Moving to a New Office: Office 365 Migration Tools and Best Practices

Posted by Gary Utley on October 22, 2019

Office 365 Migration ToolsAre you having nightmares about your upcoming Office 365 migration? Depending on your system, a migration can be extraordinarily complex. Even if you have detailed plans in place, you may be afraid that the worst could happen. But while you may be a little vulnerable during this time, Office 365 has a pretty robust feature set. Here are some tips for migrating without losing sleep.

The Steps to Office 365 Migration

It all starts with a comprehensive plan. When you have a solid plan in place, you just follow it step-by-step. 

First, the preliminary questions:

  • What type of migration are you performing? Choose whether you want a cutover migration (everything at once) or a batched migration (migrating in stages). For a batched migration, you will need to maintain both on-premises and cloud solutions together. For a cutover migration, you can transition everything at once, but it may be more time-consuming.
  • What challenges do you anticipate? Are there security-related concerns? Do you have any current compliance issues, and are you concerned about compliance moving forward?
  • Is your infrastructure ready? Do you have the bandwidth necessary to cover a migration, which could be terabytes and terabytes of data? Do you have backup plans available?

Once you've covered the preliminary steps, you can start the migration itself:

  1. Speak with users and engage in pre-training so users know what to expect.
  2. Verify domain ownership and prepare the existing servers for migration.
  3. Connect Office 365 to the on-premise email system and migrate the mailboxes.
  4. Acquire the right licenses for users, depending on your needs.
  5. Configure the domain to route to Office 365 and verify the routing.
  6. Complete any necessary post-migration tasks.

It seems simple. But steps can go wrong, especially if you have a relatively complicated infrastructure. An experienced partner can help.

Tools for Office 365 Migration

Most of the step-by-step guides involve how to migrate Exchange to Office 365, but there are other solutions, such as Lotus or Domino, that might be moved to Office 365 as well. 

If Office 365 is being migrated from a specific environment, such as Google Mail or IBM, third party tools may be used. Third party tools integrate through two major protocols: Exchange Web Services and HTTP Protocol. Knowing which migration tool you're using will be important.

  • Exchange Web Services. This is the recommended solution, particularly for large deployments. In Exchange Web Services, shadow copies will be made that don't consume budgeted resources.
  • RPC Over HTTP Protocol. This is a slower and less effective method of migration than Exchange Web Services, because resources are used on a per user rather than per application basis.

Migration performance on either of these protocols can be variable, and administrators are encouraged to test the migration in small batches before committing to a method. 

While an Office 365 migration may involve a significant amount of time and effort, it's often necessary. If you're switching servers or moving to the cloud, you're going to need Office 365 migration. An Office 365 migration tool can automate at least part of the process, though it has to be managed effectively.
 
When you want to ensure your Office 365 migration is seamless and smooth, you want to talk to the experts. Contact us to see how we can make your organization’s Office 365 migration and deployment a breeze

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Topics: Office 365