Decide on Office 365 Migration Path

Deciding on the best migration path of your users’ email to Office 365 can be difficult. Your migration performance will vary based on your network, existing messaging systems design, mailbox size, migration speed, and so on.

Office365

For migrations from an existing on-premises Exchange Server environment, you can migrate all email, calendar items, tasks and contacts from user mailboxes to Office 365. The available methods are cutover, staged, and Exchange Hybrid migrations.

For migrating third-party email to Office 365, you can configure mail flow coexistence if the third-party email provider permits then migrate the mailboxes using IMAP or cutover migration options.

Migrating from Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007

Number of mailboxes How quickly do you want to migrate? Use
Fewer than 150 Over a weekend or a few days. Cutover
Fewer than 150 Slowly, by migrating a few users at a time. Staged
Over 150 Over a weekend or a few days. Staged
Over 150 Slowly, by migrating a few users at a time. Staged

Migrating from Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 or Exchange 2019

Number of mailboxes How quickly do you want to migrate? Use
Fewer than 150 Over a weekend or a few days. Cutover
Fewer than 150 Slowly, by migrating a few users at a time. Exchange Hybrid
Over 150 Over a weekend or a few days. Exchange Hybrid
Over 150 Slowly, by migrating a few users at a time. Exchange Hybrid

Migrating from third-party email system to Office 365

Number of mailboxes How quickly do you want to migrate? Use
Fewer than 150 Over a weekend or a few days. Cutover
more than 150 Slowly, by migrating a few users at a time. IMAP with mail flow coexistence

If the mailboxes you’re migrating contain a large amount of data, you can also use Office 365 Import Service to import PST files to Office 365.

Migrate On-premises Exchange Server to Office 365 using MigrationWiz

Assumptions:

  • An operational on-premises Microsoft messaging environment or an IMAP Source
  • An operational Microsoft Office 365 tenant for Exchange Online
  • Active Directory synchronised with Microsoft Azure Active Directory using DirSync
  • Licenses are assigned to Active Users.
  • There are place holder mailboxes e.g. user@tenant.onmicrosoft.com or real mailboxes e.g. user@domain.com as destination mailboxes.

Credit: BitTitan knowledge Base Articles. KBs mentioned here are BitTitan KBs not Microsoft KB.

Prepare Source: Exchange Environment

  1. Set up an administrator account “Domain\MigrationWiz” for migration on the Source Exchange mailbox server. Grant Domain Admins and Organisation Management Role for this Admin Account. KB004944
  2. Test OWA using https://mail.domain.com/owa. KB004392
  3. Test mailbox access. KB004616
  4. Disable the Exchange throttling policy during migration. KB004945
  5. Allow impersonation by MigrationWiz account

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Name:impersonationAssignmentName –Role:ApplicationImpersonation –User:MigrationWiz

  1. Grant Full Access to MigrationWiz Admin Account for all mailboxes

Get-Mailbox -Resultsize Unlimited | Add-MailboxPermission -User MigrationWiz -AccessRights FullAccess -InheritanceType All

  1. Enable Circular Logging on the Mailbox Database properties. De-mount Mailbox Database and remount mailbox database after running the below command.

Get-MailboxDatabase | Set-MailboxDatabase -CircularLoggingEnabled $true

  1. Grant higher CPU and Memory to the source Server.
  2. Allocate minimum 50MB/s to 100MB/s bandwidth to outgoing network from on-premises Exchange Environment to internet
  3. Allow outbound Office 365 Ports and URLs on the firewall devices

Prepare the Destination: Exchange Online Environment

  1. Create an administrator account “MigrationWiz@tenant.onmicrosoft.com” in Office 365 to be used for migration, or use the global admin account for the tenant. KB004948
  2. If Microsoft DirSync was used to create and synchronize the local AD accounts up to Office 365, remember to disable it prior to using MigrationWiz. KB004336

Note: BitTitan recommend stopping DirSync during migration however I have migrated mailboxes without stopping DirSync. You must not change mail attribute and UPNs of any Active Directory Account during migration phase. You can do it later using PowerShell Cmdlets in bulk.

