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A Perfect Approach for Migrating From Hosted Exchange to Office 365

If users are using Exchange Server 2007 in their company and want to migrate from hosted Exchange to Office 365, the best alternative is to use the staged transfer process. But, if there is Exchange Server 2010 or any newer edition, staged migration is not a possible choice. So, users have to do either a Hybrid configuration or a Cutover migration.

Now, in case if a user’s company has multiple mailboxes and he/she chooses to go for a cutover migration, all the users will be transferred at once. Unfortunately, this implies that a user has to reconfigure all the Outlook account after the migration process is complete. This makes it a poor choice if users demand selective or hassle-free migration. Another issue with this approach is it does not equip any method for selective data migration.

To overcome all such drawbacks, users can certainly choose the Hybrid configuration. The hybrid configuration has strict prerequisites issued for certificates for other arrangement settings, which are irrelevant and complicated.


Method 1: With the Help of Hybrid Configuration

The minimal hybrid configuration or express migration is an easy way to move from hosted Exchange to Office 365. With the help of this approach, Full Hybrid deployment can be avoided and perform the migration process with minimum subset configuration.

Note: Users can use minimal hybrid configuration only when they have never used Full Hybrid deployment. If full hybrid deployment is configured, users will not see a minimal hybrid alternative in hybrid configuration dialog box.
Go through these steps and know the entire procedure:


Step 1: Verification of Domain Ownership

The first step of this conversion procedure is to validate the domain of Office 365 owned by the user. This step is important as administrators have to create email IDs in the Exchange Online environment for the users. So, before commencing the export procedure. Users have to follow these steps to migrate from hosted Exchange 2007 to Office 365:

  • Sign in to the Office 365 account.
  • Go to Settings and click on Domains option.
  • Hit on Add domain present on the page of Domain.
  • This will open up the Domain wizard. Here, you have to enter the domain name of the organization used in on-premises Exchange server, like contoso.com. Then, click on Next.
  • Choose TXT record tab to authorize domain. This option is helpful in verifying ownership.
  • After adding TXT, you are recommended to wait around 15 minutes. Afterward, switch to the next step.
  • Hit on Done followed by Verify Now. This will open up the verification page.
  • This is the point where users have to select I will manage my own DNS records option.Terminate the procedure here and do not move to the next step.


Step 2: Start Minimal Migration from Hosted Exchange

Now, users have to use global admin credentials to sign into Office 365 account. Do not forget that the system which a user is using is joined to the hosted Exchange regarding domain.

Follow this set of instructions to continue migrating from hosted Exchange to Office 365:

  • Open the admin center of Office 365, hit on Setup followed by data migration from the left-hand side column.
  • A data migration page will launch on the screen. Under the option of Select your data service, click on Exchange option
  • Hit on Download application button to download O365 hybrid configuration dialog-box and execute it.
  • On the welcome screen of Hybrid Configuration Wizard, press on Next
  • The next page of the On-premises Exchange server organization will appear on the screen. Here, keep the default values same. Then, click on Next and the wizard will establish a connection with the Exchange Server by default.
  • For hosted Exchange server and online Exchange server, enter credentials on the next page. Press on Next. This will verify the credentials.
  • On the next page of termed hybrid features, hit on the radio button of the Minimal hybrid configuration. Then, click on Next.
  • Then, click on update on the page named Ready for Update. This will prepare the Exchange mailboxes for migration from hosted Exchange to O365.


Step 3: Provisioning the Exchange Users


  • While a user is on the user provisioning page, activate a radio button corresponding to Synchronize my users and passwords one time (Recommended), followed by clicking on Next
  • At this level, users will be required to synchronize hosted Exchange with O365. This can be done by downloading and installing an Azure AD Connect dialog window.
  • Download Azure AD Connect and run it. Then, select Express settings default options.
  • Once the synchronization is established, users will be redirected to a data migration page of the  Exchange online. On this page, all the users which are synchronized will be present. This is  a single step synchronization procedure and it will remain switched off for the Exchange Online account.


Step 4: Assign Licenses of O365 to the Users

In this step, admins have to grant the users with Office 365 licenses to migrate from hosted Exchange 2010 to O365. Then, cloud mailboxes will be given to the users and used for importing hosted Exchange data. The requirement of a license will be displayed under a column named Status on the data migration page

Navigate to Admin center >> Users >> Active Users. Then, assign licenses to users.


Step 5: Commence User Mailbox Migration

Once the part of assigning license is done, mailbox transfer can be started by going to Data migration page. On that page, users have to execute these instructions:

1. Hit on Setup alternative followed by the selection of Data Migration. Afterward, click on Exchange

2. Choose the mailboxes that are to be moved from hosted Exchange to Office 365. Click on the alternative of Start Migration

Tip: To ensure that everything is fine, firstly migrate only a few mailboxes. As the migration process will be going on, the status will be displayed on the page.


Step 6: Update Public DNS Record

Once the migration to O365 is done, modify the MX record so as to point to MS Office 365. The importance of this step is to route the new emails which will be received in this mailbox in Office 365. Also, users have to finish the set of multiple DNS records such as TXT, SRV, and CNAME.


Wrapping Up

Exchange users often need to transfer data from Exchange to Office 365. The post deals with a workaround solution for migrating from hosted Exchange to Office 365. Minimal hybrid configuration is the best manual approach for achieving this conversion.






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