migrationwiz.com - thoughts & pointers

Preface: No, they have not solicited me.

This was one of the recommended migration tools for SMB moving on-prem Exchange into Office 365.  I wanted to move one of my clients (3 mailboxes) into O365 for the simple reason that SBS2011 was a clunky beast and the thought of maintaining reliable backups for years to come was becoming something of a bogeyman to me.  Email is the only real SBS function they used (remote access portal, too), and they were needing new hardware and Office licensing...so O365 was a no-brainer.

Back to the tool...this is probably one of the best admin tools out there - the troubleshooting aids they give you are second to none.  No more 'oh, sorry, it failed' messages with no real indication what went wrong.  They give you a list of steps to try to fix likely issues, a list to go through PRIOR to migrating, and if all else fails a direct email submission to support with a raft of dropdown boxes and info fields.

Check these help articles (linked directly next to the 'failed' message):

So good.

There are some items that are sort of clear...but not really.  If you have at least the below, you'll be golden.

  1. Create the users in O365.
  2. Assign them valid Office 365 licensing.
  3. Log in and update passwords/timezone settings for all the users you're migrating.
  4. Pick an account to use as the 'on-prem admin account' - I just used domain\administrator to keep things simple.  THIS ACCOUNT MUST HAVE A MAILBOX.
  5. Grant the account full access rights to the mailboxen you want to move.
  6. You can verify this by logging on to OWA as admin, opening their mailboxes.
  7. You should still wait an hour at least. (their troubleshooting suggested two)
  8. Cut over the MX while you're waiting.  I did the manual DNS because I'm not quite ready to hand over all the keys yet.  Also reminded myself why I dislike Network Solutions.
  9. You do the MX cutover by logging in to O365 as the admin, running through the email setup wizard.  It only takes 45 minutes because you have a lot of waiting on DNS propagation.
  10. Purchase your MigWiz licensing if you haven't already.
  11. Reconfigure your MigWiz connector to account for the new admin username (i.e. changing from user.name@onmicrosoft.com to user.name@domain.com).  You will get timeouts and failures if you forget this step.
  12. Start a migration, it'll take 10-15 minutes to get going (until you see a progress bar).  Once you see that, things are good to go - add the rest of the accounts.
  13. Note that if you add them all at once, you could overwhelm the on-prem internet connection.  IIRC 5 is the recommended maximum simultaneous migrations or something.  Check on this.
That's about it...the three accounts added up to ~8GB.  Looks like it'll take a good 24 hours.


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