  1. Set up accounts on Office 365 and assign licenses. These can be created in several ways:
    • By bulk import using PowerShell via CSV file input.
    • By Microsoft DirSync. Read this very important Knowledge Base article before running Microsoft DirSync, to see if it should be run prior to migration. KB004336
    • By BitTitan Sync tool. KB004336
  2. Prepare tenant to send and receive large mail items. KB005139
  3. Contact Microsoft to ask to have the tenant EWS throttling limits raised for 60 days. Note: This step is only required if your Source environment will support migration speeds that are faster than the Destination. KB005493
  4. Allow impersonation by MigrationWiz Account

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Name:impersonationAssignmentName –Role:ApplicationImpersonation –User:MigrationWiz@tenant.onmicrosoft.com

  1. Grant Full Access Permission to MigrationWiz Account

Create a CSV file with these CSV Headers

name, user

mailbox1@domain.com, MigrationWiz@tenant.onmicrosoft.com

mailbox2@domain.com, MigrationWiz@tenant.onmicrosoft.com

$Mailboxes = import-csv C:\CSV\FullAccess.csv

Foreach ($Mailbox in $Mailboxes)

{Add-MailboxPermission -Identity $Mailbox.Name -user $Mailbox.User -AccessRights ‘FullAccess’ -InheritanceType All}

 Migrating On-premises Mailbox to Office 365 using MigrationWiz

Buy Licenses

Note: This step can be completed by a re-seller. You must provide company email address (migrationadmin@company.com ) to associate your company with MigrationWiz Portal. This Email Address is the log on details of Migration Admin who will perform the migration task.

  1. Create the customer. KB005421
  2. Create the Source and Destination endpoints. KB005427
  3. Purchase licenses. From your MSPComplete dashboard, click on Purchase > Mailbox Migration > select MigrationWiz-Mailbox and enter the number of licenses you wish to purchase. Check to see if there are any available bundles for discounts (e.g., MigrationWiz-Mailbox and DeploymentPro Bundle). KB004647
  4. Deploy DMA to users. Once DMA has been deployed to users, check the Users tab in MSPComplete. This will be populated with the user accounts that have DMA installed. DMA can be deployed by either of these options:
  5. Via Group Policy Object (GPO). Note: This is the recommended methodology, because no end user interaction is required. KB005412, KB005411

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Pre-stage Mailboxes

  1. Create the Mailbox Migration project. KB005070. Create the Mailbox Migration project > Select the customer > Select the Source endpoint > Select the Destination endpoint. Add the accounts (also referred to as “items”) that will be migrated to the project. KB004842
  1. Set the Project Advanced Options. KB004834
  • Set to use impersonation at the Destination. Checkmark the Use impersonation at Destination box. KB004727
  • Set Maximum concurrent migrations e.g. 500. If the Source server has enough server resources, set this parameter based on the bandwidth guideline of three (3) mailboxes per 1Mbps of bandwidth. Therefore, for example, if there is a 10Mbps connection, we recommend setting the maximum concurrent migrations parameter to be 30.
  • Set maximum error to 100.
  • Set successful and failed migration report to migrationadmin@company.com . Do not send a report to end user. This may cause confusion among users when you run credential checks and run pre-stage.
  1. Select the Project> Bulk Add using CSV file. CSV Headers

Source Email,Source Login Name,Source Password,Destination Email,Destination Login Name,Destination Password,Flags

Note: Since MigrationWiz has full access rights to source email and destination email. There is no need to populate password on the password column.

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  1. Run Verify Credentials for all mailboxes. KB004511
  2. Notify users that a migration is occurring. Send email to all users telling them the time and date of the migration.
  3. Pre-Stage pass: Select the users > Click on the Start button from the top, and select Pre-Stage Migration > Under the Migration Scheduling section, from the drop-down list, select 30 days ago > Click on Start Migration. KB004938
  4. If you notice any failed migration, just filter those failed migration> Pause Failed Migration. Select all Paused migration>Pre-stage all paused migration to complete migration simultaneously instead of waiting for migration to complete and retry error.

