Exchange 2010 to Office 365 Migration Step by Step

words Al Woods

Are you wondering how migration from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 is different from other scenarios? For starters, Exchange 2010 was the first server to support hybrid configuration. It eventually went on to become one of the most popular services.

Consequently, for many companies, it would not be very convenient to adopt the cloud-based Office 365 at the expense of their Exchange 2010 Server. Now that the support for Exchange 2010 has ended, here’s how you can migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365.

Office 365 Migration

Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration-Native methods

Depending upon the complexity of your environment, there are three native methods you can opt from for Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration.

  • The cutover migration is the easiest method. It literally involves cutting the mailboxes from Exchange 2010 and pasting them in Office 365.
  • Hybrid deployment allows businesses to keep both Exchange 2010 and Exchange Online that is a part of Office 365.
  • The manual approach involves the import of PST files into user mailboxes.

Exchange 2010 to Office 365 Cutover Migration

As simple as copy-pasting email contents might sound, cutover migration is perhaps the lengthiest of processes. It requires a lot of preparation and planning. Here is a summary of the steps involved in cutover migration.

  • Ensure that the Exchange 2010 is upgraded to SP3 standard and disable dir sync and unified messaging.
  • Ensure that Outlook Anywhere is enabled on Exchange Server 2010.
  • Grant the appropriate permissions needed for the accounts used for the Microsoft Hosted Exchange migration.
  • Add a new mail-enabled security group in Office 365 for provisioning migrated groups as security groups in Office 365.
  • Perform a domain verification in Office 365.
  • Define a migration endpoint on the Exchange Admin Center. 
  • Add the cutover batches for email migration and wait for it to complete for MX re-routing.
Office 365 Migration

Hybrid Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration

The Hybrid deployment is not a migration in strict terms. It is an updated version of staged migration for Exchange 2003 and 2007. Hosted Exchange Server 2010 and Office 365 Hybrid is a system in which the on-premises Exchange and Exchange Online coexist. Hybrid migration is best used when there is a lot of data to migrate and the process is lengthy. Additionally, it is the only native method that supports migration of up to 2000 mailboxes and is recommended when there are 150 mailboxes and more.

A dedicated Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) has to be employed for enabling the hybrid environment. 

Manual Migration Using PST

PST import method is the final and arguably the least preferred Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration method. The general approach is to export HostExchange 2010 mailboxes to PST files and then uploading them to the Office 365 mailboxes. This requires a lot of manual work including setting up the Office 365 environment.

Outsourcing Exchange 2010 to Office 365 Migration

While the native methods for Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration provide flexibility in terms of choices for migration, using a third-party tool for the migration simplifies the process. Alternatively, you can outsource the entire process to a migration service provider like Apps4Rent that offers 24/7 support via phone, chat, and email.


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