Exchange to Office 365 Tool to Migrate On-Premises Exchange Server/Hosted Exchange Server to Office 365 Directly

Posted 13, May 2019 | By Editorial Team

Are you using Exchange and now want to switch mailbox from Exchange to Office 365 environment? If yes, then no worries, the write-up is here that provide solutions to move from Exchange to Office 365 with emails, attachments, contacts, calendar and other items.

Popularity of Microsoft’s cloud platform Office 365 is constantly increasing has persuaded Exchange admins to switch over from current environment to the cloud. But, moving on-premises Exchange Server to Office 365 is not an easy process with native options.

Different Ways to Move Exchange to Office 365

There are multiple ways available with the help of which a user can migrate Exchange to Office 365. A user can either choose third party direct and reliable Exchange Migration approach to perform the same or make use of technical manual method which is tedious and requires help of experts to carry out the migration process. At first, let us discuss the professional and easy way and then move to technical Express Migration Technique.

Exchange to Office 365 Tool to Migrate Exchange Server to Office 365

Exchange to Office 365 is a direct method to batch migrate Exchange/Hosted Exchange mailboxes that include emails, contacts, calendar and other items to Office 365 account in a single time within seconds. The software delivers easy GUI and simple accessible buttons so that all technical/non-technical users and even any organization can use the application to move Exchange to Office 365. The utility provides direct functionality with lot of benefits that one can apply as per need to get desired output. Moreover, the tool only requires the login details of source and destination and then it will instantly transfer the complete Exchange mailbox list to Office 365 with accurate data integrity and folder structure. Follow the steps to know how to migrate Exchange to Office 365:

Note: Before implementing the process, ensure to have proper installation of Exchange on the system for error-free execution.

Step 1. Download, install and open Exchange to O365 Tool on the system. 

install software

Step 2. Click Add button to add source account by entering the details in Exchange Server Name, Mailbox Login ID and Password. Also either choose Single Mailbox or List all Mailboxes using Above Credentials. Once done, click Add.

select account

Step 3. Now, again go to Add button to add destination account i.e. Office 365 and click Next.

select destination

Step 4. Choose desired mailbox option that you want in Office 365 and hit Next.

select migration type

Step 5. Apply date filters, item filters and other sub-options for desired migration and press Next.

apply filters and other options

Step 6. The tool now display Export Process Report that shows details of Mailbox Name, Folder(s), Item Count, Time Taken and Status.

Exchange migration summary report

Step 7. Process complete with a message “Conversion Completed”.

Exchange mailbox migration done

The steps delivers direct functionality and precisely perform the process without altering the data originality. At first, you can use the freeware edition that allows to migrate first 25 files per folder from Exchange to Office 365 free of cost. With the help of free demo, you can get the idea of migration process and features the tool possesses. 

Express Migration – An Incredible Entry in Native Options

There are many native options such as hybrid migration, stages migration and cutover migration. All these are available for the admins to move from on-premises Exchange to Office 365 and Express Migration is considered an appropriate alternative to cutover migration in every type of organizations is the latest entry to the list of native options.

According to Microsoft, there is no downtime for the users with Express Migration as it enables mail flow continuity throughout the complete migration process. Express Migration is quick and cost-effective.

Advantages of Express Migration

Switching from Exchange to Office 365 sometimes become a complicated process and result in headache for small businesses. Native options such as cutover and hybrid usually needs complex infrastructure and set up of a server. But, Express Migration is perfect for both small and medium organizations with many advantages:

  • Usernames/passwords synchronizing from on-premises
  • No need to restore Outlook profiles
  • Zero downtime during the complete process of migration

Pre-requisites for Express Migration

Utilize the method for email migration, if you are having:

  • Have any of these environments such as Exchange 2016, 2013, 2010 server on-premises.
  • Directory synchronization is not needed for users management.
  • Target to migrate Exchange to Office 365 over small span of few weeks or less.

Step 1. Building up Express Migration (Verify Domain)

Before continuing the migration process, ensure you have already have taken subscription of Office 365 account and a proper verified domain. The external domain name should be added as an alternative UPN suffix in ‘Active Directories Domains & Trusts’.

Use the following steps to perform the same:

Go to Active Directory Domains and Trusts, right-click on the same and select Properties.

