Doing an Office 365 Migration the Right Way


Moving email from Exchange (on-premises) to Office 365 (in the cloud) would certainly seem to be a very easy as well as easy procedure, and when you know just what you are doing, it is a systematic process. Nonetheless, in the previous 2-3 years that we have actually been doing Office 365 movements, it’s amazing the number of times we obtain hired to “repair something” that a few other migration experts did that has us trembling our heads wondering just what they were thinking …

For this post, I have actually asked Ed Crowley, Microsoft Exchange MVP, Office 365 migration specialist, as well as Convergent Computer (CCO) consultant to collaborate with me on just what he’s seen in terms of Office 365 migrations, being that he’s literally migrated 10s of thousands of mailboxes, and sometimes have had 5-6 migrations going on at the exact same time. When it familiarizes Office 365 migrations, Ed’s among the most effective around!

Firstly, when done right, an Office 365 Migration is like any other migration, there’s planning that has to be done, requirements that need to be set up, peculiarities that need to be exercised, and then ultimately simply choose mailboxes and migrate individuals to Office 365. Although as Ed has actually commented to me lot of times in the past, “there’s no such point as a typical or simple migration to Office 365.” Every organization has something that can produce an issue throughout a migration that could include:

  • Existing Exchange atmosphere has corruption as well as stability issues – those should be exercised or simply absorbed account during the migration process
  • No downtime enabled – we’ll periodically discover orgs where workers (executives regularly) that could not be “down” on email (ever), once again, commonly seen and also finest practices created to deal with that
  • Sluggish network connection – which slows down the upload of Exchange emails as much as Office 365, yet there are means to attend to that in regards to “hosting” mail migration of content to make sure that a preliminary move COPIES e-mails as much as Office 365 over a couple of days/ weeks, and after that succeeding mail sweeps copies over any brand-new messages/changes, then ultimately a final move that migrates any type of newest messages and also reduces the mail box over
  • Intense safety and security – we have actually walked into orgs where safety is so secured down that a lot of the default tools and procedures from Microsoft to move to Office 365 need to be tweaked to fit within the security guidelines of the company. Have yet to discover blockers, however what can take 2 hours can take 2-3 days (if you understand what you’re doing about protection) to simply work within the standards of some organization’s safety division
  • Misconfigured firewalls, proxy tools and CAS web servers – an effect to the last point, limit defense that’s misconfigured can corrupt Exchange Internet Provider, Autodiscover as well as SMTP traffic to where a hybrid configuration simply doesn’t work at all or is broken in some method
  • Old Expectation customers – so Office 365 has moving requirements for what is sustained for customers, presently it’s Outlook 2007 SP3 or higher for Windows systems, and Entourage for Mac 2008 with SP3 or higher. But we’ve run into organs where they had business procedures improved Office 2003 and also cannot upgrade previous 2003, so we’ve turned up means to get to Office 365, yet still resolve these old endpoint customer systems. On top of that, organizations commonly fail to remember that they must release the Microsoft Online Sign-In Aide to old customers. Generally, it’s finest to update individuals to Expectation 2013 prior to or when their mailboxes are proposed the best user experience.
  • Lawful and also conformity policies – relocating email “to the cloud” is brand-new for organizations, as well as there are always tons of inquiries concerning addressing protection and specifically adhering to regulatory conformity policies like the European Union Information Defense Instruction, or HIPAA, or the like. I believe now we’ve heard them all, and have addressed them all, yet something that turns up and we recognize dealing with
  • Tenancy name not available— staff members of a company will regularly acquire a trial of Office 365 and forget about it. When it comes time to get the production tenancy, the wanted lessee name ( is taken (utilized and disposed of in a test a while earlier) as well as Microsoft Online Support is not of much help in getting that tenancy name back
  • No management method— we have actually assisted organizations that make use of Directory Site Synchronization yet do not have an on-premises Exchange server with which to upgrade as well as develop brand-new individuals, groups and also get in touches with. Utilizing ADSI Edit is not a lasting technique of taking care of recipient residential properties

some quirky 3rd celebration plug-in to Exchange – There frequently is some unusual fax software program, voicemail software application, integration tool to various other server apps, e-mail archives sitting in Business Vault or EMS or the like, once again, all usual points that show up, simply need to identify the item(s) and also function them right into the migration plan

So, these are the even more typical things that turn up and also need to be addressed. Once more, have done SO lots of Office 365 movements that we understand to anticipate these points, we ask about them, we resolve the problems, and afterwards we draw up our strategy to have an effective migration to Office 365.

