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Differences between Cutover, Staged Migration on Office 365

Staged Exchange migration


Exchange Online
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Applies to: Exchange Online
Topic Last Modified: 2015-02-04
You can use the Migration dashboard in the Exchange Administration Center
(EAC) or the Exchange Management Shell to migrate subsets of on-premises
Exchange mailboxes and mailbox data to Exchange Online. This type of
migration is called a staged Exchange migration because you migrate mailboxes
in batches. You use a staged migration if you plan to eventually migrate all your
organization's mailboxes to Exchange Online. Using a staged migration, youd
migrate batches of on-premises mailboxes to Exchange Online over the course of
a few weeks or months. Your goal would be to permanently move your email
organization to Office 365.
Here are a few restrictions and requirements for using a staged migration:
You cant use a staged migration to migrate Exchange 2010 or Exchange
2013 mailboxes to Exchange Online. If you have fewer than 2,000
Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013 mailboxes in your organization, you can
use a cutover Exchange migration. To migrate more than 2,000 Exchange
2010 or Exchange 2013 mailboxes, you have to implement an Exchange
hybrid deployment. For more information, see:
o Cutover Exchange migration
o Exchange Server 2013 Hybrid Deployments
You have to replicate user accounts from your on-premises Active
Directory to your Office 365 organization. To do this, you have to install
and configure the Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronization tool
before you can run a staged migration. After mailboxes are migrated to
Exchange Online, user accounts are still managed in your on-premises
organization and the Directory Synchronization tool synchronizes your onpremises Active Directory with your Office 365 organization. For more
information, see Active Directory synchronization: Roadmap.
Your on-premises Exchange organization must be an accepted domain of
your Office 365 organization.
You can migrate user mailboxes and resource mailboxes only. Other
recipient types, such as distribution groups, contacts, and mail-enabled
users are migrated to Office 365 through the process of directory
synchronization.
Out of Office messages aren't migrated with user mailboxes. If a user turns
on the Out of Office feature before the migration, the feature will remain
enabled on the migrated mailbox but the Out of Office message will be
blank. People who send messages to the mailbox won't receive an Out of
Office notification. To allow Out of Office notifications to be sent, the user
will need to recreate their Out of Office message after their mailbox has
been migrated.
To learn about and compare other options for migrating mailboxes to Exchange
Online, see Mailbox Migration to Exchange Online. Or, use the Cloud Only option

in the Exchange 2013 Deployment Assistant to help select the right migration
option.
For additional options for migrating email to Office 365, see Migrate email to
Office 365.
How the staged migration process works
Here's a description of a staged migration. It includes steps performed by an
administrator and the migration process performed by Exchange Online. For
preparation tasks and step-by-step instructions, see Migrate mailboxes to
Exchange Online with a staged migration.
1. The administrator creates a CSV file that contains a row for each user
whose on-premises mailbox will be migrated in the migration batch.
2. The administrator creates and starts a staged migration batch using the
Migration dashboard in the EAC or using the Shell.
3. After the administrator starts the migration batch, Exchange Online does
the following:
o Verifies that directory synchronization is enabled.
o Checks that a mail-enabled user exists in the Office 365
organization for each user listed in the CSV file. Mail-enabled users
are created in Office 365 as a result of the directory synchronization
process.
o Converts the Office 365 mail-enabled user to an Exchange Online
mailbox for each user in the migration batch.
This part of the process is called initial synchronization. Exchange
Online processes up to N migration requests at one time, where N is
the maximum number of concurrent migrations that the
administrator specified when creating the migration endpoint used
for the migration batch. By default, initial synchronization is
performed on 20 mailboxes at a time until all mailboxes in the
migration batch have been migrated.
o Configures
mail
forwarding
by
configuring
the TargetAddress property on the on-premises mailbox with the
email address of the Exchange Online mailbox. This means that mail
sent to the on-premises mailbox is forwarded to the corresponding
Exchange Online mailbox.
Note:

In Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013, the TargetAddress property can't be


migrating Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013 mailboxes to Exchange Online.
4. After it creates the Exchange Online mailbox and configures mail
forwarding for each user in the CSV file, Exchange Online sends a status
email message to the administrator. This message lists the number of
mailboxes that were successfully migrated and how many couldnt be
migrated. The message also includes links to migration statistics and error
reports that contain more detailed information. At this point, users can
start using their Exchange Online mailboxes.

5. As part of initial synchronization, Exchange Online then migrates email


messages, contacts, and calendar items from the on-premises mailboxes
to Exchange Online mailboxes. Exchange Online sends a final migration
report when the data migration is complete.
6. After a migration batch is complete and the administrator verifies that all
mailboxes in the batch are successfully migrated, the administrator can
convert the on-premises mailboxes in the migration batch to mail-enabled
users.
If a user opens their mailbox with Microsoft Outlook, the Autodiscover
service tries to connect to the on-premises mailbox. After you convert onpremises mailboxes to mail-enabled users, the Autodiscover service uses
the mail-enabled user to connect Outlook to the Exchange Online mailbox
after the user creates a new Outlook profile.
7. The administrator creates and starts additional migration batches,
submitting a CSV file for each one.
8. After the administrator resolves any migration issues, all on-premises
mailboxes in a batch have been successfully migrated, and users are using
their Exchange Online mailboxes, the administrator deletes the migration
batch.
9. The administrator performs post-configuration tasks to complete the
transition to Exchange Online and Office 365, such as:
o Assign licenses to Office 365 users.
o Configure the MX record to point to your Office 365 organization so
that email is delivered directly to Exchange Online mailboxes.
o Create an Autodiscover DNS record for your Office 365 organization.
o Decommission on-premises Exchange servers (optional).

