Migrate Exchange Server Mailboxes to Office 365 | 2019 & Below Versions
Updated On - January 4, 2023 by Savita Sharma |Reading Time: 7 minutes
Exchange Server has dominated the market for a decade and there was a time when every organization’s first choice for database is Exchange Server. But now the time has changed and organizations now prefer cloud services for data storage and day today activity. However, its very hectic task to migrate Exchange Server mailboxes to Office 365 and asks for proper planning and complete knowledge.
If you’re looking to get a swing from Exchange Server and get Office 365’s features experience then this write-up is for you. Here I’ll mention the known and working methods for Exchange Server to Office 365 migration. Before diving into this let me give a few reasons why organizations are preferring Office 365 over Exchange Server.
Why Migrate Exchange Server Mailboxes to Office 365?
Office 365 and Exchange Server are the product of the same company; yes, it’s Microsoft. However, both have large differences and honestly my personal is Office 365 it’s the future of data management. So let me give you my reasons why Office 365 is better than Exchange Server.
- Anytime and anywhere accessibility: Office 365 is a cloud service which means you don’t need to install any software or hardware to access it. And it’s accessible in one tap even on your smartphones and anytime doesn’t matter whether you’re enjoying foreign holidays, road trip or any other event. Literally, Office 365 have changed the way of data management and professional collaboration.
- No cost on infrastructure: As mentioned above, Office 365 is a cloud-based service and is accessible even in the smartphones. Hence, Office 365 completely eliminates the need to put large machines in the office, their space cost, and maintenance cost.
- No downtime: Office 365 has an astounding feature that is its auto update facility. Hence, it gets updated automatically whenever the new version gets released. There will be no more downtime and you can use your account all the time.
- More Secure: When it comes to business, data becomes the backbone. And keeping this secure is none other than our responsibility. Office 365 is more secure and reliable as compare to Exchange Server.
- Several other applications: Office 365 is subscription-based service. It allows you to add several modern-day required application into the subscription. With Office 365 you can subscribe for Microsoft Office product (PowerPoint, Word, etc), SharePoint, Outlook, Teams, Yammer, and so on.
- No end-of-life (EOL): My personal problem with the Exchange server is it has life of 10 years, after every 10 years, you’ve to update your exchange variant and Microsoft doesn’t provide any technical assistance and bug fixes for old version.
These are the few better thing in Office 365 which make it a worthy even better replacement for Exchange Server. So now let’s our main topic.
Migrate Exchange Server Mailboxes to Office 365| Cutover Migration
Here I am mentioning the Cutover migration method. It’s a quite lengthy and technical process but if you complete it successfully, you’ll be able to do Exchange to Office 365 migration. So, let’s start:
Step1: Fulfill Exchange Server mailboxes to Office 365 migration prerequisites
- You are using at least Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, or Exchange 2016 server.
- Do not plan to continue to run directory synchronization to manage your users
- Turn off directory synchronization before you start performing the migration. Visit the following location to turn it off
“USERS > Active Users > Active Directory Synchronization”
Step 2: Set up Outlook Anywhere with the Exchange Server.
The email migration service connects to the on-premises Exchange Server via Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP). The latest version of Exchange (2013 by default) will be immediately set up. If you’re using an older version of Exchange, such as Exchange 2010, 2007, or 2003, you’ll have to manually configure Outlook Anywhere.
Step 3: Ensure Reliable Certification
When setting up Outlook Anywhere for usage with Office 365, the certificate issued by a reliable Certification Authority (CA) must always be used to facilitate the Exchange 2010 migrate mailbox to Office 365 operation. Add Outlook Anywhere and Autodiscover services to the certificate to complete the Cutover Migration.
Step 4: Double-Check Your Outlook Anywhere Connection to Your Exchange Server
To verify your network configuration, try either of these options:
- Access your on-premises Exchange mailbox from out of your office network.
- Connect Office 365 to your existing email server, and then wait for the automatic connection check to complete.
Step 5: Control Access.
In order to migrate Exchange server mailboxes to Office 365, the user account used to connect to the Exchange organization or the migration administrator must be granted access to the on-premises mailboxes.
