Thursday, September 1, 2016

How to Migrate Exchange Public Folders to Office 365/Exchange Online

Exchange Online or Office 365 is not much different from the on-premises Exchange Server. Even Transportation rules, PowerShell commands, web administration, are also available in Office 365 to perform administrative tasks. Moreover, mailbox migration is much similar to Exchange server. However, migration of the public folder to Office 365 is much complicated as the process involves PowerShell scripts, which makes it difficult for a lot of Exchange administrators.  

So in this Blog post, I'm sharing the preferred way to migrate public folder to Exchange Online using PST file because it is the easiest way to do so. Moreover, I'll also suggest you a utility to migrate Exchange Server public folders without any hassle. 

Let’s begin with the manual method i.e., migration with the help of PowerShell. However, the below described procedure only gives you a brief overview of how to start and complete the Public Folder migration successfully. Let’s look at how:

Public Folder Migration with PowerShell

1.       Firstly, ensure that all the folders stored on the local Exchange Server are not bigger than 19 GB. In case you find any folder larger than the limit, reduce its size.

2.       Exchange Online only allows migration of 50 folders at a time; therefore, ensure that the public folder does not contain more than 50 folders. 

3.       Migrate user's mailboxes first then followed by Public Folders. Next, enable Outlook Anywhere on on-premises Exchange Server.

4.       You can execute the Shell command to save an image of the current folder structure that will help you to verify once the migration process is completed.

5.       Create an excel file to map folder name-to-size and folder-to-mailbox entries.

6.       Access Exchange Online account and create Public Folder mailboxes. If you’re good with PowerShell, you can also do this in a remote session mode using shell scripts.

7.       Now here you need to execute a bunch of PowerShell commands to migrate Public Folders. 

8.       After executing 11 different PowerShell scripts, lock down the Public Folder to sync with Office 365/Exchange online. The Public Folder will no longer be accessible until the synchronization is completed. 

9.       Next test whether migrated folders are accurate or not. Check the permissions, the ability to create items in folders as well as the ability to creation and deletion of folders.

1.   You can unlock Public Folders for other mailboxes.

1.   Verify the above process (step 9) again. Compare with the snapshot (created in step 4) with the snap of Exchange Online after migrating Public Folders.

1.   Finally, you can remove Public Folders from the source Exchange Server.

As is shown that the above process is considerably complicated because of heavy PowerShell scripts, therefore, going for an automated solution to migrate Public Folders to Office 365 would be a better alternative.

An Automated Way to Migrate PF to Office 365

Public Folders Migration utility is the recommended way to migrate folders on Exchange Online. Here, leveraging Stellar EDB to PST Converter software to migrate mailboxes and Public Folders from Exchange Server to Office 365 would be the best bet. The software allows you to move Public Folders from EDB to Office 365 mailboxes with no hassle and reduces the complicated PowerShell scripting steps to zero. 

If you want to understand the functionalities of the software, download the trial version of Stellar EDB to PST Converter, and migration would take place with just a few clicks!

However, PST migration is another way to do the same, but it will again require the Exchange Admin Centre (EAC) to initiate the process. In case if you want to try this method, follow the below steps:

1.       Create public folder mailboxes and Public Folders in EAC. 

2.       Before performing the task, take the backup of Public Folders using Outlook Import/Export feature.

3.       If you haven’t configured Office 365 account yet, configure it on Outlook in the Exchange mode. Now add newly created Public Folder in it.

4.       Use Outlook Import feature to store backup to new created Public Folder. The stored data will be automatically synced with Office 365 Public Folders. The time to finish the job depends on the size of folders and the speed of internet connection.

5.       Once the migration process is completed, you can again assign the permissions to the corresponding users. 

So these are the few methods to migrate Public Folders data to Office 365, some process required expertise at PowerShell Scripts, and some are time-consuming because migration using PST files take a longer time. But with Stellar EDB to PST Converter software, migrating mailboxes and Public Folders from Exchange Server to Office 365, is carried out effortlessly. To know more, please visit:

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