How to migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 is a buzz word in the migration market today. Exchange 2010 is revered as one of the most famous source servers. This is mainly because companies who have purchased the most recent versions of Exchange 2010, find Office 365 integration redundant when support for Exchange 2010 is still available. But given the huge benefits available with Office 365, there is no alternative to migrating to Office 365., However, there are certain steps you need to follow in order to ensure robust exchange migration to office 365.

In this blog, we write about the basic guidelines essential for Exchange migration to Office 365.

Office 365 Migration from Native Exchange 2010

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Exchange 2010 is one of the oldest mailbox servers built by Microsoft to manage this hybrid environment, which is a known fact. Hybrid migration helps you to combine cloud Exchange and on-premises, under one environment. However, with life coming to an end with Exchange 2010, it might be a good idea to look out for substitute migration strategies.

A dedicated tool- Exchange migration to Office 365 advisors can help you get successfully to the cloud. The advisor is a resource that poses you with questions and creates a migration plan of Exchange to Office 365. It encompasses most of the common migration scenarios. Note that this resource is specifically intended for single-domain and single-forest environments. A more complex deployment will require some speculation and trial-and-error methodology.

There are 3 native ways, which you can opt while setting up Office 365 for your company:

1. Cutover migration: This is the simplest option of all. It assists companies to paste mailboxes into the target environment, which are cut from the source servers.
2. Hybrid deployment: This path permits the cohabitation of Office 365 and Exchange 2010.
3. PST import: This way is commonly known as the manual approach.

Office 365 Cutover Migration from Exchange 2010

The cutover migration pathway to migrate email to Office 365, is extremely easy. It is equivalent to cutting all users from existing source servers and pasting them in the Office 365 environment. Seems to be simple, right? However, there is a lot more to this. Here are certain steps you should take to ensure a smooth migration of mailboxes to Office 365 from Exchange 2010.

Firstly, you should prepare the environment, and make it migration ready. The planning and preparation often take less time as compared to actual migration; however, it is still the most vital aspect of the process. Hence, planning and preparation should be given a lot of attention.

Here is a concise task list for successful cutover migration-

• Update your server to SP3 from Exchange 2010. This is, however, not mandatory but is highly recommended by experts.

• You should disable the unified messaging and directory synchronization if they are switched on. This task should be accomplished before you initiate cutover migration.

• Configure and enable Outlook Anywhere. It is achieved by default in the newest versions of the Exchange Server. However, you need to complete this move by yourself in Exchange 2010.

• You will need to install the RPC and a trusted SSL certificate over the HTTP component on your server, to configure Outlook Anywhere successfully. Through connecting to your Exchange 2010 from outside your network, you can check if the setup has been going well. This is checked at a later stage automatically when Exchange 2010 connects with Office 365. However, the manual checks carried out in the earlier stages often save you possible hassles in later stages.

• Allocate permission. There are a few permissions that you have to grant to the account utilized for migration. It is standard practice for migration to use a dedicated user account, which is granted only the minimum permissions necessary. The migrating account requires permissions such as View-Only Configuration and Application Impersonation for Office 365 and Exchange Server. Moreover, the Office 365 environment needs a user management administrator and view-only recipients role, if it is also used for re-creating users in the Exchange.

• Perform the Office 365 email encryption setup. If this step is not accomplished, the Office 365 migration services will not provide any of the groups as security groups.

• Verify your database in Office 365. This will require you to make an addition of the TXT record in the DNS zone.

• To create a migration endpoint, utilize the exchange admin centre. The created endpoint will store all the information required to connect Office 365 to Exchange 2010.

• Build and begin the migration batch to the cutover. The batch comprises all mailboxes and needs the configuration of migration endpoint, one step earlier. This is the phase wherein migration occurs. It is worth checking if everything has gone well after the data transfer is over. You will also need to issue licenses to users.

• Now move the MX record in your domain to link to Office 365 for post-migration cleanup. Emails are sent straight to Office 365 after the TTL passes. You should decommission the on-premises servers and delete your migration batch.

Once you have a look at the to-do list, the migration seems less appalling. Remember, though, that a lot of effort and time is needed for the whole process. These might include some other steps that were not mentioned above. Before attempting the migration, it is best to research the subject well.

Read Also Office 365 Migration Best Practices to Ensure a Smooth and Error-Free Transition

Office 365 Hybrid Deployment

Hybrid deployment is more than migration. As compared to the staged migration for Exchange 2003 and 2007, it is a more modern approach. Office 365 Hybrid and Exchange 2010 form an ecosystem in which on-premises Exchange Online and Exchange coexists. This method is particularly beneficial if the data required to migrate is plentiful, and it is compelled to take more time. Hybrid remains as the only native pathway to migrate more than 2000 mailboxes. Experts still recommend hybrid for the migration of more than 150 mailboxes.

Some companies avoid using Hybrid deployment as an intermediate level, but as the ultimate framework that has users spread to both online and on-premises environments, based on the needs of each user.

PST Import

The last native migration pathway utilizes the PST Import Service of Office 365. The general concept is to export mailboxes to PST files for Exchange 2010, and then import them to Office 365. This approach needs some manual work from an admin. It involves designing the Office 365 system from scratch.

