Tenant To Tenant Microsoft 365 Migrations: Everything You Need To Know
Acquisitions, divestitures, merges, oh my! According to Deloitte’s Future of M&A Trends Survey, 61% of C-level executives expect merger and acquisition (M&A) activity to return to pre-COVID levels within the next 12 months. Microsoft Tech Community reports that Office 365 has more than 200 million monthly active users. What do these figures mean to you? Tenant-to-tenant migration is definitely on an upward trend.
With divestitures, M&As, data center relocations, and domain changes, Office 365 infrastructures and environments are consolidating and merging rapidly. This process of transferring data from one Office 365 environment to another is referred to as tenant-to-tenant (T2T) migration, and it’s not necessarily a breeze.
So, why do businesses want to go ahead with T2T migrations when the new infrastructure has the same capabilities and functionality as the source infrastructure? Three words: changing business requirements.
How to do it? T2T migration involves various steps. You’ll find the Pre-migration (preparation) stage and the migration process itself. Let’s show you the nitty-gritty below.
Planning For Microsoft 365 Tenant Migration
Before diving into the migration process, you need to go through the preparation stage, which involves multiple steps:
Preparing the domain
Verifying the domain
Facilitating the migration
Here’s a detailed process of planning a T2T Microsoft 365 migration:
1. Preparing the domain
Domain preparation is all about preparing the target domain—where you want to move the source data. There should be sufficient space in the target domain to make the process a success. Does your target account have enough space? If yes, here’s what else you need to do:
Check for additional licenses you might need for the target tenant’s Microsoft 365 account.
Create administrations account for both targeted and source tenant accounts for a smooth migration
Create user resource mailboxes, user mailboxes, and distribution groups in the target domain
Perform Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) consolidation. Use AD DS tools if necessary.
Sync source tenant domain with the target tenant
Finally, train your end-users on how to use Office 365 post-migration
2. Verifying The Domain
What should follow after the preparation stage is verifying the target domain. This is to affirm that you own this new domain.
Begin the verification process of the target tenant account in Microsoft 365. Then add a source domain to the target Microsoft 365 admin center to generate TXT records in DNS.
It’s very important to ensure that only the target tenant account uses the domain. Else the verification will hit a dead end. After following the verification process as required, it will take approximately three days for the changes to take effect.
3. Scheduling The Migration
First off, generate a list of user mailboxes that you want to migrate and a CSV file for mapping.
Secondly, note down the lowest value of Time To Live (TTL) on the MX record (of the primary email domain)
Lastly, you need to disable the Azure directory sync for the source tenant domain.
4. Performing The Migration
If you’ve planned your Office 365 T2T migration up to this point, well, there isn’t much to be performed on the day of the migration.
Broadly, there are three things left:
Stop receiving inbound emails to the source tenant. You can do this by changing the MX record to an unapproachable value. It becomes easy because you already noted down the lowest value of TTL on the MX record.
Before migrating to the target Office 365 tenant account, make sure that all objects from the primary mail domain are deleted in the source tenant.
Lastly, prepare the target domain by verifying the source tenant in the target domain (execute this step 60 minutes after the previous step).
Still on the final step, here’s what else you need to do:
If you’re using AD FS, go ahead and configure a new domain in the target Office 365 tenant for AD FS.
Next, activate new user accounts in the target tenant.
Assign each user a new license
Designate the source domain as the primary email addresses for new users
Decide on when to communicate the passwords to end-users (your team).
Direct the emails to the new mailboxes
Confirm that indeed the emails are flowing in and out of the target tenant account
Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of the pre-migration stage! Time for the actual migration. You can choose between using PowerShell Scripts or third-party migration tools when executing your T2T data migration.
Our honest advice? Pick third-party migration tools as they offer complete control over the data migration process. Kernel Office 365 Migration is arguably the best tool in this regard.
Why Kernel Office 365 and not any other migrating tool? Because it:
Allows you to migrate content from one tenant to another with zero hassles
Provides specific filters to move selective data
Allows you to migrate unlimited mailboxes with a CSV file
Enables you to transfer multiple mailboxes simultaneously
Can save migration report in CSV format once you’re through with the process
The Tenant-To-Tenant Migration Process
Depending on the number of end-users, you can have two different migration methods:
If you have 500 end-users or more, it’s best to go for the multi-pass approach. Here, you transfer the data in multiple batches. This process takes quite some time, so you’re better off migrating calendars, contacts, and emails for a single week.
If you have 500 end-users or less, transfer the contacts, emails, and calendar separately to the target tenant mailbox. You’ll also want to limit the volume of mails transferred if you’re pursuing email migration. To achieve this, set a cut-off date, say six months.
Assuming you decide to use Kernel Office 365 to migrate user mailboxes, here’s the process involved:
Launch the system on your system after installation
Click Add Source from the home screen. This allows you to add the first tenant Office 365, as the source.
The Office 365/Exchange Login window should pop up on the screen. Now key in Office 365 account details and select List all mailboxes using the above credentials. Next, click on the Get User mailboxes button. All your Office 365 mailboxes will pop up on the tab, so go ahead and select the specific mailboxes you want to migrate. Then hit the Add button.
Once the select mailboxes are added to the source section, click Add in the Add Destination segment. This allows you to add another Office 365 tenant as the destination.
Like in step 3, provide credentials in the destination section for your Office 365 account. Be sure to add all mailboxes for an error-free transfer.
Once you’ve added both the source and destination mailboxes, map them to each other. Then click Set Filter and Migrate.
Now select the type of destination (Mailbox, Archive Mailbox, Public Folder) and hit the Migrate button.
What appears next on the screen is the Filter Selection window. If you want, you can apply filters to the mailboxes. Then click I am OK Start Migration.
The tool will move mailboxes from one tenant to tenant. The green bars indicate the migration’s progress. Once every mailbox is on the right-hand side, you’ll receive a pop-up message notifying you that the process is a success. Click OK to finish.
It’s prudent to save the migration report in CSV format since it provides huge time-saving benefits during Office 365 T2T migrations.
There you have it!—a complete guide on Office 365 T2T migrations.
Centerpoint IT Can Help With Your Tenant-To-Tenant Migrations in Atlanta
We understand how difficult—and costly—it is to a Microsoft 365 tenant to tenant migration. The complexities and nuances involved in migrating corporate data can be too much to handle, especially if your IT team has other equally important commitments.
That’s why our team is devoted to partnering with businesses across Atlanta and North Georgia to make the whole T2T migration process fuss-free, quick, and cost-effective. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today for inquiries or submit a support request online!