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Migrate Exchange 2019 to Office 365 Using 5 Different Techniques 

Deepa Pandey | Modified: 2022-06-21T13:27:42+00:00 | Exchange Server | 6 Minutes Reading

Undoubtedly, the launch of Exchange 2019 has brought a new set of technology, features, and services. But, still, it works on a fixed life cycle policy. In fact, Microsoft will end mainstream support for Exchange 2019 by the year 2024.

Organizations are now realizing the practicality of hosted Exchange servers and deciding to switch partially or fully to a reliable platform like Office 365. The adoption rate of Office 365 users has only increased with time. If you go by the numbers then according to Microsoft’s annual report 2021, Microsoft 365 or Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 51.9 million.

Let’s discuss why users are preferring Office 365 over the On-premise Exchange server & This how-to guide explains various ways to migrate Exchange 2019 to Office 365. 

Service Benefits of Microsoft 365 That Entice Users to Migrate Exchange 2019 to Office 365

From a technical and economical point of view, Office 365 is proved to be better than the Exchange server.

By using Office 365 cloud-based interface, you don’t have to worry about maintenance costs.

Secondly, in the case of an On-premise Exchange server, the real challenge is the 100% availability of the service. Whereas Microsoft ensures 99.99% uptime for Office 365 suite. It clearly means that your data is available to you almost 24X7.

On the other hand, unlike the Exchange server, Office 365 automatically takes care of the security updates. And, IT admins of the organizations can focus on other important tasks.

Also, Microsoft 365 comes with a flexible subscription plan for its users, so you can choose a plan as per your requirement.

Overall, Office 365 increases the productivity of an organization due to its numerous advantages. 

So, to execute a successful migration from On-premise to Cloud you have to choose a convenient method.

How to Decide Which Method to Use?

Before starting the migration process, it’s advised to review the various methods, benefits, & limitations, and ensure if it fulfills your expectation or not.

As an administrator, you can migrate mailbox items such as emails, contacts, calendars, etc from the Exchange server. So, walk through the following Sections and see which method meets all your needs and select according to that.

Method-1: Migrate On-premise Mailbox Data to Office 365 Using Cutover Migration

Cutover migration;

  • If your current On-premise Exchange organization is Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 or later.
  • If your On-premise Exchange organization has less than 2000 mailboxes.

[Note: Though Cutover migration supports migration of 2000 mailboxes, it’s recommended to migrate 150 users or less.]

Migration Steps:

  1. Prepare for a Cutover Migration: Before starting the process, you need to make a few changes to your Exchange Server environment.
  • Configure Outlook Anywhere on your On-premise Exchange server.
  • Must use a certificate issued by a trusted certification authority(CA) with your Outlook Anywhere configuration.
  • The migration administrator must have the necessary permissions to access the On-premise mailboxes for the migration. (Migration administrator must be assigned the FullAccess permission for each on-premises mailbox or Receive As permission on mailbox database)
  • Ensure that the mailboxes that you want to migrate are not hidden from the address lists.
  • Disable Unified Messaging(UM).
  • Create security groups and remove delegates.
  1. Ensure You Own the Domain: To create an email address for a new Office 365 mailbox, the SMTP address of each on-premises mailbox is used during the migration. So, the on-premises domain must be a verified domain to carry out Cutover migration.
  2. Connect Office 365 to Your Email Systems: Create an Outlook Anywhere migration endpoint. It contains the settings and credentials required to connect the on-premise server with Microsoft 365.
  3. Create the Cutover Migration Batch: When on-premises mailboxes are migrated to Office 365 using Cutover migration, it’s done in a single batch. So, you need to create the batch.
  4. Begin Cutover Migration Batch: Using EAC start the migration manually.

Must Read: Microsoft Office 365 eDiscovery Export Tool – Know How it Works

Method-2: Migrate Exchange 2019 to Office 365 Using Staged Migration

If you have more than 2000 mailboxes and want to plan your migration in small batches then you can use Staged migration. To talk about the pre-requites, your source email system must be a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or 2007.

Since this how-to guide is dedicated to migrating Exchange 2019 to Office 365, we’ll not elaborate on this migration steps.

Method-3: Migrate Emails to Office 365 Through IMAP Migration

Before attempting this method, you must ensure that the source email system supports IMAP. Also, disable all MRM and archival policies.

Know More About IMAP Migration

  1. This migration method is limited to moving only the user’s mailbox or other mail folders. That means it’s incapable of migrating contacts, calendars, or tasks.
  2. It allows you to migrate a maximum of 500,000 items from a user’s mailbox.
  3. The biggest email you can migrate using IMAP migration is 35 MB.
  4. You need access to the user mailbox in your source email system in order to migrate emails.

After considering the facts about IMAP migration, you can tell that this manual approach is unfit for migrating entire mailbox items to Office 365.

Also Read: Save Emails from Outlook 365 to Hard Drive Using Multiple Methods

Method-4: Use Hybrid Migration to Migrate Exchange 2019 Mailboxes to Office 365

You can use Hybrid Configuration Wizard to set up a hybrid migration. But, before configuring a hybrid deployment, you should know that it does not supports all the Microsoft 365 plans that support Azure Active Directory synchronization.

Method-5: Utilize Professional Tool to Migrate Exchange 2019 to Office 365

Another most preferred method to move Exchange 2019 data to Office 365 is using tried and tested software like SysTools Exchange to Office 365 Migration Tool.

The migration process will be fully automated and even a naïve user can work with the tool easily. 

Software Steps:

  1. Download the software from the official website. Follow the instructions and launch it on your computer.
  2. Choose the Source as Exchange and Destination as Office 365. Also, click on the categories(such as Emails, Contacts, Calendars) checkbox.

  3. On the Source tab, choose the Exchange server version as Exchange 2019 and fill in other necessary fields.

  4. On the Destination tab, provide the Office 365 admin email and application ID and validate the permission.

  5. Fetch source users, amp them with the destination, and finally, click on the Start Migration button.

To Conclude

On-premise Exchange servers have a fixed lifecycle policy and no one can ignore this fact. Hence, the wise choice would be to migrate Exchange server data to a well-known cloud platform Office 365. And, if you are currently using Exchange 2019 server then refer to this how-to guide and carry out the migration using a convenient method.

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