BUT, for several of the lot more significant traits that we have actually been drawn in to “take care of” from movements underway that required our support:

  • SLOW Mail Box Migration: We’ve run into a handful of movements where the migration of mailboxes was running REALLY gradually (3-4 mailboxes a night, rather than 50-300 that many orgs see). Most of the article folks continue reading the Web location the blame on Microsoft and orgs wait for Microsoft to “repair the performance trouble”, however, we regularly discover weird arrangements of firewall software’s and also proxies, safety, and security settings, as well as migration server problems to be the wrongdoer. As well as without appropriate preparation and testing beforehand, sometimes companies are being in the centre of their “migration weekend” to realize there’s a problem, compared to having evaluated a flow of lots of mailboxes beforehand.
  • Worked Fine in the Laboratory: Another similar problem is when orgs arrangement a test laboratory and an examination Office 365 account as well as do whatever in test as well as it functions penalty, so then they do a large cutover weekend only to discover issues with the huge manufacturing cutover There are a LOT of ideal techniques we’ve uncovered from these situations, that a laboratory web link lot of times has much less traffic on it compared to the manufacturing Net link; or examination mailboxes have no mail corruption whereas real mailboxes might have installed corruption within the old Exchange data source; or lab servers do not have layers and layers of safety policies as well as proxies applied to them that the actually managed servers in manufacturing carry them. Laboratory screening regularly does not address the skilled outcomes of just what will take place in production on the day of the cutover.
  • Email Archives: It’s impressive the number of email archiving suppliers that orgs have actually utilized for years has NO method of getting your e-mails out of their archives … For years, you have actually been packing emails into archives, creating stubs in Exchange and archiving attachments, moving archives to cloud-based remedies, but now that you want do away with that archiving solution and just relocate ALL your email (and archives) to Office 365 (being that Office 365 supplies you practically unlimited archive storage space plus substantial eDiscovery, Legal Hold devices), that you discover you can’t obtain your archives from your existing archiving item. And while some orgs have actually moved their mailboxes to Office 365 but kept their old archives on-premises with their existing supplier, the cost of these archive vendor services as well as the complexity that archiving is with a number of these options makes it among the needs to remove them and also move everything to Office 365! In one case, the archive supplier had no device to migrate things out of their archive, so we needed to go directly to the storage system as well as remove BLOBS of material and also restore archives, which was very effective, yet left a poor taste in every person’s mouth when the archive vendor truly put the weapon to the client’s head claiming they need to maintain the archives with this vendor permanently … (Luckily, with our workaround, not so …).
  • Bad advice: one company’s previous Office 365 consulting adviser firmly insisted without a doubt that it was needed to mount an Exchange 2013 server as the hybrid server when they already had a completely working repetitive load-balanced Exchange 2010 SP3 CAS range. Further, they had them mount that hybrid server in a different website from where the web servers are generally turned on, leading to a non-redundant hybrid setup that was sub optimally configured network-wise. Adding insult to injury, the URLs were not effectively set up.

So bottom line, Office 365 Movements are not easy cookie cutter refines that a person can just “wing-it” over a weekend, however to do it right, have somebody with deep-rooted competence in Exchange, Office 365, archives, safety and security, DNS, storage space, firewalls, proxies, networking, Autodiscover, Energetic Directory, ADVERTISEMENT FS, DirSync, PowerShell, customer app product packaging, pressing out policies to endpoint customers, mobile phone monitoring experience, ActiveSync policies expertise, etc.

 Anything short of a person recognizing this and a lot much more, a migration can come to a halt, sometimes during the centre of a huge migration weekend break, and afterwards someone needs to unwind what was done, possibly redesign stuff from scratch, and get the procedure moving forward, as it likely must have been carried out in the first place. The handful of ideas here, hopefully, this will assist you to identify points ahead of your migration to Office 365 and be much better prepared while doing so!!!