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Learn How to Migrate Exchange Server to Exchange Online Automatically

Raj | Modified: March 7th, 2023 | 6 Minutes Reading

Interested in finding out how to migrate from Exchange Server to Exchange Online? Have you found a workable solution yet? If your response is negative, do not worry. In this article, we have described the most modern way, that you can use to migrate Exchange Server to Exchange Online with minimal effort. Let’s start by using a manual process to finish the job.

Exchange Server to Exchange Online

Manual Method for Migrating from Exchange Server to Exchange Online

There are three methods that can be used to transfer the data directly. Remember, these techniques require additional planning, preparation, and permissions.

Take a look at the workarounds:

  • Cutover Migration: This type of migration method allows you to export less than 2,000 mailboxes in a single shot. The cutover migration supports Exchange versions 2003, 2007, 2010, & 2013.
  • Staged Migration: The staged migration procedure can transfer more than 2,000 mailboxes in batches over a certain period of time. You can migrate data from Exchange 2003 & 2007 versions.
  • Hybrid Migration: Use this to migrate from Exchange 2013 to Office 365 for 150 – 2,000 mailboxes, you can easily configure the two platforms and make a hybrid platform. This migration works with Exchange 2010 and 2013 versions.

This method can be divided into three 4 steps. Follow one after the other to finish the process to migrate Exchange Server to Exchange Online:

Step 1: Planning

The process of planning includes the steps mentioned below:

  • First, open the site of the Exchange Deployment Assistant
  • As soon as the site is launched, you would have 3 options. For a cutover migration, you need to choose the Cloud Only option. Therefore, click on Cloud Only
  • Now, you need to answer all the questions that are asked of you
  • Once it is done, click on the Next arrow
  • This Exchange Deployment Assistant will create a step-by-step guide for you, that you need to follow.

Step 2: Testing the Existing Setup

Now, with the help of the guide provided by Exchange Deployment Assistant, you need to be sure that Exchange Server infrastructure supports Outlook Anywhere & Autodiscover. Once this step is completed, you can go to the next stage of this process.

  • Firstly, open the site of Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer
  • Choose MS Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP) test and click on Next
  • Enter the requested information. You need to confirm that you are using Autodiscover for the detection of server settings.
  • Now, type in the Verification code and click on Perform Test.

In case the test fails, use the report generated & the Exchange Deployment Assistant for the resolution of the issues.

Step 3: Configure Cutover Migration

  • Firstly, open Internet Explorer and then log in to the Admin Center of Office 365
  • Now, open Exchange Admin Center and click on Migration
  • Then, click on the drop-down menu & choose Migrate to Exchange Online
  • You need to choose Cutover migration followed by a click on Next
  • Now, enter the credentials of on-premises account credentials and click Next. At the time of proper configuration, Autodiscover should resolve the on-premise Exchange Server & the RPC Proxy Server
  • Then, click on Next and enter the name for New Migration Batch. Click on Next once again
  • In this step, you need to choose a user who will get the report after the migration. You can select multiple accounts. Now, if you are prepared to begin the migration, then start the batch automatically. If not, then select manually start the batch later.
  • Click on New. The new migration batch will be created
  • You have to wait for some time for the completion of the process. To see the details of migration, click on the View Details option.

Step 4: Completion of the Migration

Once the synchronization from Exchange Server to Exchange Online is completed and all accounts are provisioned, a report will be emailed to you. Now, as soon as you get the report, you can proceed to the completion of the process.

  • Migrate Public Folders: This means the migration of Exchange Public folders to Exchange Online.
  • Assign Office 365 licenses to all the users.
  • After the completion of the migration of all the emails to Office 365 and replication of MX record DNS, you can stop the process of migration.

The above-mentioned manual method is a process on, which users cannot rely on. As there is a chance of loss of data in the Exchange Server to Exchange Online migration method, users have to devote much time to complete it, for some users it is not easy to understand, etc.

Drawbacks of the Manual Techniques for Migration

  • These manual solutions might take up a lot of time to complete the procedure and lead to an extended downtime due to the complicated steps involved.
  • It requires technical knowledge and hands-on expertise in Exchange Server and Exchange Online.
  • There might occur errors that can lead to data-loss situations since it is a lengthy and complicated method and even one wrong step can cause a lot of trouble.
  • You cannot migrate data from mailboxes according to a certain time period for selective transfer.

This pretty much covers all the methods and the disadvantages of using manual methods.

Let’s look at the common issues that might be faced during the migration.

Expert Solution to Migrate Exchange Server to Exchange Online with Minimum Efforts

Considering the limitations associated with the manual approach, there is an alternative method to migrate Exchange Server mailboxes to Exchange Online. The name of this utility is Exchange to Office 365 Migration Tool. With this utility, the process of moving from Microsoft Exchange to Exchange Online becomes very easy and simple. The tool moves the data along with the items and attributes. It is compatible with all the versions of Windows Operating System and has no file size limitation.

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Steps to Perform Exchange Server to Exchange Online Migration Using Software Solution

Step 1. Launch this software and Select the Source platform and Destination Platform.

Step 2. Select / Deselect data items and apply a date filter if required.

Step 3. Select Exchange Server Version and enter other required details here.

Step 4. In the following window, you need to enter Office 365 Admin Email and Application ID.

Step 5. Now, you have to mention Source Users. For that, you can either fetch users or Import users via CSV file. The CSV file template can be downloaded from the tool itself.

Step 6. Map Source mailboxes with destination mailboxes and validate them.

Step 7. Hit the Start Migration button and the tool will start the migration process.

Final Words

Switching from one platform to another has always been a critical challenge for organizations. Therefore, there should be proper planning and deployment so that you don’t lose important data during the migration from Exchange Server to Exchange Online. Therefore, we mention the issues organizations face and the manual solutions for them. But these solutions also have their limitations. Therefore, it is recommended that you select a third-party application and a seamless migration.