Migrating on-premises Exchange to Microsoft Office 365 can be filled with challenges. CodeTwo Office 365 Migration helps to automate the Office 365 migration process.

Most organizations today are migrating services to the cloud. Cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments are extremely popular. One of the first business-critical services that gets moved to the cloud is email. Cloud email services, such as those provided by Microsoft Office 365, are extremely popular and provide many benefits. However, while Microsoft continues to make migrations to Office 365 even easier, migrating email services can be challenging. CodeTwo Office 365 Migration is a tool that streamlines the process of migrating to Office 365.

CodeTwo Office 365 Migration ^

The CodeTwo Office 365 Migration solution is a desktop application that enables easy migrations of many email installations to Office 365 and between Office 365 environments. When migrating email data manually, organizations may use homegrown PowerShell scripts or code they piece together from the web. However, CodeTwo does not require any PowerShell scripting to migrate user data.

Let's take a look and key in on the following features of the solution:

  • A wide range of migration scenarios is supported
  • Migration automation
  • Easy and intuitive wizard-driven migration
  • Migration security

A wide range of migration scenarios is supported

Most CodeTwo Office 365 Migration users will be interested in migrating on-premises Exchange Server mailboxes to Microsoft Office 365. However, the utility supports many different migration scenarios, including:

  • Microsoft 365 (Office 365) tenant-to-tenant migration
  • Migration from Exchange 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003 to Microsoft 365
  • Migration from Small Business Server 2011, 2008, and 2003 to Microsoft 365
  • Migration from Hosted Exchange (2010 and newer) to Microsoft 365
  • Migration from IMAP (Google Workspace, HCL/IBM Notes, etc.) to Microsoft 365

You can find the complete list of supported migrations in the official CodeTwo migration documentation. Most likely, CodeTwo supports the migration scenario of most organizations looking to migrate on-premises Exchange or even cloud services email to Microsoft 365.

Migration automation

One of the problematic areas of migrating your on-premises mailbox data to Office 365/Microsoft 365 is matching up users and mailboxes from one environment to another. With native tools and connectors, this process can be troublesome.

As an example of the migration automation CodeTwo provides, the Office 365 Migration tool automatically matches the mailboxes between source and target environments. CodeTwo uses Active Directory attributes to select the best possible match automatically. There are several predefined patterns you can use to match mailboxes. You can also build out your own custom patterns. Manual mailbox matching is also possible. Another nice feature provided by CodeTwo is the automatic creation and licensing of mailboxes that have not already been created at the target.

CodeTwo provides automatic mailbox matching

CodeTwo provides automatic mailbox matching

CodeTwo has a built-in scheduler that automatically starts and stops the migration process during specific time periods (such as on the weekends). It also runs automatic delta migrations. The delta runs allow CodeTwo to scan the source server for new items and migrate them to the target. Again, this process is automated without admin intervention.

Easy and intuitive wizard-driven interface

When you look to a third-party solution to help migrate your Exchange user mailboxes to the cloud, you expect an experience that is easier, faster, and more streamlined compared to using native tools to get the job done. With CodeTwo Office 365 Migration, the tool enables migrating users even if you have no PowerShell skills. In addition, it requires no CSVs in the process.

The tool offers a very wizardized and intuitive interface. First, you set the source of the migration and the target. Then, you simply schedule the jobs for the migration to run.

CodeTwo automatic server connection wizard

CodeTwo automatic server connection wizard

CodeTwo then takes care of the heavy lifting of migrating the user mailbox data from your Exchange installation to Office/Microsoft 365.

CodeTwo migration job migrating mailboxes

CodeTwo migration job migrating mailboxes

Migration security

One area where CodeTwo really shines as a migration tool is security. Security is one of those topics today that continues to grow in importance. Data security is a top priority for organizations looking to meet compliance regulations and security best practices.

CodeTwo holds the very acclaimed ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27018 security certifications, and privacy and security were guiding principles in the development of CodeTwo Office 365 Migration. The way the tool is designed, no third parties touch your data along the way.