In order to add alternative UPN suffixes, provide verified email domain name and click Add button. Then click OK to save the settings.

Implementing this will assure that on-premises users are assigned their UPN suffix to their matching email domain name. From Active Directory Users & Computers, select properties, click Account tab and provide appropriate domain name against user logon name.

Step 2. Express Migration Process from Office 365 Portal

Go to Office 365 Admin Centre >> Users >> Data Migration.

If you are executing the process, make sure that you are having Exchange 2016, 2013, 2011 or SBS 2011 before downloading and executing Hybrid Configuration Wizard. The wizard will help set up hybrid deployment in on-premises Active Directory. It also allows defining and configuring several parameters for hybrid deployment. To perform this, first create HybridConfiguration object and collect Exchange and Active Directory topology configuration data.

Step 3. Run Directory Synchronization

To implement migration for small-scale organization, choose Office 365 Minimal Hybrid Configuration and select the option of Synchronize users & password one time to quickly move user mailboxes approx. 50 or less without any trouble. The process will install Azure AD connect for data sync and migration. Select the default settings of Express and the synchronization to complete. Once done with the migration, you can manage users with following options.     

Cloud Only – A technique for managing new users and passwords of Office 365 portal, but without the connectivity of on-premises accounts.

Azure AD Connect – The technique contains all kind of operations related to synchronizing identity data with passwords between Azure AD and on-premises environment.

Microsoft Essential Dashboard Integration – An integrated site for administering mailboxes and distribution groups of Office 365 without Exchange Server connection.

Step 4. Assign Office 365 Licenses to Users

Once the synchronization of users mailboxes with passwords is done by Azure AD Connect, then assign O365 licenses to migrate mailboxes of on-premises.

Go to Admin Centre, click Users, choose Active Users and click Edit to allocate product licenses.

Step 5. Start Mailbox Data Migration

Once the licenses are assigned, begin the process of migrating mailboxes by implementing the following steps:

  1. Click Users, select Data Migration and select the option of Exchange as your data service.
  2. From the page of Data Migration, select Start Migration, which allow moving users mailboxes that you want to transfer.

Note: It would be a good practice to execute migration test for two/three users. But, before starting any migration, it is recommended to make sure that everything is perfectly working as expected.

Step 6. Update DNS Record after Migration

DNS record might be helpful for email systems for tracking point of view where emails need to be delivered. Now, when the migration of on-premises Exchange to Office 365 is completed, ensure that you also complete the process of setting up DNS record as well.

Go to Admin Centre, click Settings and select Domains. Update the domain name.

Express Migration Limitations

Undoubtedly, the Express Migration is a simple method for migration process, but it also have many limitations such as:

  • Performs single batch at single time.
  • Supports single migration endpoint.
  • Migration can be implemented on licensed users of O365.
  • Elements such as (manually changing the user password, creating new user) cannot synchronized with O365 during migration, therefore generating unexpected issues.

The “Express” technique is not appropriate choice for large-scale organizations as it unable to perform multiple batch at single time. This would be time-consuming process for the ones who are in a rush or want everything in a speed. Therefore, Exchange Server Backup Tool is the best alternative for bigger organizations to backup Exchange databases and restore the same to Live Exchange or Office 365  portals.

Features of Hosted Exchange/Exchange Server to Office 365 Tool

  • Batch transfer Exchange Server to Office 365 in single time.
  • Move Hosted Exchange to Office 365 with emails, contacts, calendar, notes, journals etc.
  • Directly migrate Exchange Server to Office 365 portal without trouble.
  • Preserves email components of Exchange Server such as formatting, email header, hyperlinks, images etc.
  • Keeps folder structure safe and maintained throughout Hosted Exchange to Office 365 process.
  • Suitable with all earlier and latest editions of Windows OS and Exchange Server.
  • Multiple filters available for selective backup of Exchange Server to Office 365.

Conclusion:

Express Migration is a great technique for migrating on-premises Exchange mailbox to Office 365 account. But, in case of large organization it is recommended to go for secure, direct and trusted application i.e. Exchange to Office 365 Tool.  It would prove beneficial for every type of organization as it is reliable, easy GUI and capable of handling unlimited data without showing an error.