How to Migrate to Exchange Online

Migrating to Exchange Online has become a trend among many a organizations these days. Moving mailboxes between on-premises exchange and Office 365 is not an easy task. While there are quite a few ways to migrate to Exchange online, here we shall examine in detail about hybrid deployment. In a hybrid environment, you can establish a seamless coexistence relationship between Exchange server and Office 365, with some of the user data being on the cloud while the rest stored in Exchange Server.

Prerequisites

Here are some of the prerequisites that you should take care of before following the steps to Migrate to Exchange online:

  • We will be using batch migration to move the mailboxes to Exchange online, so the time taken for the migration operation will be directly proportional to the number of mailboxes present in each batch.
  • You need to ensure that proper “Mailbox Move and Migration Permissions” are assigned before starting the process
  • In case of Exchange 2013, you should have Mailbox Replication Proxy Service (MRSProxy) enabled on your CAS (Client Access Server).

Steps to Migrate to Exchange online

Once you have successfully configured hybrid deployment between on premises organization and Office 365, you can follow the steps below to migrate to Exchange online.

  1. Endpoint creation: Create a migration endpoint with connection settings for the Exchange Server running MRS proxy service. This will be critical for migrations in the hybrid environment.
  2. Enable MRSProxy: As stated before, you have to enable MRSProxy service in Exchange 2013 for this to work. The steps below will help you enable it:
    • Open Exchange Admin centre (EAC).
    • Goto Office 365 > Recipients > Migration and click the ‘+’ button.
    • Choose CAS and then ‘EWS virtual directory’ and click on Edit.
    • Tick the MRS Proxy enabled check box and save the settings.
  3. Move mailboxes: You will have to move the mailboxes from on-premise server to Office 365 in order to Migrate to Exchange online. To accomplish this, you can use the remote move migration wizard on the Office 365 tab in EAC.
    • Goto to Office 365 > Recipients > Migration from the EAC and select the ‘+’ button.
    • Choose ‘Migrate to Exchange Online’.and select ‘Remote move migration’.
    • In the next page, you can select ‘+’ icon and choose the users from Exchange Server that you want to move to Office 365. Click Next when finished
    • Enter your on-premise Exchange administrator name and password when prompted.
    • Next, you will be taken to the Confirm the migration endpoint page, where you can verify the FDQN of your server and click Next.
    • The Move configuration page will allow you to give a name for the migration batch.You can also provide the ‘Target delivery domain for the mailboxes that are migrating to Office 365’, for instance, this can be the primary smtp domain setup for your Office 365 organization.
    • Enable the ‘Move primary mailbox along with archive mailbox’ option in the move configuration page and click Next.
    • Now you should be in the Start the batch page, where you must select one recipient to receive the batch complete report. Also, make sure to select ‘Automatically start the batch’ option and then choose ‘Automatically complete the migration batch’.

    Note: You can use the same remote move migration wizard for moving mailboxes from Office 365 to your on-premises Exchange Server.

  4. Removal of completed batches: It is good practice to remove the completed batches after moving mailboxes. Follow the steps below to for removing completed migration batches:
    • Goto Office 365 > Recipients > Migrations from EAC and select a completed batch.
    • Click the delete button and confirm when prompted.
    • Note: To re enable offline access in Outlook on the web (previously known as Outlook Web App or OWA) after you migrate to Exchange online, users will have to reset the offline access setting from their browser.

An easier solution to Migrate to Exchange online

As the native methods are quite lengthy and need manual intervention at every stage, you can avoid the possibility of anything going wrong by making use of a professional Exchange migration tool like the one from EdbMails.With EdbMails, you can directly move mailboxes from your Live Exchange Server to Office 365 without needing to worry about setting up any complicated coexistence scenarios. There is even support for Granular incremental Migration from your Exchange mailbox to Migrate mails, calendar, contacts etc making it a one stop solution to migrate to Exchange online.

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