The advent of cloud technology has ushered in an era where businesses can secure their legacy data on cloud platforms like Office 365 and access it conveniently from anywhere. Many businesses are already using the Microsoft Exchange Archive for storing their legacy data to meet compliance requirements.
However, they are stored on servers that are on their premises. The Exchange Server provides robust archiving solutions but like other-on premises solutions, it has its limitations. We will delve into the details and see how we can migrate Exchange archive to Office 365 in the sections that follow.
The Shortcomings of On-Premises Exchange Server Archive
On-premises Exchange Server lacks many of the capabilities of an Office 365 subscription service. It is much more cumbersome to operate from a business perspective.
Unlike an Office 365 subscription in which users can simply log in, and start using their accounts, the on-premises Exchange Server needs to be configured as per the requirements of the organization. This can involve exorbitant one-time costs and recurring maintenance charges.
There is only so much that businesses can archive on their on-premises server. Emails invariably grow in number and file size. Over time, it could become difficult to scale the on-premises archive servers to accommodate the increasing volumes of emails.
Apart from the costs involved in procuring the hardware resources and creating special spaces for the servers within the premises, on-premises Exchange Server also needs an IT team for managing the server, monitoring the backups, and troubleshooting issues.
Many of these issues can be solved when businesses migrate archive mailboxes to Office 365.
Prerequisites for Exchange Archive Migration to Office 365
Office 365 uses Exchange Online services for archiving. While the migration from Exchange Server to Exchange Online is simpler than comparable systems, it does have some prerequisites.
- The migration process requires a hybrid configuration for on-premises Exchange Server and Exchange Online.
- There must be required permissions like Organization Management and Recipient Management authorization.
- Mailbox Replication Proxy Service (MRSProxy) enabled on the Client Access Server depending on the Exchange Server version.
- Sufficient time for the migration.
Steps for Office 365 migration from Exchange archive mailbox
Once you have confirmed that you have met the pre-requisites for the Exchange Archive migration, prepare the server and proceed with the following steps. The migration process can be broadly summarized in three phases.
Migration endpoint creation
As with every migration process, the migration from Exchange Server to Office 365 also begins with the creation of migration endpoints that specifies the settings such as the credentials of the on-premises server. This is necessary to create the remote migration batches of the archive items that move from the legacy server to Office 365 servers. This can be done on the Exchange admin center where you need to provide the on-premises account credentials and its fully qualified domain name (FQDN). You will also have to specify the number of concurrent migrations the batches will allow while creating and naming the migration endpoint.
Update the settings
Depending upon the server version, admins might have to update the settings of the migration endpoints to move the archive mails to Office 365. One such setting is the MRSProxy service that has to be enabled in the EWS virtual directory. Similarly, the RPC server FQDN also has to be updated for Outlook Anywhere.
Trigger the migration batches
Identify the users for whom the migration has to be performed. Use the Remote move migration type for the process. Use the migration endpoint created earlier after entering the credentials for the server. Once you have established the connection from the Exchange Admin Center, create batches for migration. The most important aspect of this step is to ensure that you have selected ‘Move primary mailbox along with archive mailbox’ while creating the batches to ensure that the archive mailboxes are migrating from Exchange Server to Office 365.
How to migrate Exchange archive to Office 365?
We have seen the easiest way to migrate Exchange Archive to Office 365. While this method is reliable for most Exchange Archive migration processes, it necessitates the movement of primary mailboxes along with the archive mailboxes. This might not be possible in all cases and businesses might want to exclusively move their archive mailboxes to Office 365. While there are a few tools available in the market that can do that, such migrations can be challenging and require detailed planning. As a Microsoft gold partner, Apps4Rent can assist your business with end-to-end archive mailbox migration to Office 365. Our experts are available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email. Contact us today.