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Office 365 Tenant Questtion - Migration from Exchange 2010 SP3

Posted on 2014-11-26
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Last Modified: 2015-01-11
Greetings, everyone.

We have on-premises Exchange 2010 SP3.  We've used the Exchange Online Protection (formerly Forefront Online Protection for Exchange) service for years.

When FOPE was converted to EOP, Microsoft created an Office 365 Tenant for us.  It exists just to give us access to the Exchange Online Protection interface.  It also uses DirSync to synchronize user accounts into that tenant ... for the sole purpose of filtering e-mail.

We are a non-profit and had our tenant converted to non-profit status.

We are prepared to add our E1 service, with the necessary number of user licenses, to our account.

Microsoft is unable to give me a straight answer to the next question, so I'm asking the Experts here:

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Our MX record is currently:
our_domain_name-org.mail.protection.outlook.com

The "outbound" connector in EOP is our internal Exchange 2010 SP3 server, as expected.

Question - When I purchase/acquire E1 licenses, does the separate "Exchange Online Protection" service continue to function - i.e. filter our e-mail and send it on its merry way to our internal Exchange 2010 SP3 server, or does the Office 365 E1 built-in filtering take over and need to be reconfigured to allow e-mail to be sent to our internal Exchange server ?

I'm pretty sure Office 365 (Exchange Online) uses a different MX record to route mail than our current one.

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I've spoken with Microsoft about this and they seem to be confused.  The same tech says "yes, no problem" and "you'll need to create a new tenant and then merge them" in the same sentence.

I am confused.  Can anyone shed light on this scenario ?

Thanks much.
-Stephen
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Question by:lapavoni
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40468525
I would say yes to the new tenant. But I don't see what you would be merging.

The way I see it. New tenant, Migrate to that new tenant. Discontinue the tenant that has EOP.
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Author Comment

by:lapavoni
ID: 40472952
The current tenant has our domains already set up - DNS, MX, TXT and Autodiscover have already been modified.  Since I can't use the same domain names in two tenants, that would probably involve some downtime, yes ?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40473033
If you are only using it for Exchange Online Protection then you would only have a TXT record, to verify the domain, and the MX record to direct mail flow. Autodiscover should still be pointing to your on premise server, as would be all other DNS records.

What kind of a migration are you planning? How many users do you have? That will determine the amount of downtime.
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Accepted Solution

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lapavoni earned 0 total points
ID: 40473037
We've got about 70 users, all on laptops. 10-15 are travelling at any given time.  I would like to do a "cutover" migration, but I understand that if you've enabled and used DirSync, that's not possible. I don't fully understand the reason, though. I do know that user accounts have been created in our tenant, but are obviously not licensed yet (just used for EOP purposes).   I also don't fully understand the "hybrid" scenario.  I'd like to manage user accounts on-premises and have Exchange attributes and passwords synched to Office 365, so I've been told that we need to maintain an on-premises Exchange server to do so (transport disabled, but not sure what roles, if any, still necessary).  My goal is to not have users maintain two sets of passwords.  All users will be using the Office 2013 client, so web mail is not that big an issue.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lapavoni
ID: 40542882
The final answer to my question was that we needed to move our filtering service to a third-party provider temporarily.  Once the cutover/migration is completed, then filtering will occur on the new cloud (Office 365) mailboxes.
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