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Migrate From On-Premise Email Server to Office 365

​Migrations into the cloud are happening more and more everyday, and in a world where businesses are looking to access data from everywhere, getting off of on-premise (on-prem) servers is a must. 

When a business is accessing email and data from an on-premise server, the users can only access it when on the same network as the server, which means that they have to be in office to gain access to email and data, or implement and maintain a VPN. This is not working for most businesses anymore and why they are coming to us to get them off of a server and into the cloud.

Migrations from a server into the cloud are among some of the most involved and there are multiple ways to get it done. Keep reading to learn more about the process and the advantages/disadvantages of both.


First, let's take a look at an Exchange On-Prem Hybird/Staged Migration. This kind of migration is the preferred method as it does ease some of the headaches that can happen with other types of on-prem migrations. Here is the process:

  1. Set up O365 tenant and sync accounts - AD Connect is used to sync accounts over from Active Directory. Typically there needs to be some cleanup done in Active Directory before deploying AD Connect, but RyanTech provides documentation on what needs to be done.
  2. Deploy Hybrid - This happens once AD Connect is deployed and the necessary users are set up in Office 365. Mailboxes will now exist in O365 and Exchange On-Prem.
  3. Migrate - The staged migrations can begin to migrate the mailbox data into O365 and mailboxes are converted to Exchange Online mailboxes.
  4. Migration complete - All mailboxes have been converted to Exchange online and mailflow is directed to O365/hybrid. Exchange on-prem can be decommissioned if desired.
Here are the pros and cons of this type of on-prem migration into the cloud:

Pros:

  1. Less end user impact
  2. Migration can take place at the customers pace
  3. Migration can be done in groups instead of all at once
Cons:

  1. Hybrid can be tricky to set up, though generally quite stable
  2. Adds an extra level of complexity to the mail flow
  3. Can add more time to the migration due to a test period that needs to take place


Next, let's take a look at a full cutover migration from Exchange on-prem to Office 365. This type of migration takes the on-prem server completely out of the end result. Here is the process:

  1. Set up O365 tenant and sync accounts - AD Connect is used to sync accounts over from Active Directory. Typically there needs to be some cleanup done in Active Directory before deploying AD Connect, but RyanTech provides documentation on what needs to be done.
  2. Obtain server administrator credentials - We need this, and other necessary server data, to access the data on the server to migrate. 
  3. Set up the migration batch to Office 365
  4. Complete data migration - Customer confirms that all data looks good and the mail cutover is performed. Any connected mail applications and devices will need to have new profiles set up that connect to Office 365 mailboxes.
Here are the pros and cons of this type of on-prem migration into the cloud:

Pros:

  1. Generally a faster migration
  2. No need for deploying hybrid
  3. Negates hybrid maintenance and trouble shooting of any issues that arise
Cons:

  1. Outlook profiles need to be rebuilt after the cutover
  2. Not possible to migrate in batches. All users need to be moved at once


In general, we at RyanTech recommend going the hybrid approach to an on-prem migration into the cloud, unless something is preventing it, since it can ease some of the stress and issues that can come with a full cutover. Either way, RyanTech is here to help and will walk you through the entire process while taking control of most of the work. Please reach out to us for a complete consult if this is something that you are looking into and we will be able to answer any and all questions.




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