PowerShell and New-MailboxExportRequest do their best to export all mailboxes to PST. You need to have the PST files on a file server or in a shared mailbox. Hereon, you will need to create a CSV mapping file and upload the files to the Azure storage location. To import the PST files to appropriate user mailboxes, the PST import service employs the mapping file.

Microsoft Office 365 support also offers you an option to send physical drives to them. This option requires you to first copy the PST files on to a physical storage device, and then ship them to Microsoft. The Microsoft Office 365 support charges you USD 2/ GB.

Native limitations

For Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration, each of the above native approaches has several disadvantages. A cutover migration is an all-or-nothing option for more than 150 mailboxes and is not recommended. This also doesn’t allow coexistence with Office 365 and Exchange 2010. It takes a lot of time to configure the Hybrid, and you are likely to experience some problems along the way. It is difficult to know where to start in the case of Office 365 Import Service. PST files are known to be outdated. PST Migration is not reliable, fast, or automatic. This is only a viable idea if you do not have a lot of data to pass around and you do not mind remaking the Exchange 2010 ecosystem from scratch, in Office 365.

There some limitations which are considered to be common for all the solutions mentioned above:

• You will need to use PowerShell in several migration phases. You will need a certain level of proficiency while learning how to use this powerful scripting language. Training on the move during this dynamic cycle can be stressful to you and harmful to the ecosystem (server).

• You will need to update your servers to the newest version to enjoy the best migration experience. It is recommended to bring your Exchange 2010 to SP3. So, plan for some maintenance if you have not modified your machines.

• Disruption is inevitable, especially if you would like the public files to migrate. You need to have some cautious planning, especially when you’re using the assets on your servers 24/7.

• There is no screening. Neither Hybrid nor Cutover Migration will allow you to filter the things being migrated to Office 365.

These limitations posed by the native solutions, often compel companies to employ third-party solutions.

For companies that desire to stay sustainable, competitive, and at the same time maintain efficiency at its highest rate in today’s hyper-competitive environment, Office 365 migration is imperative! It doesn’t matter if you need to migrate a mere 150 mailboxes or more than 200 mailboxes; eventually, the migration partner you select will determine how seamless the migration procedure is.

Before settling for an Office 365 migration partner, one of the factors that you should consider is whether the partner understands your business needs and customers, and what you aim to achieve via migration to Office 365. This is important, as an e-commerce company would have very different criteria for migration as compared to an outsourcing business. And so, the migration partner must understand the difference when signing up. The migration partner also needs to understand your business goals, whether it’s productivity or profit so that during the migration process, they can better meet your needs. They’ll also be able to suggest various implementation approaches by getting a better understanding of how the workers will use the latest technologies.

There is a plethora of things you can weigh in before selecting the best migration partner for Office 365. The list is endless, from getting a clear understanding of the business to providing schedule management to getting plenty of experience in training. To know more about the critical factors to consider before choosing a migration partner, read this article.


You might often face challenges in your journey to migrate your data and mailboxes to Office 365. One major migration challenge for Office 365 is that it takes an enormous amount of preparation to ensure a productive migration. Moreover, there is a need for a thorough understanding of the ecosystem you are currently using, to decide what type of migration you might opt for, whether Hybrid, staged, or cutover migration.

The migration of legacy systems to Office 365 will often have consequences for security. As for Office 365 migration, several companies are apprehensive due to security issues. Because this move involves transferring data to Microsoft servers from corporate mail servers, several protections are needed to ensure that data is protected not only during the transfer but also after the transfer. This article can help you understand how to overcome these challenges to ensure a smooth workflow.

Migrating data and mailboxes to Office 365 from Exchange 2010, has varied challenges. Flatworld EDGE has assisted clients in migrating exchange 2010 to office 365, migrate SharePoint to office 365, migrate Outlook to office 365, migrate google g suite to office 365, migrate Gmail to office 365, and migrate email to office 365, among others. Besides being an expert in office 365 implementation, we also specialize in office 365 cloud migration and hybrid migration office 365.

To help enhance your company’s productivity and improve collaboration utilizing support services, you can go through this article. This article will guide you regarding comprehensive Microsoft office 365 support and office 365 migration services.

The Easy Way – Office 365 migration from Exchange 2010

The easiest way to migrate to Office 365 from Exchange 2010 is to employ a migration tool. The use of migration tools improves the migration process. It drives the process, from being the nightmare of an administrator to a simple and automated experience. The migration tools also make certain functionality available, which is not available in the native scenarios.

Below are a few of migration tools main features:
• No downtime
• Advanced filtering options
• Scheduling
• Automatic configuration

Who we are and what makes us an authority in the Industry?

Flatworld Edge, a subsidiary of Flatworld Solutions, is an ISO certified global company that offers Outsourcing Services to support technology needs and equip and enable businesses to build efficient products and services. As Office 365 migration services experts, we deliver services ranging from implementation and migration to upgrades and support. With over thousands of customers and millions of dollars client revenue in our portfolio, we are one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the world.

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