Exchange to Office 365 Migration Types – Guide on the Migration Approaches

Plot Overview: Here, you will be shown all the Exchange to Office 365 migration types in detail. We will discuss the different types of methods that help users perform the migration process. Also, we will be showing the limitations that a user might experience during the procedure. Getting right into it.

Exchange is another product of Microsoft just like Office 365 and both these products offer email services to their users. Now, Exchange is known to be used by a lot of users but to boost your business, it is important for some users to move to Office 365 as it offers a lot more resources for businesses.

There are various methods for you to use for the migration process such as the ones that we are going to discuss below. Here, you will find all the Exchange to Office 365 migration types one-by-one in the upcoming section.

Let’s first list these out:

  1. Staged Migration
  2. Cutover Migration
  3. Hybrid Migration

This blog is a guide on what these migration types are, how this helps, and what kind of shortcomings there could be while using these methods. We will be explaining these methods in brief for users to have basic knowledge of these solutions. Let’s get started with these.

What Factors to Consider Before Choosing Exchange to Office 365 Migration Types?

There are a few factors that you need to take under consideration while deciding on which method or type to choose to go through the migration process. These are listed as below:

Once you have these basics clear, you can decide on the method to choose from the 3 types that are mentioned below.

Type 1 – Staged Migration

This migration method from the Exchange to Office 365 migration types is steady on which is supported in Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 versions. If your organization wants to migrate its entire data to Office 365, you can use the staged migration method for it. Since there are large numbers of mailboxes in an organization that need to be moved, this migration process will allow users to export their data in batches over a period of time.

If there are users who have some mailboxes in Office 365, it is possible for them to send and receive emails from the Exchange On-Premises users and vice-versa. You need to have an on-premises synchronization and various other technical twitches in order to make this migration process go on smoothly.

It can easily help you migrate over 2000 mailboxes and is flexible while moving the accounts. Also, if you feel you might be stuck with tight deadlines, the chances of those are minimized too. The services for businesses are also not disrupted to that extent. Although, there are some disadvantages of using this type of migration that we are going to mention later along with the drawbacks of using the other two processes.

Type 2 – Cutover Migration from Exchange to Office 365 Migration Types

 The cutover migration type is the simplest workaround that can be used for moving the data to Office 365. All the mailboxes are transferred at once from the Exchange Server no matter how huge the data is. You do not have to worry about the number and size of the mailboxes as these are smaller when you go for the cutover migration method.

It is also possible to migrate the contacts and the distribution groups from the mailbox to your Office 365. Users who are working on Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 can use this method to move their mailboxes below 2000 in numbers.

The main advantages of using this method are that there is no need for the users to have a syncing password and the distribution groups, contacts, along with other items are also migrated. The time frame for this type of procedure is just a few days.

Type 3 – Hybrid Migration

The last one from the Exchange to Office 365 migration types is the hybrid migration. This type of migration method has an integrated Exchange Server and the Office 365 environment. It allows the on-premises mailboxes to be migrated and enabled on-site or uses an approach that ensures the migration process and vice-versa.

With the help of this function, the synchronization and management for the accounts in both environments are facilitated. Also, the users of Exchange 2010, 2013, and 2016 can make use of this type of migration process. There are shared domain names, usernames, calendars, and passwords for both accounts.

Let’s now learn the limitations of using each of the migration types.

Short-Comings of Exchange to Office 365 Migration Types

In the staged migration type, there is a need for the migration procedure to be planned before you start executing the transfer. Also, there has to be a dedicated admin who needs to be involved during the entire process from the start to the end. Moreover, you cannot migrate the messages with the user mailboxes that are not in Office 365.

While using a cutover migration, the flexibility of moving selective objects and mailboxes from your Exchange server is reduced. You need to have extensive manual configurations on the individual desktops as required in this method. To top it, there is no synchronization of Azure Active Directory between the On-Premises server and Office 365.

About the hybrid migration procedure, there are a few complications created because of the simultaneous existence of mailboxes. You need to use Azure Active Directory and Office 365 password synchronization. In addition to that, it is relatively inflexible while moving a full-cloud deployment.

There You Have It!

We have briefly explained the Exchange to Office 365 Migration Types and what these methods require for the transfer process. Also, we have mentioned the respective limitations here.

If you want a more reliable solution for the migration process, you can take a look at the Exchange On-Premises to Office 365 Migration Tool which doesn’t pose any difficulty on the user. It is an easy-to-understand method that you can use for migrating data from Exchange servers in 2013 and 2016.

Here are some of the features of this software:

Try the Free Demo

Are you wondering how can you have a try of this tool? Worry not you can have a free trial version at no cost. Follow the URL and download the software on your computer and activate it. After activation, you can verify the working and performance without paying any cost.

Moreover, this utility also offers free two user account migration from Exchange to Office 365. Then for further migration, you can buy the software license at a reasonable cost. Although this tool is very simple to use and have a very simple GUI still you get 24/7 technical support for all your queries.


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