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Office 365 vs Exchange 2010

Discussion in 'Exchange Exams' started by Sparky, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Has anyone taking the plunge and ditched their Exchange server and punted all mailboxes onto Office 365?

    I'm going to be looking into this as I get different opinions from other IT peeps I have talked to about this. Some say its great and others say its not ideal if you have a poor internet connection as your internal email traffic has to route out to the cloud and then all the way back in again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  2. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    We're looking at doing it now. We've decided that Exchange has lost its cool and we don't need to baby-sit it at home. We're looking at the full Office 365 package and probably hosted CRM as well (although not directly from MS I think).

    Our workforce is now almost evenly split between office and non-office (home/remote) workers and it makes sense to move it out. It would give us some space on the servers in the office to play with some stuff.

    The decision has already been made so it is going to start soon. I'll post an update when anything interesting happens.

    We've got around 60 mailboxes and we're putting in 30/30 MBit line to the office to handle that (who cares about home/remote users :) )
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  3. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Sounds good mate - how do you feel about moving your whole Exchange DB to the cloud? In terms of bandwidth do you know how long this would take?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Added to my list!

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-321#tab2
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Too long. But I will be doing it in batches. We're hooking it up to our AD via Federation Services and we will be moving them in batches. I think the biggest mailbox we've got is 4.5 GB so it shouldn't take that long.

    Assuming transfer rate of 2MB/sec I think it would take just under 10 hours to upload 60GB.
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah, might be worth archiving no?

    Fecked .ost file means downloading a 4.5GB mailbox again.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  6. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    That's after archiving :rolleyes:
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ctrl+A
    Shift+Delete

    All good!
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  8. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Haha. You know what would actually happen next, don't you. "My mail is gone. Can you restore it from the backup" and then an hour wait for DPM to munch through the storage pool to fish out all the incremental backups for the mailbox database, then another hour wait for the Export-Mailbox (or whatever its called) to complete.

    Nah. I'd rather just upload it.

    ... also since it's Office 365, storage is not my problem 8). Neither is backup, or data consistency.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    haha, true. Let me know how the migration goes mate :)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    How many seats are you looking at? Do you have any bespoke requirements? Office 365 is significantly better than the product it replaced (BPOS) and you get 99% of Exchange PowerShell functionality so, for the majority of sub 1,000 mailbox organisations, I don't see why you wouldn't go for Office 365 over Exchange. We still build multi-tenanted platforms, but companies are increasingly looking to Microsoft's own hosted offerings when all they want is an out of the box solution.

    The only tip I'd give you is to go through a syndication partner rather than direct with Microsoft, as Microsoft's direct technical support isn't the greatest.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  11. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I would think the backups would have to be re-synch'd since its going to be a new database and stuff no?

    I did one migration for a customer who went from exchange 2007 to office 365, it worked out for them and they got good pricing. In terms of day to day admin work, to be honest I wouldn't know as I don't manage it, it was just an implementation on my part. Also from what I've read, I heard good things about Office 365.
     
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    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  12. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    We've done it internally ourselves and recommend it to our customers as well as a real alternative. Its much easier to configure internally and externally and you dont have to worry about all that fiddly lync config. The onlything I would say is you will want to have a good think about your backup and recovery options for emails as O365 has a backup retention of 14 days or so I think which isn't much good if you need to keep emails for 7 years or so.
     
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    WIP: Nothing
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah - most companies I look after have a 7 year policy. Could route email through a 3rd party first for archiving and then onto Office 365 after that.

    Thanks for the feedback guys - plenty to think about!
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  14. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm not sure what you mean mate. We will keep our backups and archives in house but current mailboxes will go onto Office 365 and from that point they will be backed up by Office 365.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Office 365 supports Legal/Litigation hold on the E3 plan.
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  15. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Oh right, I was thinking about locally setup exchange... disregard what I said :oops:
     
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    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  16. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    I thought I'd post an update about how things are going.

    We're going for a full hybrid solution with Single Sign-On and shared namespace. Incoming mail will be initially routed through our on-premise Exchange while we're testing the solution and setting everything up. Later, we're planning to move fully to FOPE and Office 365 but keep our in-house Exchange server for some time for management and as an emergency rollback system (if something's not working for us).