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Final Migration or MX Cutover

  1. MX Record Cutover. Change over MX records on the DNS provider’s portal. Also include the AutoDiscover (CName) setting.
  2. Full (Delta) pass: Select the users > Click on the Start button from the top, select Full Migration > Click on Start Migration. KB004938
  3. Run Retry Errors. KB004658
  • Look through the user list and click on any red “failed migration” errors. Review information and act accordingly.
  • If problems persist, contact Support. KB004529
  • If not using DeploymentPro, users must create new Outlook profiles, and set up their signatures again, and reattach any PST files that were attached to their previous profile.
  1. Click on the pie chart icon in the MigrationWiz dashboard to receive an email containing all the project migration statistics. KB004626

Outlook Client Migration to new Office 365

DeploymentPro Steps

  1. Go to All Products > DeploymentPro and follow the prompts to launch.
  2. Select a customer from the list by clicking on the customer name. Note: The status column will show enabled when a customer account has had DMA deployed. Configure customer DeploymentPro module:
  • Enter Domain.
  • Select the Source endpoint.
  • Checkmark the Auto-populate box.

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Note: In the Client Interface Configurations section, upload your company logo and add supporting text. Note: We strongly recommend doing this, because this is the logo and text that end users will see in a desktop pop-up when they are prompted to reconfigure their Outlook profiles. If you do not upload your own logo, the default BitTitan logo will be included instead.

  1. Save and continue.
  2. Activate DeploymentPro module for users.
  3. Either select all users (by checkmarking the box to the left of the Primary Email column heading), or select the individual users (by checkmarking the boxes to the left of the user email addresses). Note: You will need to purchase DeploymentPro licenses for each user that will be using DeploymentPro. KB004647
  4. Click on the Run Module button.
  5. Schedule the profile cutover date.
  6. Set the date and time for the Outlook profile configuration to occur, and click on the Run Module button.

Notes:

  • The DeploymentPro module will install on user devices immediately, and then run silently until this date.
  • The profile cutover date should be set to a date and time that is shortly after MX record cutover.
  • On the profile cutover date, users will be guided through the reconfiguration of their Outlook profile.

References:

On-prem to Office 365 Migration: PowerShell Script Collection

On-Premises Exchange (versions 2007 and later) to Office 365 Migration Guide

Mailflow Co-existence between Hosted Mail and Office 365 during IMAP Migration

Mailflow Co-existence between G-Suite and Office 365 during IMAP Migration

This article will explain how to create mail flow coexistence between disparate IMAP source and Exchange Online destination.

Use case:

  1. Customer wants a mailflow co-existence between hosted email e.g. Gmail and Exchange Online during mailbox migration phase.
  2. Customer has on-premises Exchange Server but does not want to create hybrid environment or have a situation where hybrid configuration is not feasible.
  3. Customer plans to migrate mailboxes, calendar, contacts, resources and distribution groups to Exchange Online in phases.
  4. Customer does not want a cutover migration to Exchange Online.

Source Environment:

  1. Email Domain: Domain.com
  2. Migration Method: IMAP
  3. Source Infrastructure: On-premises Microsoft Exchange or Hosted Gmail

Destination Environment:

  1. Office 365 Tenant: domain.onmicrosoft.com
  2. Default Domain: domain.onmicrosoft.com
  3. Email Domain: Domain.com
  4. CatchAll Domain or Subdomain: subdomain.domain.com

Migration Method:

  • Pre-stage: In pre-stage migration, data will be pre-filled to a place holder mailbox then migrate delta changes.
  • Backfill: In backfill method, data will be back filled to a real mailbox after cutover.

