With the increasing use of cloud computing, more and more companies are switching to Office 365 to ensure cloud-based communication, collaboration, and productivity.
However, system migration can cause headaches and frustration when trying to navigate new and old platforms. Your employees may not feel up-to-date if they are suddenly asked to change the email system, and you must ensure that your information is secure during the move. Migrations can also take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
There are several options to consider when migrating to Office 365. This article breaks down the different types of Office 365 migration so you can decide which method is best for your business.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Office 365 Migration Type
If you need to choose between Office 365 migration types, you should ask yourself some questions, like: B.:
- How long do you need for the migration?
- How big is your migration budget?
- How much data do you need for the migration?
- What existing email system do you use?
- What version of Exchange Server are you using?
After answering these questions, you can determine the best type of migration for your business.
4 types of Office 365 migration
You can consider four types of Office 365 migration.
- Gradual migration
In an Office 365 staged migration, everything moves in batches. You move all of your existing Exchange 2003 or 2007 resource mailboxes and users to Exchange Online.
This is a great method for midsize businesses (especially those with more than 2,000 mailboxes) currently using Microsoft Exchange 2003 or 2007 locally. Unfortunately, it is not available to companies using Exchange 2010 or 2013.
With gradual migration, mailboxes move in batches over a certain period of time. Requires the use of the Directory Synchronization Tool, which is used to replicate your accounts from the local Active Directory database. At the end of the process, all mailboxes are hosted in Office 365.
During migration, Office 365 users can still send and receive emails from users who have not yet migrated. The only resources that users cannot access are calendars and delegates.
- Cut migration
A transition migration is an immediate transition from an on-premises Exchange system to Office 365. All of your resources, including mailboxes, contacts, and distribution groups, are migrated at the same time. With this migration, you cannot select specific objects to migrate. Once the move is complete, everyone has an Office 365 account.
This Office 365 migration method works best if you currently use Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, or 2013 and have less than 2,000 mailboxes. In fact, Microsoft recommends transition migration for companies with fewer than 150 users in terms of the time it takes to migrate so many accounts.
Please note the following: Each user's Outlook profile must be reconfigured to connect to Office 365.
- Hybrid migration
With Office 365 hybrid migration, you can integrate Office 365 with your on-premises Exchange servers and your existing directory services. As a result, you can sync and manage user accounts for both environments.
Hybrid migration allows you to move mailboxes in Exchange Online and delete them from Exchange Online. You can even choose which mailboxes to keep locally and which ones to migrate to Office 365. You can also sync passwords and add a single sign-on to your computer to facilitate sign-in in both environments.
If you want to use hybrid migration, you need more than 2,000 mailboxes. Exchange 2010 or higher is also required. If it does not, you must install at least one local Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) server to enable hybrid deployment connectivity.
- IMAP migration
While the other three types of Office 365 migration rely solely on Exchange, an Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) migration allows you to switch users from Gmail or any other email system that supports IMAP migration.
With an IMAP migration, the information is retrieved from its source mailboxes and transferred to Office 365. However, with the IMAP migration, nothing other than email is transferred. Calendar items, tasks, and contacts remain in the original inbox and must be migrated manually by the user.
You must also create a mailbox for each user before beginning the email migration. These other types of migration are automatically created for you.
IMAP migrations are limited to a total of 50,000 mailboxes and 5,000,000 items. Once migration is complete, new emails sent to the original mailbox will not be migrated.