Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to Migrate Exchange 2003 Server to Office 365

Microsoft has stopped official support for Exchange server 2003; it means they will not release any newer update in the near future for Exchange 2003 server. So, administrators who’re currently using Exchange 2003 do have the option for upgrade to Exchange newer versions. Either they can move to Exchange 2007/2010, or migrate to newly introduced Microsoft Office 365; but they must have to move towards most updated version for updated features, strong security, and for robust environment. 

 However, migration to Exchange 2010 or 2007 is a better option for an organization, but as the higher popularity and anywhere online access, Office 365 is the most preferred and easy option to move from Exchange 2003. It has no requirement of hybrid server, so one can easily migrate from Exchange 2003 to Office 365 by following very straightforward method.

So today I’m going through step-by-step guide to perform simply and quickly migration of Exchange 2003 server to Office 365. Let’s check it- 

Migration process of Exchange 2003 to Office 365

First Step:

I personally suggest as an Exchange Admin, always start Exchange migration process with ExchangeServer Deployment Assistant. It is the online guide provided by Microsoft for all migrations. By click on the link, it will bring you to Exchange server deployment page where you need to select Cloud Only option if you’re migrating to Office 365.

Now Select Yes and Click Next as you have mailboxes to migrate to Exchange Online.


Now select your current Exchange version from the list and click to Next. You need to select Exchange 2003 in this case.

 Select the choice how you will manage user accounts in Office 365, and click Next.

Now provide the information about the number of mailboxes you currently have on Exchange server 2003. Click Next.

By click on Next arrow, it will show you migration guide which you need to follow for successful migration. Just go through the guide and know what you’re doing.

Second Step:

Now click to verify Exchange 2003 infrastructure supports RPC over HTTP and Outlook Connectivity. Open the link and select Outlook Connectivity under Microsoft Office Outlook Connectivity Tests in Microsoft Exchange Server tab. Do not select Outlook Autodiscover instead of Outlook Connectivity as Exchange 2003 doesn’t support Autodiscover.

So make sure what item you’re selecting here.


Now click Next, and fill here all the required information manually. 

 Once you fill up all the information, click Perform Test. Now testing will start, once testing is done you can perform next step.

In case if testing gets fails, use the report generated feature and guide to fix the issue.

Third Step:

Now click and login to the account. Open Exchange server admin and click Migration tab.


 Click + and select Migrate to Exchange Online. 

  Select Cutover migration and click Next.

 Enter your on-premise credentials and click Next.


 Enter on-premise Exchange Server and RPC Proxy Server, then click Next

In next step, you can provide the name to New Migration Batch. 

Once you provide the name, click Next. Here are two options to start the batch, select Automatically start the batch and click Next.

Now you can notice batch is created and the STATUS is Synching.

This process takes some time depends on the number of accounts and size of mailboxes. However, you can check the migration details by clicking Mailbox Status -> View Details.

Final Step: Complete the Migration Process

Once all the Exchange accounts are synced to Office 365 from Exchange Server 2003, you will automatically get a report email with all the details. And now you can do the following migration process once you got the report-

·         Migrate Public Folders to Office 365
·         Assign Office 365 licenses
·         Verify DNS Record
·         Desktop configuration for Office 365

Once you ensure that all mailboxes have been successfully migrated to Office 365 and MX record DNS replication is finished, stop the migration batch. And also stop the services of Exchange 2003 after all.

In case if you're unable to migrate mailboxes by following this solution, try software to export Exchange EDB mailboxes to Office 365 account.

If you have any query related Exchange to Office 365 migration, you can comment your query in below comment box.

I will be glad to answer you!

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