Office 365

10 Best Practices for Office 365

Are you interested in improving your IT management? Over 70% of Fortune 500 companies chose Office 365 in 2020. ...


Are you interested in improving your IT management? Over 70% of Fortune 500 companies chose Office 365 in 2020. According to the same research, Microsoft saw a 21% growth in users in the same year. It also revealed the number of Office 365 users reached 258,000,000. The majority are small businesses, then large, then medium-sized. At Cloudficient, we focus on enterprise organizations that need to transition to the cloud.

Are you ready to learn about Office 365 migration? Unsure where to start or how to use it? We feature the answers to your questions in this guide.

The following are the ten best practices for Office 365 migration right now.

1. Learn the Office 365 Migration Types

Typing at a keyboardSelecting the most appropriate Office 365 migration method is the first thing you should do. You need to learn about the different Office 365 migration methods to choose the right one - for instance, cutover migration is the easiest to use for migrating less than 2k mailboxes on-premises. A staged migration is used for over 2000 mailboxes and older Exchange servers. Hybrid migration is for maintaining both on-premises and online Exchange Servers and services. We’ve got more about different types of migration in this blog.

2. Select the Most Suitable Plan

Selecting the most suitable Office 365 migration plan depends on how many mailboxes and the type of Exchange server you’re using. If you’re using an Exchange server version 2010 or 2013 for 150-2000 mailboxes, or you’re planning on migrating in multiple batches, the hybrid migration is the best choice. A staged Office 365 migration is for 2003 and 2007 Exchange Servers.

Cutover migration has the most options. You can use 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016 Exchange versions. If you’re using a 2007 and 2010 Exchange Server, expect to make changes in the environment. By far the most common approach is to use hybrid migration, and here at Cloudficient we’ve got extensive experience in helping customers of all sizes perform successful Office 365 migrations.

3. Understand Customer Migration Workloads

There are different workloads involved in customer migrations. Onboarding involves migrating user mailboxes (and other types of mailboxes, e.g. shared mailboxes) to Microsoft 365 or Office 365.  But that’s not the end of the story for most customers. There are other data types to consider, such as archive data stored in a system like Enterprise Vault, Quest Archive Manager, or EMC SourceOne. There are file system data repositories that might be appropriate to move to Microsoft OneDrive for Business. Some customers have on-premise SharePoint and many other systems. What moves to the cloud often depends on how deep the migration requirements are. For example, are you considering eliminating one or more data centers? If you are, consider reading our blog post: Anatomy of a Data Center Exit: What’s really going on

4. Estimate the Office 365 Migration Timeframes

A common question when it comes to migration is: 

How long does an Office 365 migration take?

A key component of an Office 365 migration plan is estimating how long the process takes.  Mailbox migration duration is based mainly on mailbox sizes; larger mailboxes simply take longer to migrate to Office 365, but products like Onboarding 365 Complete can migrate hundreds or thousands of mailboxes in parallel. 

We always recommend doing a proof of concept in your environment, with your users, and your data. This serves many purposes, including getting a good idea of how long an Office 365 migration might take. 

If you'd like to find out more about bringing cloudficiency to your project, reach out to us.

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5. Know the Common Migration Performance Factors

Many factors affect email migration performance, including:

  • Data source limitations due to hardware, end-user workload, and back-end maintenance tasks
  • Data types and density of a customer's business within mailboxes vary greatly
  • Network throughput, availability and reliability
  • Internet bandwidth and availability

With our Office 365 migration products running on top of the ReMAD cloud native platform, we make efficient usage of all of the things that can impact performance. We can easily and quickly scale up and back as required by the project workload at any given time.

6. Know the Network Performance Factors

Network performance is determined by the time it takes to migrate mailboxes according to the network’s availability and maximum capacity. A network’s stability and migration method also affect the performance. Therefore, a migration team, when creating an Office 365 migration plan, need to be aware of network connectivity and throughput across an organization as well as internet-based connectivity to and from Office 365 and the location of the tenant where data is being migrated to.

7. Understand Microsoft Office 365 Throttling

There are several types of throttling that affect performance:

  • User throttling is designed to work against an end-use
  • Migration-service throttling
  • Resource health-based throttling is the least aggressive method and prevents an availability problem that affects critical service operations

We’ve got more information on a critical piece of throttling called Microsoft Service Protection Throttling in this blog post.

8. Learn About Non-Hybrid Deployment Migrations

While most organizations opt for the hybrid deployment approach to Office 365 and ultimately their organization's migration to the cloud, there are some that use the other migration methods. Often these are niche situations or small companies. There is more about the different migration types in this blog post

9. Move Requests and Prepare for Potential Delays

If you’re considering performing a migration yourself, you need to be aware of two types of move requests that exist in Microsoft Office 365:

  • Onboarding move requests are for new customer Office 365 migrations and have regular priority.
  • Datacenter internal move requests are initiated by datacenter operation teams and have lower priority.

Potential delays to move requests have a "Queued" or "In Progress" status. Queued move requests specify the move’s waiting to be picked up by the Exchange Mailbox Replication Service. The priority level and position in the queue determine which will be picked up first.

In-progress move requests specify the move’s currently in progress. The user has access to the mailbox in the online mailbox move. Offline moves mean the user’s mailbox is unavailable.

10. Consider Office 365 Migration Tools Factors

As mentioned in point 7, one of the factors affecting any kind of migration product is Microsoft Service Protection Throttling. If you’re working with a migration vendor, ask them what their product does to mitigate the issues arising from this type of throttling. Consider also that migration is much more than moving the data. At Cloudficient, our cloud native migration solutions perform many other tasks that are required for a successful Office 365 migration as well as moving the data. Those are just a couple of factors to consider when working with a migration vendor; we will cover many more factors in another blog.

Office 365 Migration Services Features

There are different features you can expect from Office 365 migration services. When looking for a third-party service, it’s smart to know what to check for. The following are some of the top elements they should offer:

  • Onboarding and offboarding cloud migration
  • Compliance migration
  • Data expiration
  • Fixed Price / Fixed Outcome
  • Proof of Concept with your users and your data
  • Flexible ways to pay for the migration
  • Assistance with Restructuring, Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures

At Cloudficient, we offer these features and more to our clients. Our goal is to make migration as simple as possible for your business and perform the migration end-to-end as a business process.

What Can I Expect from Office 365 Migration?

To determine what to expect, you must select the correct migration path. Knowing how to choose can be difficult, even when you know the answers to many of the points raised in this article. The migration performance varies, depending on the network, mailbox size, migration speed, and more. The success of a migration project depends on moving the data and performing many additional tasks. Of course, these all need to be tracked to ensure that everything that needs to happen happens at the right time and in the correct order. At Cloudficient, we’ve got over a 100 years of team experience in performing migration projects in some of the largest organizations in the world, and we can assist in answering any remaining questions you might have relating to an Office 365 migration.

For end-users we always strive to make the Office 365 migration as seamless as possible. Whether it’s ordinary mailbox data, archived data in systems like Enterprise Vault, or PST files that are scattered across your environment, we want the enterprise transformation to be a success. 

Improve Your IT Strategies Today

It’s time for you to improve your IT strategies today. Use what you have read here to fast-track your Office 365 migration. This detailed guide will help you implement this valuable tool more easily.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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