Migrating to hosted Exchange: Do’s and don’ts

    Make no mistake: transferring from an on-premises Microsoft Exchange deployment to Exchange within the cloud is a gargantuan endeavor. Earlier this 12 months, I explored the foremost points you’ll want to contemplate and choices you’ll have to make when transferring to hosted Exchange.But for most folk, additional steering is important. What are a number of the gotchas to be careful for? What are some finest practices to issue into your planning? Here, I’ll check out a number of vital do’s and don’ts in the case of getting your group into Exchange Online.Note: This story focuses on migrating from Exchange Server on-premises to some model of Microsoft’s hosted Exchange service (underneath an Exchange Online, Office 365, or Microsoft 365 subscription), or to a hybrid configuration with the “365” apps within the cloud and Exchange remaining in some vogue on-premises in manufacturing. It is just not supposed to use to migrations to different suppliers’ companies.Don’t underestimate the time it should take to maneuver your entire knowledge over.Depending on a variety of elements, together with what number of customers you’ve, how a lot knowledge every mailbox has saved, bandwidth constraints, and extra, migrating e-mail to the cloud can take wherever from a number of days to a number of weeks. One sudden slowdown could come from Microsoft itself: a non-obvious protecting characteristic of Exchange Online is that it throttles inbound sustained connections with the intention to forestall a small variety of unhealthy actors from overwhelming the system.Once you’re up and working and totally within the cloud for manufacturing, you’ll come to understand this protection, which works for the advantage of the overall subscription base. But when you’re attempting to ingest knowledge you will note switch charges generally sluggish to a crawl. There’s sadly little you are able to do about this aside from merely endure. Be positive to incorporate this in your planning, as transferring tons of or hundreds of multi-gigabyte mailboxes into Exchange Online could take lots longer than you may count on.Do use a delta-pass migration.Reduce the time stress on your self, in case you can, by utilizing a delta-pass migration slightly than a strict cutover migration. With delta-pass migration, a number of migration makes an attempt are made whereas mail remains to be being delivered on-premises. The first move may transfer all the things from Sunday, May 1 backward, for instance, after which one other move is made later within the week to maneuver the “delta” — or modifications — from Sunday, May 1 via Wednesday, May 4, after which one other and one other till primarily the mailboxes are updated.This is a helpful approach, as every successive migration batch is smaller than the final. Typically over a weekend, your final delta batch will end in a couple of minutes, after which your strikes are full and you’ll throw your MX data over to Exchange Online. Your customers by no means expertise lacking historic mailbox knowledge, as a result of till the mailboxes are an identical, they use the mailbox that already holds their knowledge.Don’t overlook to configure edge units and intrusion detection programs to acknowledge Exchange Online as a trusted accomplice.If you overlook this all-important step, your migrations could also be interrupted as a result of your IDS thinks {that a} denial-of-service assault is going on. Conveniently, Microsoft makes obtainable a recurrently up to date checklist of IP addresses utilized by all 365 companies to make use of particularly when configuring your edge units to belief visitors the place needed.Do run the Office community well being and connectivity assessments forward of time.Microsoft has developed a complete software that may warn you to routing or latency points between you and the Microsoft 365 knowledge facilities. The software runs a set of assessments of pace, routing, latency, jitter, and extra in your community connection to establish and isolate frequent points that might result in a degraded expertise — particularly with voice purposes — for Microsoft 365 customers.Any efficiency points the software finds will virtually actually have a adverse affect on the pace of your migration makes an attempt and passes. Solving or mitigating any points you discover will pace up your entire mission.In a hybrid surroundings, do use the EAC in Exchange Online to provoke mailbox strikes.If you select a hybrid mannequin to your deployment, then you’ll by definition have some mailboxes on-premises (a minimum of for a time) and a few within the cloud. In this situation, it may be tempting to belief your outdated go-to Exchange Management Console to do your entire mailbox transfer work, shifting mailboxes back and forth. Don’t give in to that temptation; it’s finest to tug mailboxes into the cloud from the web-based EAC within the Microsoft 365 administration middle, slightly than utilizing outdated on-premises instruments.Don’t overlook about Outlook consumer model updates.Updating an workplace suite throughout a big enterprise isn’t any simple activity and takes some time, which implies there’s usually a prevalence of older copies of Outlook amongst your customers. When you management your Exchange deployment, that’s fantastic, since you management the timing of your strikes.But one of many “side gotchas” that comes with utilizing the cloud is that another person will get to resolve the baseline degree of software program that may work with its companies. Microsoft is de facto pushing everybody towards the subscription-based Office suite (Microsoft 365 or Office 365) and away from the outdated per-user perpetual quantity licenses with the 12 months hooked up (Office 2013, 2016, or 2019, for instance).In truth, as of October 2020, the corporate declared that Outlook 2013 and older variations are now not supported for connecting to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 companies. While it received’t actively block these older shoppers, they “may encounter performance or reliability issues over time.” And there’s no telling when Microsoft will pull the plug totally.So don’t overlook about growing a plan to replace your shoppers to Office 2016 or past, or transfer to a subscription license and deploy these apps as a substitute of the quantity license editions.Do plan to implement two-factor authentication.One of the largest benefits to transferring to Exchange Online and Microsoft 365 is the power to make use of the entire new security measures obtainable within the cloud, a very powerful of which by far is the power to activate two-factor authentication. 2FA reduces your assault floor considerably as quickly as you flip it on, and since Microsoft has finished the entire rewiring of the listing and Exchange safety mannequin on its servers to make it work, all you need to do is flip the change and present your customers the place to plug of their cell phone numbers.Better but, use the Microsoft Authenticator app to scale back the safety and social engineering dangers of utilizing SMS textual content messages. But don’t let the proper be the enemy of the great. Deploying Authenticator throughout tens of hundreds of telephones might be tough, particularly with BYOD setups and remote-work environments the place staff don’t have entry to an in-person assist desk. In distinction, establishing SMS requires nothing from the top person and might be finished totally by IT. So if the selection is between two-factor authentication with SMS and no two-factor authentication, then by all means activate 2FA and use SMS.In a hybrid surroundings, don’t take away your final Exchange Server.One cardinal rule of working a hybrid Exchange surroundings is that you could maintain a minimum of one Exchange Server working on premises with the intention to handle customers. There exists a solution to proceed to make use of the Active Directory attribute modifying performance to handle recipients, but it surely’s not likely supported — and if it breaks, you’ll should file a ticket with Microsoft, wait three days, and possibly, simply possibly, it’ll come again.It is way simpler to make use of the Exchange admin console of your on-premises server to handle recipients in a hybrid surroundings, and you’ll’t do this except you permit an Exchange Server working in your on-premises deployment. Microsoft has repeatedly mentioned it’s engaged on an answer to this problem of getting to have an current licensed server on-prem with hybrid deployments, however even after a number of years there’s been little progress towards fixing that drawback.The final wordA transition time is all the time difficult, and that is actually true when migrating your group to Exchange Online. By factoring within the recommendation and warnings above, you’ll make that path smoother and attain the end line extra rapidly.

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