How to Migrate Exchange Server 2013 to Office 365 – Most Sophisticated Way
If your organization is using Exchange 2013 and decided to switch to Office 365 then this technical guide will give you multiple solutions to migrate Exchange 2013 to Office 365.
Exchange server 2013, launched in Jan 2013, has brought a new set of technologies, features, and services. However, on April 2023, Exchange 2013 will reach its end of support. That means no more security updates, bug fixes, or technical support will be provided from Microsoft’s end.
So, if you haven’t already thought of migrating from Exchange 2013 server to a more user-friendly platform like Office 365 then now is the time. And, if you are not sure of how to do it, then follow this technical guide till the end.
How Can You Migrate Exchange 2013 to Office 365?
Even though both the platforms are from the same developer(Microsoft), migrating from an on-premise mailing system to the cloud can be a difficult task. So, careful planning is required to achieve a successful migration.
The important step of the planning involves choosing the right method for the migration. There are five different methods available to carry out the migration.
- Cutover Migration
- Staged Migration
- Hybrid Migration
- IMAP Migration
- Professional Tool for Migration
Out of the above methods, the first four of them are in-house methods(offered by Microsft) and the last method is an automated solution that uses Migrator Wizard Exchange Migration.
Let’s discuss the methods in detail.
A cutover migration is a suitable option to migrate all mailboxes at once. This migration method supports Exchange 2003 and later versions.
Before You Begin:
You should know that it can migrate a maximum of 2000 mailboxes in one go. However, Microsoft recommends migrating 150 mailboxes at a time for a better experience.
There are certain things you need to know/consider while carrying out the migration process.
- Here, you will be able to move all on-premise mailboxes to Office 365.
- Make sure you have an on-premises admin account that has access to users’ mailboxes.
- Microsoft Office 365 needs to connect to your Exchange 2013 servers by using Outlook Anywhere over TCP port 443.
- You need to ensure that the Exchange 2013 accepted domains that you want to use in Microsoft 365 need to be added as verified domains.
- You’ll need a Microsoft 365 license for the migration that includes Exchange Online for each user mailbox you want to migrate.
You can refer to the Office 365 Cutover Migration method for the detailed migration process.
Staged migration can be used if you have more than 2000 mailboxes to migrate. And, this migration method supports the transfer of contents of user mailboxes from a source email system to Office 365 over time.
However, here we’ll not get into the details of the process cause this method supports Exchange server 2003 and Exchange server 2007. But if you want in detail then you can refer to the Office 365 Staged Migration step-by-step method for the detailed migration process.
If you want to maintain both on-premise and online mailboxes for your migration then you can opt for hybrid migration. Because it allows users to stay in the hybrid environment for months. This migration method supports Exchange server 2010 or later versions.
Hybrid migration lets you;
- Check Office 365 users’ free/busy calendar information for users in on-premise, and vice versa.
- View a collective global address list that contains recipients in both on-premises and Office 365.
- Look for full Outlook recipient properties for all users, whether they’re on-premises or in Microsoft 365, it doesn’t matter.
- Protect email communication shared between on-premises Exchange servers and Office 365 through TLS and certificates.
- Consider messages shared between on-premises Exchange servers and Office 365 as internal.
To know about the detailed migration process, you can check out Office 365 Hybrid Migration.
However, there are certain things you need to know about hybrid migration.
- This migration method is not suitable for all organizations. Cause the execution process of the migration is quite complex and organizations with less than a few hundred mailboxes don’t see any benefit in using this method.
- It’s required to set up directory synchronization using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Further, establish connections between on-premises Active Directory servers and Microsoft 365.
- You will need Office 365 licenses for each user’s mailbox that you want to migrate.
- Also, you need Azure AD Connect with password synchronization and/or Active Directory Federation Services. By this, users can sign in to their Office 365 mailbox with the same username and password that were used previously.
IMAP migration method is used for migrating particular mailbox emails from MS Exchange 2013 to Office 365. It will migrate the emails in users’ inbox folders & other mail folders only.
