2019

Are you planning to migrate from on-premises Exchange Server to Office 365? In Office 365 (Exchange Online), you can get the same features as in on-premises Exchange, and additionally, your mailboxes will be available at any geographical location rather than just on your organization premises. But, the migration from on-premises Exchange to Office 365 is not direct, and you need to not only prepare both platforms, but also use different methods as per the of the number of mailboxes, version of Exchange Server, and the pace of migration.

In this discussion, we will go through different migration methods and see which method you should choose for your business environment to conduct a safe migration.

Cutover migration

A cutover migration is a direct migration of source Exchange mailboxes to the destination email system of Office 365. Using this migration methodology, you can migrate all the mailboxes to Office 365 at once in a few days. But there are some conditions related to the method which you should take care in advance.

  • You can migrate up to 2000 mailboxes using cutover migration, but it is suggested to go for only 150 mailboxes in a migration batch.
  • The method is available for the Exchange Server 2003 and later versions.
  • In Office 365, you should own the domain name, which is used as the primary domain name in on-premises Exchange.
  • You should have licenses for all the user mailboxes migrated to Office 365.

After fulfilling all these conditions, you can start the migration process.

Cutover Migration Process

  1. By connecting with your DNS hosting provider, verify that you own the domain name. TXT record of the DNS provider is used to verify the domain ownership.
  2. Create migration endpoint using Outlook Anywhere.
    • In Exchange admin center (EAC), follow Recipient>>Migration>>More(•••)>>Migration Endpoints.
    • Click New+ on the Migration endpoints page.
    • Choose Outlook Anywhere at Select Migration endpoint type page. Then click Next.
    • Input On-Premises Exchange Server Administrator credentials. Click Next.
    • After connecting with Office 365, the endpoint will show the connection strings. Click Next.
    • Provide a name and click New to create a new migration Endpoint.
  3. Create a Migration batch.
    • In EAC, follow Recipients>>Migration>>New (+)>>Migrate to Exchange Online.
    • Select the migration type as Cutover migration.
    • Confirm the migration endpoint. Click Next.
    • At the Move Configuration page, provide a name to the migration batch and click Next.
    • At the Start the batch page, you can select among two options like ‘Automatically start the batch’ and ‘Manually start the batch later.’ Choose your choice as per your convenience. To create a new migration batch, click New.
    • Now go to Recipients>>Migration. Select the batch and click Start. The status of the migration batch will convert to the ‘Syncing’ and migration will start. After the migration, the status will change to ‘Synced.’

Staged Migration

Staged Migration is a suitable migration option for the on-premises Exchange Server 2003 and 2007. It follows a similar working procedure of cutover migration, but it takes the assistance of a CSV file to include the number of mailboxes to migrate. Let’s go through the staged migration procedure briefly.

  1. By connecting with your DNS hosting provider, verify that you own the domain name. TXT record of the DNS provider is used to verify the domain ownership.
  2. Create Office 365 users with the help of directory synchronization. Use either Microsoft Azure Active Directory Synchronization Tool or the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Sync Services (AAD Sync) to synchronize the users.
  3. Create a CSV file and fill the details of on-premises Exchange using the following parameters;
    Email Address, Password, Force Change Password
    Example- raven@contoso.com, 123!@#, False
  4. Create Migration Endpoint using Outlook Anywhere.
    • Follow Recipient>>Migration>>More(•••)>>Migration Endpoints.
    • Choose New + on the Migration endpoints page.
    • Choose Outlook Anywhere at Select Migration endpoint type page. Then click Next.
    • Input On-Premises Exchange Server Administrator credentials. Click Next.
    • After connecting with Office 365, the endpoint will show the connection strings. Click Next.
    • Provide a name and click New to create a new migration Endpoint.
  5. Create a staged Migration batch.
    • Follow Recipients>>Migration>>New (+)>>Migrate to Exchange Online.
    • At the Select a migration type page, click Staged migration and then click Next.
    • Browse the CSV file from its location. Click Next.
    • Check and verify that migration endpoint is listed and selected at the Confirm the migration endpoint page. Click Next.
    • Provide a name to the migration batch on the move configuration page.
    • At the Start the batch page, choose among two options to either automatically start the migration or manually start the migration later. Now, choose new to create the batch.
    • Now follow Recipient>>Migration. Select the batch you have created and choose Start.
    • The status of the migration batch will change to syncing.

Both these migration methods are popular and can be chosen as per the environment of your organization. However, these methods involve lots of preparation and settings. If you want to simplify the migration, then use an automated Exchange Migration tool.

Download Now

Kernel Migrator for Exchange is a highly efficient migration software which smartly assists you with migration cases such as, migrate from On-premises Exchange to Hosted Exchange, migrate form Office 365 to Microsoft Exchange 2013, and more. Here is the procedure for migrating the on-premises mailboxes to Office 365 using the tool:

  1. Start the software, create a project, and provide a new name to the migration job. Then click Next.
  2. Select Exchange Server from the ‘Migrate From’ drop-down.
  3. Input the Exchange Server details like DC, IP address, username, and password. Click Next.
  4. Select the mailboxes using the checkboxes. Click Next.
  5. Select Office 365 from the drop-down in the ‘Migrate To’ section.
  6. Input the Office 365 credentials and click Next.
  7. Apply filters like Message Classes, Date Range, and Folders as required; then click Next.
  8. Map the source mailboxes to the destination Office 365 mailboxes and click Next.
  9. Select a number for the bad items for the migration. The migrator tool will skip the mailbox if it reaches the limit. Click Next.
  10. Provide the account name which will get the notification at different stages of migration. Click Next.
  11. Select a time-period of the day to allow the migration.
  12. Schedule the migration at a convenient time.
  13. Verify the summary of the migration and click Finish.

Conclusion

Kernel Migrator for Exchange makes it easy for you to securely place the mailbox data from the on-premises Exchange to Office 365, and before you start with it, go through these 10 tips to smooth Exchange to Office 365 migration to learn more about the process. The data will be instantly accessible, and you will not feel any downtime during the migration. You will also get a complete migration report after the migration.

Download Now