Prepare Source Email Domain:

  1. Add Proxy address or alias to all mailboxes.

To add proxy address, create a CSV file with the below header and run the scripts

Name, EmailAddress

User1@domain.com, user1@domain.onmicrosoft.com

Import-Csv c:\data.csv | Foreach{

$maileg = Get-Mailbox -Identity $_.Name

$maileg.EmailAddresses += $_.emailaddress

$maileg | Set-Mailbox -EmailAddresses $_.emailaddress

}

  1. Create target address or forwarding address to all mailboxes. To add target address, create a CSV file with the below header and run the script

CSV Headers are Mailbox, ForwardTo

User1@domain.com, user1@domain.onmicrosoft.com

user1@domain.com, user1@subdomain.domain.com

Import-CSV “C:\CSV\Users.csv” | ForEach {Set-Mailbox -Identity $_.mailbox -ForwardingAddress $_.forwardto}

  1. Send & Receive Connector

If you have strict mailflow condition on the on-premises environment or hosted environment, you may have to create a send connector and receive connector to allow Office 365 email in both directions.

  1. MX record still pointed to source environment.

Prepare Exchange Online

  1. Create Office 365 tenant: domain.onmicrosoft.com
  2. Add customer domain e.g. domain.com on the Office 365 portal and validate the domain
  3. Go to Office 365 ECP, Select Mailflow, Click Accepted Domain, Select Domain.com, Click Edit and set the domain to Internal Relay
  4. Go to Office 365 ECP, Select Recipient, Go to Groups, Create a distribution group and add all users to the distribution group. To find a script to do the job, refer to step3 of post migration section of this article. replace remove-distributiongroupmember to add-distributiongroupmember on the script.
  5. Go to Office 365 ECP, Select Mailflow, Connectors, create an Outbound Send Connector to send email from Office 365 to Your organisation email server. When creating this Connector select the smart host option and on the smart host window, type the Public IP Address or FQDN of MX record of domain.com
  6. Go to Office 365 ECP, Select Mailflow, Rules, create a rule to forward any inbound emails coming to @domain.com and member of special distribution group created in step 4 to be forwarded to the send connector you have created in previous steps 5.
  7. Enable Mailflow for subdomain or catchall domain i.e. @subdomain.domain.com Set-AcceptedDomain -Identity domain.com -MatchSubdomains $true

Mailflow during migration phase

When an Exchange Online mailbox user1@domain send mail to user2@domain.com (On-premises/hosted Gmail), as user2 does not exist at Exchange Online side, and the domain: domain.com set as “Internal Relay” under “Accept domain” configuration, so the message will delivery to on-premises/Gmail through special outbound connector.

Post Migration:

Once you have migrated a batch of mailboxes, you have to remove proxy address and forwarding address from that batch of source mailboxes on the source email domain.

  1. Remove Proxy Address from Source Environment

CSV Headers are Name and EmailAddress

User1@domain.com, user1@domain.onmicrosoft.com

Import-Csv C:\CSV\ProxyAddress.csv | Foreach{

$maileg = Get-RemoteMailbox -Identity $_.Name

$maileg.EmailAddresses += $_.emailaddress

$maileg | Set-Mailbox -EmailAddresses @{Remove=$_.EmailAddress} }

 

  1. Remove Forwarding address from Source Environment

CSV headers are Mailbox, ForwardTo

User1@domain.com, user1@domain.onmicrosoft.com

Import-CSV “C:\CSV\Users.csv” | ForEach {Set-Mailbox -Identity $_.mailbox -ForwardingAddress @{Remove=$_.forwardto}}

  1. Remove the batch of mailboxes from the distribution groups once migrated to Office 365.

CSV Headers are

Identity, Members

Accounts, user1@domain.com

Import-Csv “C:\CSV\RemoveMembers.csv” | foreach{Remove-DistributionGroupMember -Identity $_.identity -Member $_.members}

  1. Delete special Distribution Group, Maiflow rule and Outbound Connector created on the step 4, step 5 and step 6 after MX record cutover to Office 365.