Further, you’ll have to create a mailbox for each user before migrating their emails, since it doesn’t create mailboxes in Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
Before you begin:
You should know that, with IMAP migration, you can migrate only 500,000 items from a user mailbox. Further, the maximum message size that you can migrate is 35 MB.
Let’s briefly discuss the IMAP migration process.
- Find the full name of your current email server cause Office 365 needs the name of the source email server to migrate mailboxes.
- Make a list of mailboxes that you want to migrate.
- Connect Microsoft 365 or Office 365 to your email system for migrating email successfully.
- Create a migration batch to migrate your mailboxes.
- Then, directly route your emails to Office 365.
However, IMAP migration and other manual migration methods have certain limitations that you can’t ignore.
Limitations Of Manual Methods in Migrating Exchange 2013 to Office 365
In the cutover migration method, there is a restriction on the number of mailboxes that you can migrate. That is if you have 2000 mailboxes to migrate then you can opt for this method.
Secondly, staged migration is not fit for all types of Exchange servers. And, so far the hybrid migration is concerned, it’s very complex & requires technical expertise in executing the process.
Last but not least, using IMAP migration, you can not migrate other mailbox items such as contacts, calendars, etc.
And, that’s when the automated method comes in handy to avoid such limitations. Let’s have a look at the same in detail.
Automatically Migrate Exchange Server 2013 to Office 365 Using Professional Tool
As the heading suggests, the above-mentioned tool automates the whole process. Plus, the user-friendly interface makes the whole process easier for both technical and non-technical users.
More importantly, this method doesn’t involve any complex steps or technicalities. Hence, there’s no fear of accidental data loss.
Must Read: Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration Simplified with Comprehensive Solution
Furthermore, the software steps are really easy to follow.
Step 1. Download, Install the software on your computer, and launch it.
Step 2. Then, navigate to the ‘Setup’ section and select the Source and the Destination as Exchange and Office 365 respectively.
Step 3. Next, under the ‘Workload Selection’, tick the categories such as Email, Contact, and Calendar checkboxes for the migration.
Step 4. Next, you can click on the Date Filter checkbox to apply advanced settings. Here, you can choose the From & To dates, and perform selective data migration. Then, click the ‘Next’ button.
Step 5. After that, go to the ‘Source’ tab, and fill in the necessary details such as Exchange Server Version(2013), Admin email, Admin Password, Active Directory IP, and Exchange Server IP.
Step 6. Then, click on ‘validate’ and verify the necessary source permission.
Step 7. Once you see all the permissions turn green, press the ‘Next’ button.
Step 8. Then, go to the ‘Destination’ Tab and provide the Office 365 Admin email and Application ID. Next, click on the ‘Validate’ button to verify the necessary permissions. Once everything is done, click on ‘Next’
Step 9. After that, you need to specify the source users from the Users tab. For that, you can choose any one option from Fetch Users, Import Users, or Download Template.
Step 10. Next, click on the ‘validate’ button again & verify the required permissions for the Source and Destination.
Step 11. At last, click on Start Migration for migrating the data from Exchange 2013 to Office 365.
State-of-the-art Features of The Tool That Helps in Exchange 2013 to Office 365 Migration
- It supports the latest Exchange servers for migrating data to Office 365.
- No limitations on the account size and further, you can migrate multiple mailboxes at once.
- The tool offers multiple options to fetch source users.
- As per your requirement, you can pause and resume the migration process.
- For whatever reason, if you notice any file is skipped during the initial run then the tool offers a re-run migration option.
- Also, it gives the facility to users to perform account-based priority migration.
Also Read: How to Migrate Teams From One Tenant to Another? Complete Tutorial
The fixed life cycle of the Exchange server makes it difficult to keep up with the latest security updates and other features. And, if your organization is using Exchange server 2013 then soon Microsoft will end its support. That’s why it’s suggested to migrate Exchange server 2013 to Office 365, a reliable platform. For migrating Exchange Mailbox to Office 365, this article explained various methods(both manual & automated). Since manual methods have limitations it’s advised to opt for the automated method to experience a seamless migration.