Office 365

we currently have an SBS 2003 server with 6 workstations.

The users want to migrate to Office 365 in the cloud.

Will this work properly in the sbs domain environment?

e.g could we export the data from the current local sbs 2003 server and export to psts.

Then setup office 365 in the cloud for all users and import the psts to the office 365 environment?

Will this work or will we need to get a new windows server 2012 domain controller?

I have heard that there are problems when trying to use office 365 in a domain environment and that it works better in a workgroup??

Most of our clients need the functionality of a local domain so a workgroup is not really an option for us?

please advise

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Office 365 works perfectly fine in a domain environment. I would not, however, run it in an SBS environment. The SBS wizards are not written towards hybrid or cloud environments and thus issues can and often do arise. I would add moving to 2012 Standard or essentials s part of your migration plan. 2012 Essentials has direct support for office 365 in its dashboard.
i migrated an sbs 2003 to sbs 2011 essentials with office 365 once - no problems there.
pst export method works perfectly. just add the pst after you connect to your office 365 account and import the mails. also i did NOT use any Server-dashboard/plugin for Office 365 (afaik this only works if you do NOT use the "p-plan" - or whatever it is now microsoft uses for the smallest offices(no ad integration)).
however there is(or was) a client software for O365 which allows you to login to O365 at systemstartup automatically.
if you click "remember credentials" at first logon i think it would also work.


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phoenix81Author Commented:
what version would we need of Office 365? We would need the same functionality that SBS 2011 and exchange 2010 gave to users. -

Eg shared calendars - shared emails - contacts - integration with the Activie directory?

Would it work if we didnt go for the active directory option? they only have 7 - 8 computers so is a fairly small outfit and is a charity.

Would it be also worthwhile going for Server 2012 standard instead of essentials? I allways feel that essentials may limit expansion of software that could be installed on the server in future etc so try to avoid it where possible!

thanks in advance

I just want to mk
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
If all you wart is Exchange then any of the Exchange Online plans will work fine. The level of active directory "integration" is up to you. Dirsync and ADFS are both options, but are not trivial to configure.

Regarding essentials, I recommend it, but clearly you have some concerns so that is a personal decision. Essentials is upgradeable to standard at any time with the purchase of a standard license key and CALs. As far as running software on it, I don't recommend running LOB software on ANY domain controller. Essentials OR Standard. Use a second member server for that.
phoenix81Author Commented:
i cant really picture how Exchange will work without activie directory integration. Eg untill I see it in practice im just expecting exchange issues i suppose. it would be nice if there was a list somewhere stating things that are possible in exchange with ad integration and those that are not. eg pros and cons?

what do you mean by LOB software on any domain controller? most of our clients will only have a budget for one server so to tell them they need 2 servers going forward will be easier said than done.

thanks again
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Virtualize. One physical ever. Two VMs. 2012 Standard has 1+2 rights.
phoenix81Author Commented:
We have never done virtualisation - so that in itself is all new to me - do you have to buy a virtual license version  of windows server 2012 ? also  what did you mean by LOB software? Thanks
Cliff GaliherCommented:
No, you do not need to buy anything special. You will need to study up on virtualization licensing and technical implementation for Hyper-V if you choose Microsoft's virtualization solution.

LOB = Line Of Business.  Basically any 3rd-party app that is accessible from the network. Bugs in LOB apps are a common security vulnerability (just look at how often Adobe and Oracle patch Reader/Flash/Java respectively) and while there is no such thing as absolutely security, domain controllers are a special case and should be protected as much as possible. LOB apps on a DC can be a huge issue and, if compromised, require a full domain rebuild, not just a simple server or computer reinstall. Expensive, intrusive, and painful for end users.

phoenix81Author Commented:
thanks for your thoughts on this so far we are testing and I will report back
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