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Methods to Migrate Exchange Mailbox to Office 365 

Microsoft Office 365, a secure and flexible cloud-based email service provider has emerged as a prominent alternative to on-premise email Servers. But, migrating mailboxes from the On-premises Exchange to Office 365 is a daunting task. In the absence of adequate support, time, and expertise, organizations often decide to cancel mailbox migration to Office 365. 

Here are a few easy methods to migrate an Exchange mailbox to Office 365. Nevertheless, using an EDB to PST converter tool such as Stellar Converter for EDB files will always remain a preferred method in this regard. We have mentioned it as our last method for Office 365 migration.

Cutover Migration

When proceeding with Office 365 deployment, you may shift the mailbox contents from the source email system to Office 365. This cutover migration is advisable when your on-premise Exchange organization: 

  • Is Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013 
  • Has less than 2000 mailboxes

Due to the lengthy and time-consuming nature of this process, Office 365 migration of around 150 users, or less will be feasible despite the support for 2000 mailboxes.

Steps for Cutover Migration

Here are the steps for migrating mailboxes to Office 365 through cutover migration.

Step 1: Make sure that you are the owner of the on-premises domain in your Office 365 organization. You can do this by adding your domain to the Exchange Admin Center and proceeding with the verification method.

Step 2: Connect your email system to Office 365. Abide by the following navigation steps for this task.

  • Exchange Admin Center →Migration → Endpoints →Add+
  • Add Endpoint Page → Outlook Anywhere→Next
  • Provide the requisite information → Create

Step 3: A cutover migration involves the transfer of mailboxes to Office 365 in a single migration batch. Follow the below steps for this process:

  • Exchange Admin Center → Migration →Add Migration Batch
  • Name the migration batch and select Migration to Exchange Online as the mail migration path, and click Next.
  • Migration type → Cutover Migration → Set a migration endpoint →Select migration endpoint → Next
  • Schedule batch migration →Choose the start and end time from the given options for the migration batch
  • Click Save to complete the process of migration batch creation

Step 4: After creating and configuring the migration batch, it is time to start it. Here is how you can do it.

  • Navigate to Exchange admin center →Migration 
  • Select the batch → Resume migration → Confirm
  • You can identify a successful start with the change in status to Starting on the migration dashboard

Step 5: Point your DNS (or MX) Record directly at Office 365 to ensure email delivery to Office 365

Step 6: Verify the routing of all the emails to Office 365 and notify the users about it. Once done, you can Delete the cutover migration batch

Step 7: Assign licenses to the users of Office 365 so that the mailbox continues to work after the grace period of 30 days ends.

Staged Migration

This method to migrate mailboxes to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 is suitable if:

  • You are running Exchange Server 2003 or 2007
  • The number of mailboxes is more than 2000  

Here are the steps to proceed with a staged Office 365 migration:

Step 1: Verify your domain and email address

Step 2: Ensure an SSL Certificate for your Exchange Server from a trusted authority. Also, enable and configure Outlook Anywhere and confirm the working of Autodiscover 

Step 3: Set up directory synchronization

Step 4: Create a new CSV file consisting of the list of mailboxes that you wish to migrate in 

Step 5: Create and start a Migration batch in the EAC

Step 6: Update your DNS records

Step 7: Assign the users of the migrated mailbox with an Office 365 license

Step 8: Decommission the On-premises Exchange Server after the migration of all mailboxes to Office 365 completes

It is better to carry out a pilot migration with limited mailboxes before going ahead with the complete migration.

This method for Office 365 migration takes care of online and on-premises mailboxes. It migrates the users and emails to Office 365 gradually if you have:

  • Exchange Server 2010 and want to migrate mailboxes in the range of 150-2000
  • Exchange Server 2010 and want migration of mailboxes in small batches 
  • Exchange Server 2013 or later version

Here are the steps to proceed with a hybrid migration:

Step 1: Domain verification 

Step 2: Exchange Server preparation

Step 3: Setting up of Directory Synchronization (DirSync)

Step 4: Run the Microsoft Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) tool to automate the hybrid deployment process

Step 5: Migrate the mailboxes in small batches over time

Step 6: Provide the users with the Office 365 license to access their mailboxes

Step 7: Ensure proper management of the hybrid deployment for its proper working

For more detailed information about Hybrid migration, you can check this link.

EDB to PST conversion and then import of PST into Office 365

For Exchange Server 2007 or previous versions, you may use the ExMerge utility or export-mailbox command to export mailboxes to PST. Likewise, for Exchange 2010 SP1 and later versions, using the PowerShell cmdlet New-MailboxExportRequest will be suitable for exporting mailboxes to PST. Once you complete the EDB to PST conversion, you can import PST into Office 365 through any of the following two ways:

Network Upload

After EDB to PST conversion of your mailboxes, you may upload the PST file to the Microsoft cloud over the network. For this, using a temporary Azure Storage location will be ideal. Next, you can use Microsoft 365 Import service to import PST data to mailboxes in your company.

Drive Shipping

This method will need you to use a BitLocker-encrypted hard drive to copy the PST files. Next, you can shift the PST file to the Microsoft cloud, in a temporary Azure Storage location. Finally, you can proceed with important data to your organization’s mailboxes with the help of Microsoft 365 Import Service.  

Third-party migration using Stellar Converter for EDB or any other tool

All the manual methods whether cutover, stage and hybrid migration or through EDB to PST conversion, are prone to risks and several limitations. They are time-consuming, lead to extended downtime, can cause data loss, and need the database admins to have sound know how of the mailbox migration. 

The Stellar Converter for EDB software solves these issues by eliminating the associated risks. It performs EDB to PST conversion with a click of a button and then imports the PST files to Office 365 with ease. You simply need to have relevant credentials to sign in to your Microsoft 365 account. Or you can also migrate from Offline EDB to directly Office 365. 

Stellar Converter for EDB – Features 

Endorsed by admins and MVPs, this tool keeps the Server performance intact while performing EDB to PST conversion 

Here is a glance at some of its exclusive features:

  • Offline & Online EDB to PST conversion  
  • Faster migration of mailboxes from EDB to PST
  • Direct migration of single or multiple mailboxes from an offline EDB file to Office 365 or a live Exchange Server
  • Facility to change mailbox export priority when exporting EDB to PST, Office 365, or live Exchange

Final Words

To know more about this EDB to PST conversion tool or to buy it for your specific requirements, feel free to click through Stellar Info’s website. You may also download its free trial version to get an idea of the way the software works to ease the otherwise complicated Office 365 migration task.

Chief Saasologist
Chief Saasologist

Myself Snehil Prakash aka Chief Saasologist of Howtobuysaas. I am a saas marketer, who loves studying evolving software that is bringing change to the world. Share the same with people via howtobuysaas platform.

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