CodeTwo stores configuration settings locally, and in-flight data encryption is performed to safeguard data during the migration. Additionally, when connecting to Office/Microsoft 365, CodeTwo employs cloud SaaS OAuth 2.0 authorization to secure the connection with the cloud SaaS environment.

CodeTwo also fully supports multifactor authentication if you have this turned on for your Office/Microsoft 365 environment. So, you don't have to change or lower your security settings during the migration.

From a data integrity standpoint, CodeTwo has detailed reporting that provides admins with reports and notifications regarding any items or mailboxes that are the source of errors along the way.

Also, it is essential to note that CodeTwo does not modify any data on the source server. It means your original data is left intact if there are any issues with the migration. Finally, no network connections need to be opened for CodeTwo to work. The tool communicates over standard SSL port 443, simplifying the requirements from a network perspective.

Testing migration with CodeTwo ^

I wanted to run through a quick test of CodeTwo Office 365 Migration. To test the solution, I simply downloaded the 30-day trial. The process involved:

  1. Installing the CodeTwo Office 365 Migration application
  2. Setting up the source connection
  3. Setting up the destination connection
  4. Matching mailboxes
  5. Scheduling or running the migration job

The tool was simple and easy to install in my testing. It is a "next, next, finish" type of installation.

Installing the CodeTwo migration tool

Installing the CodeTwo migration tool

After launching, there are many automated guides on running the tool, which are helpful.

CodeTwo Migration tour

CodeTwo Migration tour

In the dashboard to get started, click Create a new migration job.

Create a new migration job

Create a new migration job

The first step of the wizard is to configure the source server. Here, I select Exchange Server.

Select your source server for CodeTwo migration

Select your source server for CodeTwo migration

After entering connection and authentication information, you should see the tool successfully connect to your Exchange environment.

Successfully connected to the source on premises Exchange Server

Successfully connected to the source on premises Exchange Server

Choose what to migrate, including Active Directory users and/or Public Folders.

Choose what to migrate

Choose what to migrate

You then choose and create the connection to the target server. I am targeting Office 365 global for this migration.

Choose the target Office 365 environment

Choose the target Office 365 environment

After entering OAuth connection information, CodeTwo automatically logs in and creates the required connections to the API and registers an application in Azure AD.

Successfully connected to the Office 365 environment

Successfully connected to the Office 365 environment

CodeTwo automatically attempts to match users. If no matches are found, you have options to create a new user, choose an existing user, or manually enter existing mailbox addresses.

Matching mailboxes with the CodeTwo Office 365 tool

Matching mailboxes with the CodeTwo Office 365 tool

CodeTwo handles migrating the information found for the user's on-premises Active Directory attributes.

Creating new Office 365 users and assigning licenses automatically

Creating new Office 365 users and assigning licenses automatically

It also automatically assigns an available license for Microsoft Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 license is assigned automatically

Microsoft Office 365 license is assigned automatically

The job scheduler allows selecting the time periods when the data migration will actually happen. The delta migrations allow syncing any changes with each job run.

Choosing to enable the job scheduler and delta synchronizations

Choosing to enable the job scheduler and delta synchronizations

After you have all the configuration settings selected for the migration, you can wait for the scheduler or run the job ad hoc.

Begin the migration job in CodeTwo

Begin the migration job in CodeTwo

Migration of mailbox finishes successfully

Migration of mailbox finishes successfully

Microsoft Office 365 user is created successfully and the mailbox is accessible

Microsoft Office 365 user is created successfully and the mailbox is accessible

Wrapping Up and impressions ^

The CodeTwo Office 365 Migration tool does what it says it can do. I didn't have any issues in my product testing to migrate a few test mailboxes from an on-premises environment to a Microsoft Office 365 cloud SaaS environment. In fact, there were no issues or errors thrown from the product along the way, including connecting to on-premises, Office 365, matching users, and migrating mailboxes. It was a push-button experience.

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