Cutover Exchange migration


Exchange Online
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Applies to: Exchange Online
Topic Last Modified: 2015-02-04
You can use the Migration dashboard in the Exchange Administration Center
(EAC) or the Exchange Management Shell (Shell) to provision new Exchange
Online mailboxes and then migrate mailbox data to Exchange Online from your
on-premises Exchange server. This type of migration is called a cutover
Exchange migration because all on-premises mailboxes are migrated to
Exchange Online in a single migration batch. Using a cutover migration, you
migrate all on-premises mailboxes to Exchange Online over a few days. You
would use this migration type if you plan to move your entire email organization
to Office 365 and manage user accounts in Office 365. You can migrate a
maximum of 2,000 mailboxes from your on-premises Exchange organization to
Exchange Online using a cutover migration. This migration method only moves
mailboxes, mail users, mail contacts, and mail-enabled groups.
To learn about and compare other options to migrate mailboxes to Exchange
Online, see Mailbox Migration to Exchange Online. Or use the Cloud Only option

in the Exchange 2013 Deployment Assistant to help you select the right
migration option.
For additional options for migrating email to Office 365, see Migrate email to
Office 365.
How the cutover migration process works
Here's an overview description of the cutover migration process. It includes the
general steps performed by an administrator and the migration process
performed by Exchange Online. For preparation tasks and step-by-step migration
instructions, see Migrate all mailboxes to Exchange Online with a cutover
migration.
Note:

Before you can successfully migrate mailboxes using a cutover migration, your on-premi
accepted domain of your Office 365 organization.
1. The administrator creates and starts a cutover migration batch using the
Migration dashboard in the EAC or using the Shell.
2. After the administrator starts the migration batch, Exchange Online does
the following:
o It uses the address book on your on-premises Exchange server to
identify the mailboxes, distribution groups, and contacts that will be
migrated to your Office 365 organization.
Important:

The WindowsEmailAddress attribute is used as the primary key for


the WindowsEmailAddress attribute on the on-premises side during a cu
the WindowsEmailAddress attribute
needs
to
be
changed,
we
re
targetMigrationUser attribute, remove the target mailbox, group and contact, and
o

It provisions new Exchange Online mailboxes. This part of the


process is called the initial synchronization. Exchange Online
processes up to N migration requests at one time, where N is the
maximum number of concurrent migrations that the administrator
specified when creating the migration endpoint used for the
migration. By default, you can migrate up to 20 mailboxes at the
same time until all the mailboxes in the on-premises organization
have been migrated.
It creates distribution groups and contacts. The group membership
from the on-premises groups is re-created for the corresponding
cloud-based groups. All groups will be provisioned as regular (nonsecurity) distribution groups. If an on-premises mailbox fails to be
migrated, that user can't be added to a cloud-based distribution

group. When that mailbox is successfully migrated, the user will be


added to the group.
o As part of initial synchronization, Exchange Online migrates mailbox
data, which includes email messages, contacts, and calendar items,
from each on-premises mailbox to the corresponding Exchange
Online mailbox.
3. When the initial synchronization has finished for a migration batch,
Exchange Online sends a status email message to the administrator. This
message lists the number of mailboxes that were successfully migrated
and how many couldnt be migrated. The message also includes links to
migration statistics and error reports that contain more detailed
information. The migration statistics report also contains an
autogenerated, eight-character alphanumeric password for each mailbox
that was migrated. Users are required to reset this password the first time
they sign in to their Exchange Online mailbox.
4. After the initial synchronization process is complete, the mailboxes in the
on-premises Exchange organization and the corresponding Exchange
Online
mailboxes
are
synchronized
every
24 hours.
This
is
called incremental synchronization. This means that any new messages
sent to the mailboxes on the on-premises Exchange server are copied to
the corresponding Exchange Online mailboxes. By default, incremental
synchronization is performed on 10 mailboxes at a time until all mailboxes
are synchronized. Incremental synchronization continues until the
administrator stops or deletes the migration batch.
Note:

During incremental synchronization, deletions made in an on-premises mailbox are syn


Online mailbox. This means that if a user deletes an item from an on-premises m
Exchange Online, that item will be deleted from the Exchange Online mailbox.
5. After the administrator resolves any migration issues and all on-premises
mailboxes have been successfully migrated, and users are using their
Exchange Online mailboxes (and are no longer using their on-premises
mailboxes), the administrator updates the organization's MX record to
point to their Office 365 email organization. This causes email messages
to be delivered directly to users' Exchange Online mailboxes.
6. After the change to the MX record has been propagated and mail is flowing
directly to Exchange Online mailboxes, the administrator deletes the
cutover migration batch. After the migration batch is deleted, mailboxes
on the on-premises Exchange organization are no longer synchronized
with Exchange Online mailboxes.
7. The administrator performs post-configuration tasks to complete the
transition to Exchange Online and Office 365, such as:
o Assign licenses to Office 365 users.
o Create an Autodiscover DNS record for your Office 365 organization.
o Decommission on-premises Exchange servers (optional).