Step 6: Obtaining Necessary Authorizations
In order to move the mailboxes, the Administrator needs access to one of the following:
The administrator performing the migration must have Full Access rights to each on-premises mailbox.
In other words, the migration administrator needs to have Receive As access to the on-premises mailbox database where the users’ mailboxes are stored.
Step 7: Turning off unified messaging
Before beginning the migration, make sure you’ve disable the Unified Messaging for all on-premises mailboxes. When the data transfer is finished, activate unified messaging.
Step 8: Creating Security Groups
Since the email migration service is unable to determine whether or not the groups in the on-premises Active Directory are security groups, it is unable to allow the provision to migrate the groups to Office 365 as security groups. If you want to use security groups in Office 365, you’ll need to create one first before you begin the cutover migration.
Step 9: Check the Domain Name
Each on-premises mailbox’s SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) address is utilized to generate a unique email address for a new Office 365 mailbox throughout the conversion process. To begin the cutover migration to Office 365 you’ve to confirm the on-premises domain.
Step 10: Integrate Office 365 with Your Email Client
Migration Endpoint stores the username, password, and other details necessary to establish a connection to the on-premises server housing mails destined for Office 365. It also specifies the total number of mails being moved at once. To complete the switchover migration, you must set up an Outlook Anywhere migration endpoint. After you’ve set up your migration endpoint, it’s time to migrate Exchange server mailboxes to Office 365.
Step 11: Users’ Email Should Be Moved to Office 365
To migrate Exchange mailboxes to Office 365, you must first complete the preceding tasks, and only then can you construct and execute the migrating batch. First, let’s get a handle on how to create a cutover migration batch.
Create a Transfer Batch:
Cutover migration involves moving all mailboxes at once. In order to establish a cutover migration batch, follow the steps outlined below:
- In Exchange Admin Center, select Recipients, followed by Migration.
- To begin the process, go to File > New > Exchange Online Migration.
- Select Cutover Migration as a migration type and click on the Next button.
- A page detailing migration endpoint information will load. Before moving on, please double-check the details you’ve entered.
- In the Batch Name field on the Move configuration page, enter the name of the migrating batch, and then click Next. On Migration, you may see the batch name in the list.
- Following that, choose an option on the Start the batch.
- Begin the batch processing immediately: If a new migration batch is available in a Syncing state, it will start processing immediately.
- Schedule the process for later time: The status of the migration batch is set to Created, but no migration has yet begun. Select the desired migration batch from the Dashboard, and then click on Start to begin.
- To start a new batch of migrations, select New from the menu.
Once you create the migration batch, it will be visible on the migration dashboard. In order to finish the process, you must now initiate the cutover migration batch.
Start Migration batch
With Exchange Admin Center, you can start the migration batch manually by pursuing the following process:
- Navigate to Recipients in the Exchange Admin Center, and then click on Migration.
- To initiate the migration, go to the migration dashboard and choose the relevant migration batch before clicking the Start button.
- As soon as the batch begins processing, the status will change to Syncing if everything goes smoothly.
To See If the Synchronizing is Correct
The migration dashboard allows you to view the current status of your sync. In the event of a problem, the log file will provide more information.
It’s important to double check that users are available in the Office 365 admin centre as the migration progresses.
Once you migrate Exchange Server mailboxes to Office 365, the sync status will changed into synced.
The cutover migration process is complete at this point. However, there is a post migration task.
Removal of Migration Batch
Follow the below steps to delete the migration batch:
- Start by opening the EAC and going to Office 365 > Recipients > Migrations.
- If you want to delete a finished migration batch, all you have to do is select it and hit the Delete button.
- Select Yes when prompted by the deletion confirmation dialogue.
So here, the Exchange to Office 365 migration process using the cutover method is complete. I know you’re afraid of the method, and so when I tried this one first and even made my mailboxes corrupt using this method. If you’re a technical guy in your team who is good with the manual method, then you can use this method. Otherwise, move straight to the next method that is the most easiest process.
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One thought on “Migrate Exchange Server Mailboxes to Office 365 | 2019 & Below Versions”
I had no idea that this was possible, but it looks like a great way to transition from Exchange Server mailboxes to Office 365. Thanks for sharing such useful information on how to do this process easily!