Move Mailboxes from Exchange EDB to Office 365

Migration of Exchange server to Exchange online becomes a challenge for any organization based on the number of users, license subscriptions, etc. Let us dive in to learn the process of migrating your organization from On-premise Exchange to Office 365.
A guided tour for everyone irrespective of their expertise in the field of Microsoft Exchange.
Here we will discuss several different methods based on factors such as organizations mailboxes count, cutover or staged migration etc. There are two techniques that are mostly employed for migrating mailboxes from Exchange Server to Exchange Online Office 365 Viz. Cutover (Express) Migration, and Staged Migration.

First - Cutover (Express) Migration

It is the quickest way to move your mailboxes from an Exchange server to Exchange Online and is suitable for a limited number of mailboxes.
The criteria given below should be checked before progressing with Migration of On-Premises  Office 365.
  • On-Premises Exchange Server version should be one of these: Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013.
  • There should be no more than 2000 mailboxes.
The criteria show that limitation to 2000 mailboxes provides a better solution for small to medium-sized organizations. If your organization meets these criteria, follow the below steps to begin the migration process:
  • Make a Receiving Point: Firstly, create an empty mail-enabled security group in Office 365 by following the navigation as follows: Office 365 Admin Centre > Group > Create new. This will create a new group.

  • Create a Migration Endpoint: Here we will link Office 365 with Exchange On-Premises Server. To do this, go to the Exchange Admin Centre, and then to Recipients > Migration > New > Migrate to Exchange Online. Select Cutover Migration in the selection window. Information about migration endpoint can be seen on the next page.
  • Grant User Licenses: Office 365 licenses must be granted to all the mailboxes owners needs to be migrated to provide access to their mail. Follow the instructions carefully to achieve this.
  • Re-route the Domain: Re-routing the domain is necessary to ensure that all the emails whether sent or received go through the new channel. Follow this simple guide to configure your domain.

Second - Staged Migration

If Express Migration doesn’t suit your organization’s requirements then Staged Migration is the other migration option, that will surely work.
Although Staged Migration also requires your organization to meet several criteria to ensure that this is the right approach for your situation.
  • Exchange Server 2003 or 2007 versions are the only that support a staged migration.
  • Mailboxes are more than 2000 mailboxes.
The above criteria show that a Staged Migration is for larger organizations. However, an experienced IT Administrator usually holds the responsibility for the migration of Exchange server to Exchange online. And if you choose to DIY, along with the stated criteria is met one can follow these steps for a full migration.
  • User Synchronization: Synchronization the list of users using your Exchange Server with Exchange Online must be done before proceeding.
  • Make a List of Mailboxes Do prepare a list of the mailboxes that need to be migrated to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. This makes the task easy as the task of adding individual addresses and speeds up the process. The list can be imported to Office 365 for adding the users.
  • Complete the Exchange Server to Exchange Online Transfer Start the Staged Migration to complete the transfer of mailboxes On-Premises Exchange to Office 365. Now assign licenses to the approved mailboxes. To do this click here (near the bottom of the article).

Trouble-Free Solution to migrate Exchange Server to Exchange Online

Alternative solutions are available moving mailboxes from Exchange Server to Office 365 by Cutover Migration and Staged Migration. Limitations are overcome by using this tool namely, “Exchange to Office 365 ” to migrate Exchange 2013 to Office 365 step by step. Designed so that it moves the complete data from On-Premises Exchange to Office 365. Some advanced features of tool include Exchange Mailbox Mapping, View Active Directory Details, Apply Email Filter, Empty Exchange Server, etc.

Conclusion

We conclude that one can use manual method described above for both express and staged migration and also by employing a third-party tool such as SysTools Office 365 Migrator to ease the process of migrating Exchange server to Exchange Online.

Hello & Thanks for your interest in About Me: I've been working with Quick Data Solution as a Technical Support Engineer since 2010. My passion and expertise is IT Software for Data Recovery, Email Migration, Password Recovery and Entire Cloud Computing. 

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