On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online Migration Techniques Explained

Anurag | May 26th, 2020 | Exchange Online

As more and more organizations move from on-premises email setup to cloud storage and environment, there is the fact that there is no good or bad way. The organization must accept the challenge depending on its specific requirements, which include the number of users to migrate from On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online, the size of the local environment, the underlying messaging environment, and expectations for coexistence.

In this article, we’ll talk about one of the easiest ways to migrate all your existing Exchange mailboxes. But before we get into that, let’s take a quick look at the types of migration available.

Ways to Migrate On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online

There are several ways to migrate email from a Microsoft Exchange server:

1. Cutover Migration

You can opt for this migration if you are looking to transfer all mailboxes in one go. We recommend that you use this method if the total number of mailboxes you want to migrate is less than 2000 and if your organization uses Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, or 2013.

2. Staged Migration

Many experts suggest this method if you are planning to perform migration in batches. It is recommended that you use this method if the total number of mailboxes to be migrated exceeds 2000 and if your organization uses Exchange 2003 or 2007.

3. Hybrid Migration

Of course, hybrid migration is the smoothest, but also the most difficult to achieve. This method allows the organization to support both on-prem and online mailboxes and to gradually migrate mailboxes to Office 365. This method should only be used if you are using Exchange 2010, 2013, 2016 and the number of moved mailboxes exceeds 2000. In addition, using this technique, the migration is performed in small batches over the period of time.

Limitations of Manual Method

1. The above-mentioned tasks are time-consuming and lengthy when compared to third-party applications.

2. The person who is implementing these procedures must have proper technical knowledge and experience working on Exchange Server.

3. Many users have experienced some scenarios where they didn’t get all their mailbox data in Exchange Online. It was later found that the data got lost during the process.

4. Every manual method is version dependent and has some limitations associated with it. As one method is capable to export large number of mailboxes but compatible with older Exchange versions. The other method works with new Exchange versions but is suitable for fewer mailboxes.

Simplest Way to Migrate On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online

If you want to seamlessly complete the migration process and do not want any difficulties during process, you should consider using Exchange 2016 to Office 365 Migration Tool. This is a safe and reliable application for the entire process that is fast and smooth as well. Users can easily export emails, calendars, and contacts to the target account without losing any data.

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Have a look at some of the top features of the tool:

1. Migrate Mailboxes Without Data Loss – This advanced tool is loaded with so many features that it makes sure that users get complete data in their destination mailboxes. Users get the option to select all categories like Emails, Calendar, Contacts or deselect any of them if they don’t want it. The software makes sure that 100% data is migrated to Exchange Online without affecting data integrity.

2. No Mailbox Size Limitation – Many users who are using Microsoft Exchange for a long time now, they might have large sized mailboxes exceedingly over 100 GB. So, in those scenarios, users might face issues with other methods whereas this tool transfers 100% data without even losing a single bit of data.

3. Concurrent Migration – As many organizations have large number of mailboxes that they want to export, so this tool gets the option of concurrent migration. This feature allows users to migrate On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online in batches. Users just have to check “Enable Multiple Accounts” checkbox in Settings Window, and you can add run migration of upto 200 mailboxes simultaneously.


The On-Premise Exchange to Exchange Online migration is such an important task for the organization and needs to be done correctly. Loss of data during transfer process can create many problems and can be costly for the organization. Thus, in this article we mentioned solutions with which users can perform the process without losing data. Users are encouraged to switch to a third-party application to complete the task smoothly.