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Office 365 migration questions

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-02-06
Greetings Experts,

I'm looking to bring one of my clients into MS 365 hosted Exchange.  I have a few questions, I have called and chatted with 365 support, but the answers are all over the place.  Any help would be great.  

1. Backup to Amazon?  NAS? .. if we want a local backup, can we do it?  I'm assuming not, unless we do some kind of PST situation.

2. How many dags do they use?  

3. How many Different regions are the data centers in?

4. If a data center goes down, how long till the automatic switch over?

5. can we use 3rd party spam / anti-virus? Point MX to say Postini, then forward to 365.  (I'm just using postini as an example to see if it can be done, don't see why not)

6. for Cutover migration, from what I read is that the tool syncs all the mailboxes, then once it is 100% it lets you know, sends a CVS file and you can swap the MX records, is that correct? During the sync, you continue to use your local exchange server as normal.

7.  If the migration scenario in 5 is correct, and the mailbox is over 25GB, will it archive automatically? Who makes settings?  Should we create archive mailbox first? (providing I have the correct 365 package)

8. Can you publish calendars?  In exchange 2010 I had to create a new sharing policy and add my users.
Set-SharingPolicy -Identity "Default Sharing Policy" -Domains "Anonymous:CalendarSharingFreeBusyReviewer"

Thank you for any help,

Kacey
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Question by:kaceyjames
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by:Adam Brown
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1. No local backup solution is really feasible except exporting to PST. The Office 365 solution is a multi-copy Exchange DAG with a 14 day lag on one copy. This means that you don't have to have backups. Any data can be restored by contacting Microsoft within 14 days of the data being lost.

2. Hard to tell. They don't release information on the infrastructure setup they have. However, based on their recommendations, they have at minimum 3 copies of every database in a DAG. That means 3 mailbox servers in DAG minimum.

3. They also don't release this information to the public. Because of the potential for those locations being targeted for malicious activity, they don't let people outside MS know the specifics on where their Office 365 datacenters are.

4. It's immediate. They use site resilient load balancers for Client Access and the DAG allows the databases to do immediate failover. You really don't have to worry about when their servers go down and you'll never know if they do.

5. You are allowed to do this, but Office 365 comes with its own anti-spam/anti-virus solution, Forefront Online Protection.

6. Pretty much, yes.

7. If the mailbox you're migrating has more mail than the mailbox your migrating to has, the mail that goes over the limit won't be migrated. Once the first 25GB is migrated, you'll need to run the archive process on the mailbox to archive old mail, then continue the migration of the mailbox.

8. You can share calendars with anyone in your organization on Office 365. If you want to share calendars with other Office 365 tenants, you can do so without setup. External organizations will need to set up a federated sharing policy with your tenant. You should be able to change the default share policy through the Powershell cmdlets available for Office 365
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by:kaceyjames
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Thanks AC, great info..

couple quick followup questions.

1. If e-mail is deleted or lost, what is the restore policy, you said it was a 14 day window?  They provide a support number just for restore, or is it a general call in number where you have to get to the correct tech?  is there a charge?  is it per message or via mailbox or database level?

2. When the mailbox that is over 25GB stops uploading, does it let you know?  is there some kind of report?  

3. If we setup archiving on our Local server before we do the migration, will 365 import tool, connect the archive mailbox to the correct mailbox on the new 365 system?  

Thanks again... by  the way, where do you get all this info?  Just from experience or from the partner page?  I'm a MS partner, and am looking for the exact documentation I need to start switching clients to the cloud.

Kacey
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Adam Brown earned 500 total points
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There's a lot of information in their technical briefings. That's available from the Office 365 Proof of Concept training page. http://planningservices.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/en/O365/Pages/Office-365-PoC-Engagement.aspx has a number of documents you can use to learn and also provide Proof of Concepts for your clients. The PoC is a three day engagement that goes over things with them to make sure they understand how the system works, how it's different from what they're used to, and what limitations they have when using it.

Most of the knowledge I have on Office 365 comes from understanding Exchange 2010 infrastructure requirements. Office 365 is really just a multi-tenant Exchange 2010 deployment, so it follows the same deployment rules as Exchange. They have CAS/HUB/MBX servers there, and their DAGs are setup to be Backupless, which requires 3 DAG nodes Minimum with one copy lagged. Maximum lag time on DAG copies is 14 days.

1. You have to put in a support request with Microsoft's Office 365 support to get emails restored.
2. There is a report for migrations done through the Web GUI. When the mailbox reaches the maximum size I believe it will cause a mailbox migration failure and note the cause. I haven't migrated a mailbox that big so I can't say for sure.
3. If you have an Exchange environment on Site, you can do a hybrid configuration that grants you additional features. You can leverage this to route mail through your location for journaling. Basically you would have an Exchange server set up with a single Journalling account that collects all mail to the client environment. It would then be configured with a send and receive connector going out to Office 365. All mail traffic would go through the on-site Exchange server and get collected by the journaling mailbox. You can then do restores going back as far as you like without too many issues. You can also do this with a mail archiving system. Unfortunately, it's a little screwy to get this to collect internal emails. You could theoretically set up a discovery mailbox on Office 365 to collect emails as well and use those for restore going back as you need to. There's a lot of ways you can handle journalling with the system, so it's up to you how you do that.

MS has a fair amount of training available for office 365 as well. The link I gave should help you find some of it at least.
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by:kaceyjames
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Great, I will check out that article.  

Not sure if I missed the answer to this, but one last question.

if I have an archive mailbox connected, will the migration keep the archive in tact?

If so, I'm probably ready to migrate.

Thanks again,
Kacey
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