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For those companies that are using legacy Exchange and looking to get people migrated to Office 365, a cut over migration might be what’s needed. The best part of the cutover migration is that it takes advantage of your existing setup. There is no need for a hybrid server. As the name implies, it’s a cutover from one service to another. Microsoft limits this to fewer than 1000 mailboxes, but I’d say that if you are looking to move more than a couple hundred mailboxes, you should look at other methods.
A cut over migration is not suitable for companies looking to implement single sign-on. During a cutover migration, the accounts are provisioned as cloud accounts and this will really wreak havoc on any implementation of single sign-on (for this reason, as soon as you setup single sign-on, cutover migrations are disabled on the portal site).
The process is really straightforward and works really well. With any successful migration, we need to plan and test before we implement. The following post will cover a cutover migration from a legacy Exchange 2003 system.
Step 1: Planning
Before we can attempt the migration, we need to know what we are going. Microsoft has done a great job of providing good quality information for administrators to use, to plan the migration to Office 365. I always use the Exchange Deployment Assistant as a guide for all my migrations. This site is up to date and will cover most of all the migrations scenarios to Office 365
Step 2: Testing the Existing Setup
Using our guide from the Exchange Deployment Assistant, we need to make sure that our Exchange 2003 infrastructure supports RPC over HTTP and Outlook Anywhere. Use the guide to verify the Exchange 2003 setup. Once the setup is verified to be correct, use the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer to verify RPC over HTTP and Outlook Anywhere.
Step 3: Configure Cutover Migration
This is where we wait for the migration to happen. Depending on the number of accounts and the amount of data, this can take some time. You can view the migration details, by clicking View Details under the Mailbox Status.
You will see the accounts provisioning on the Office 365 account and then start to sync from Exchange 2003 to Office 365.
Step 4: Complete The Migration
When all the accounts are provisioned and the sync from Exchange 2003 to Office 365 is completed, you will get a report emailed to you. Once you get the report, you can complete the migration process.
At this point the migration is complete and you can retire your Exchange 2003 services. Stay tuned for further Office 365 Step-By-Step posts in the near future.
This step by step guide is really useful. I like it.