    I have to say that setting the whole thing up is very enjoyable. Challenging at times, admittedly but kind of exciting.

    I was mostly using Exchange Deployment Assistant for the overall process but have done loads of research on the side as Exchange Deployment Assistant's documentation quality seems to be degrading as you get further into the migration.

    I started off with setting up ADFS server and publishing it internally. This is when I found out that there is a bug in .NET framework and some versions of IE, where using a CNAME to access STS server breaks Kerberos authentication. So no CNAMEs!

    Then, I got the DirSync configured. This was pretty straight-forward. Just have to make sure all UPN Suffixes are correct. There is also AD readiness tool available (not sure what it's called now) which scans your AD and produces a report of everything that needs to be fixed.

    Later, when I created a new domain in Office 365 and configured Federated Services, the PowerShell command that verifies FS setup was coming back with a warning that the domain doesn't exist (Microsoft Online Services bit, AD FS part was working fine).
    I had to convert a domain to a federated domain using PowerShell to get it going.

    Next, I had some issues with publishing STS with TMG 2010. There is couple of things that one must disable in HTTP filter on the rule, for it to work. That unfortunately didn't work for me when I published a single site. Apparently to solve it you can create a new protocol on port 443 and disable HTTP filter whatsoever.
    Weirdly after I created a new, load balancing rule, it works using default HTTPS protocol (with HTTP filter configured correctly).

    Next, because we upgraded to Exchange 2010 from 2003 we have the old Administrative Group (not the Exchange12Rocks one) in AD. Inside it, there is a container called CN=Servers, which will be empty if you don't have any legacy servers in your environment. Ours was empty. This empty container was throwing an error (something about "Legacy Exchange Server") in the Manage Hybrid Configuration Wizard. This one was hard to find, so if you're stuck, look for empty container. (ADSIEdit)

    This is pretty much where I am now. I had to enable Mailbox Replication Proxy in web.config in Exchange EWS site to be able to start migrating mailboxes to Office 365. I've just finished migrating first test mailbox. At the moment Active-Sync doesn't seem to be working and emails can be sent from Office 365 account, but incoming email seems to get stuck in a loop. Need to look at connectors and smart hosts.

    Fun!

    Edit:
    Oh and forgot to add, I'm thinking of using Rackspace Cloud Load Balancer to load balance STS between sites and internet connections on sites for high availability. It seems to be working but I'm not sure how reliable they are? No point setting 4 entry points for STS if the load balancer fails.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  17. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Good stuff! I'd be curious to hear about this more once you've migrated over completely!
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  18. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Quick update:

    I've gone with the Rackspace load balancer to load balance Federated Services between our connections (for failover mainly) and it works great. For ~£20 per month I don't have to worry about Office 365 becoming unusable when ADFS connection dies. I highly recommend it.

    I also found tools from MessageOps very useful. In fact I don't think I could have done without them.

    I'm currently moving mailboxes so my 14 hour working days are bit slow sometimes. Seems like I'm watching 3 progress bars all the time: exporting mail and archives to PSTs for archiving (and backup, since we're moving all email out), moving primary mailbox (without the archive) using New-MoveRequest, and MessageOps Exchange Migrator importing archive PSTs into 'archive' folder in the main mailbox on O365.


    With a bit of scripting I've been able to run all 3 processes 24/7 for the last couple of days and generally things are going well. I've moved half of all mailboxes so far.

    Few observations:

    - If you have ISA or TMG on your network and use it to publish Mailbox Replication Service Proxy, TMG might block O365 connections as a flood prevention measure. I added O365 subnet to IP Exceptions to work around this. When this happens status in EMC shows "moving" but PS on the other end says TransientFailure and gets stuck in a loop (at 10%-15%) so it's hard to find.

    - If you see "Exception Has Been Thrown By Target of an Invocation " when trying to move a mailbox (after successfully moving other mailboxes) and PS on the O365 side comes back with a timeout error, check if the mailbox in question has the target delivery domain email address assigned to it. I've had users that for some reason didn't get the address automatically (which I presume was being added during hybrid config wizard).
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure

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