How to Perform Staged Exchange Migration to Office 365: A Complete Walkthrough

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Written By Harsh Sharma

At present, most of the users are opting for cloud-based services instead of Exchange Server because of many reasons behind it. They are seeking a solution on the Internet for the staged Exchange migration to Office 365, but they can’t find the perfect instructions for that. 

Therefore, this detailed guide outlines the guidelines of both manual and automated approaches for a smooth transition. Plus, this covers how to set up the On-Premise Exchange in a hybrid configuration. Apart from this, there are more traditional techniques for this transition including Cutover, hybrid, and IMAP, but among them, the staged migration is best. 

However, the staged migration technique is only compatible with Exchange Server 2003 or 2007. By using this you can move only 2000 mailboxes at once. 

Let’s a quick look at the prerequisites to ensure the perfect transition, and remember to don’t skip this section because it is a very important part. 

Pre-Migration Checklist to Transfer Exchange Server to Office 365

Before starting with the staged Exchange migration to Office 365, we need to know the pre-migration checklist plan to ensure a hassle-free transition. Plus, this is mandatory to follow the points which are:

  1. Configure Outlook Anywhere on on-premises Exchange.
  2. Verify connectivity to the Exchange organization.
  3. Set permissions and disable Unified Messaging pre-migration.
  4. Confirm on-premises domain matches Office 365.
  5. Use Azure AD Sync for user synchronization.
  6. Identify and create CSV files for migration users.
  7. Generate Outlook Anywhere migration endpoint.
  8. Create Staged Migration batches for each CSV.
  9. Monitor batches via Migration Dashboard and logs.
  10. Update MX records for Office 365 email delivery.
  11. Confirm emails are routed to Office 365 mailboxes.
  12. Delete Staged Migration batches once verified.
  13. Activate Office 365 user accounts with license assignment, create Autodiscover DNS records, and decommission the on-premises Exchange server.

After learning the prerequisites for the migration procedure, in the next section, we will learn the instructions to proceed.

Steps of Staged Exchange Migration to Office 365

Here are the step-by-step instructions to perform the transferring procedure, and remember to follow it wisely as one mistake can vanish everything. 

  • Access Exchange Admin Center.
  • Navigate to Recipients and select Migration.
  • Click New+ and choose Migrate to Exchange Online.
  • Select Staged Migration in the migration type screen.
  • Follow the prompts, choose the CSV file, and validate using Office 365 Verification.
  • Authenticate migration endpoint on Confirm the Migration Endpoint screen.
  • Input batch name on Move Configuration, then proceed.
  • Choose Auto or Manual Start on the Start the Batch screen.
  • Click New to create the migration batch.
  • Return to Exchange Admin Center, select Recipients, then Migration.
  • In the Migration dashboard, choose batch and click Start.
  • Successful start shows the Syncing status on the dashboard.

Hence, with the help of these guidelines, you can easily execute the staged Exchange migration to Office 365. Still, if you noticed that this seems a lengthy approach and also error-prone. Plus, we know that no user would like to do this migration process with hurdles. Therefore, in the next section, we will learn an automated technique for the same.

Expert Way to Perform the Migration from On-Premise Exchange to Online Exchange

For the “transfer Exchange Server to Office 365”, consider SysTools Exchange to Office 365 Migration Tool, a highly reputable utility. This application is specifically designed for effective and reliable transitions, offering features like Delta migration for newly arrived data, date filtering for specific data migration, and more. 

A demo version is available for evaluation, and opting for the full version provides additional advanced features for a more efficient transition.

If you wondering about the instructions for the same, then they are as follows:

Step 1. Install and Run the Aforementioned Solution.

Step 2. Set “Exchange” as the source and “Office 365” as the destination.

Step 3. Choose desired migration categories (e.g., emails, contacts).

Step 4. Configure Date Filter and Group Mapping.

Step 5. Enter Exchange Server details:

  • Exchange Version
  • Admin Email
  • Admin Password
  • Active Directory IP
  • Exchange Server IP
  • Include Sub Domain

Step 6. Click ‘Validate’, then proceed with ‘Next’.

Step 7. Enter Admin Email and Application ID in the Destination window.

Step 8. Add users from the old account using Fetch Users, Import Users, or Download Template.

Step 9. Start migration by clicking ‘Start Migration’.

Also read: Archive Gmail Inbox by Date

Bottom Lines

The staged Exchange migration to Office 365 is the process of transferring data from On-Premise Exchange to Online Exchange. This a complex and lengthy procedure if we do this manually. To bypass the complications and make the transition hassle-free we explore a smart solution for the same. 

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