A migration to Office 365 shouldn't be taken lightly. Migrating to the cloud requires a significant shift of corporate infrastructure. From on-premise to a fully cloud solution, there are considerations that need to be made regarding technology, training, and integration. Before you commit to the migration, you should commit to a migration strategy. There are three major ways that you can migrate to Office 365.
Choosing Your Migration Strategy
- Staged migration. A staged migration is ideal for larger organizations. Staged migrations are initiated through either the Exchange Management Shell or the Exchange Admin Center. An automated process, staged migration will bring over the accounts in sections. As the migration occurs, the accounts will be synced. Staged migration is designed to reduce the amount of business interruption throughout the process of migration.
- Cutover migration. Cutover migrations are performed via the Exchange Admin Center Migration dashboard. The system handles a significant amount of the migration on its own; it will pull the mailbox accounts and other data from the on-premise server and upload it to the Office 365 cloud service. The cutover process is generally only useful for systems that have fewer than 2,000 mailboxes and it may take quite a long time. Consequently, it may involve some level of business interruption.
- Hybrid migration. A hybrid migration is performed by creating user accounts in Office 365 and then copying the content from the on-premise server to the cloud. Hybrid migration is a simple option that is designed for organizations that either aren't moving all of their users or who want to be able to run their existing exchange servers alongside the cloud implementation.
Tips for Migrating to Office 365
- Carefully consider all your add-ons. Each add-on comes at an additional cost and additional complexity during operations and migration. You can add more features onto your Office 365 installation as needed after adoption, so you don't need to rush to include everything right away.
- Remember the logistics of the data migration process. It isn't enough to know exactly how the migration process is going to work; you also need to set aside contingency plans in the event of a business or system interruption. Keep in mind that your migration is going through the Internet, so it will be only as fast or as slow as your Internet access is.
- Upgrade your on-premise specifications for hybrid solutions. If you're going to operate an on-premise server in addition to Office 365, there are certain prerequisites your system will need to have. You don't want to complete a full data migration only to find out that you can't connect.
Are you concerned about your organization's migration to Office 365? Office 365 offers some tremendous benefits for organizations looking to improve productivity and collaboration, but the migration does have to be handled correctly to avoid any data loss or business interruption.