With yesterday's release of Office 365, now's the time to begin planning the shift to Microsoft's hosted service for Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync. Whether you're migrating from an on-premise environment or from one hosted by another provider, there are three initial concerns to focus on.
Concern 1: How do I migrate my Exchange to Office 365?
Microsoft has put quite a bit of effort into facilitating Exchange migration because the company wants to keep your mailbox business and knows that means making it as easy as possible to migrate them. If you go to the Microsoft's Exchange Server Deployment Assistant, you have two options for your cloud mailboxes: a coexistence hybrid option and a cloud-only option.
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The preferred approach is a coexistence hybrid, which lets your users have single sign-on through your on-premise Active Directory and syncs with Office 365's cloud-based Exchange service. If you take the cloud-only route, you can still migrate mailboxes, but users will need separate credentials to access their cloud-based mail.
The actual migration process occurs through Office 365's admin console. With it, you perform a "simple Exchange migration" either as a single move or in batches through staged migration. Which approach you take is all part of the planning. Not that you can migrate as many as 1,000 Exchange 2003, 2007, or 2010 mailboxes in a batch -- if you are using an older version of Exchange, you need to look at doing an IMAP migration or using a third-party tool or service.