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PST considerations for O365

Posted on 2014-03-26
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Last Modified: 2014-03-31
I'm engaged in a hybrid Exchange 2010 migration. One point of conjecture is what to do about user PST files. No mailboxes have been migrated to the cloud as of yet. I suggest running the PST Capture Tool and ultimately importing PST data into the users' archive mailboxes, either pre or post migration depending on the amount of data an individual has overall. Some colleagues of mine seem to think that the users should be able to keep their PST files and continue to use them without difficulty. I guess I really have 2 questions:

1. Can users with mailboxes in O365 continue to use PST files on their local hard drive?
2. Wouldn't they run the risk of corrupting those PST files if they were to try and move data between them and their mailbox (i.e., across the WAN)?

I'm aware of all the reasons for ridding ourselves of PST files altogether, but that's a separate discussion.
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Question by:jcb431
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by:rick81
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in answer to your questions.

1.  Yes.  The pst file is a simple data file.  It can remain on the local drive in conjunction with the office365 account.

2.  If exchanged is in cached mode moving data between the exchange account and pst account will be fine.  Depending on your link speed you may want the users to move mail across in stages, or only important mail.  or not move it at all and leave mail from the previous system in the pst files.
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by:jcb431
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Thank you for that. I need clarity on these points:

(We're using cached mode) If the user is moving data from the Exchange account to their PST then it should be fine because the data is actually moving from the locally cached OST file to the PST file, correct?

Moving data from the PST to the Exchange account however moves data directly to the database in the cloud first, then that data is synchronized downstream to the OST file? In other words, it does not go PST > OST > Cloud. Instead it goes PST > Cloud > OST, correct?
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'(We're using cached mode) If the user is moving data from the Exchange account to their PST then it should be fine because the data is actually moving from the locally cached OST file to the PST file, correct?'

YES

'Moving data from the PST to the Exchange account however moves data directly to the database in the cloud first, then that data is synchronized downstream to the OST file? In other words, it does not go PST > OST > Cloud. Instead it goes PST > Cloud > OST, correct?'

I'm not 100% on this one but
I believe this will go pst > ost > then cloud.  the ost file syncs with the cloud as well as cloud syncing with ost.  as you are moving mail locally it will update the ost first.
you could test this to be sure.  keep any eye on your ost file size and OWA and move some emails around.  see what updates first.

overall this should be too much of a concern.  worst case import the pst file or have users drag and drop important emails into the main mailbox.
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by:jcb431
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Thank you.
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