This feature spotlight provides an in-depth look at new capabilities in MigrationWiz® that support migrations in a Hybrid Exchange environment. Read on to learn about the difficulties of current hybrid processes and the benefits of the new management features in MigrationWiz. A short demo of this scenario is available here.
For over a decade, MigrationWiz has been the go-to solution for all kinds of migration projects. From the early days of BPOS and mail-only moves to today’s multi-workload projects, we’re here to ensure your success in the transition to a new environment.
One scenario we hadn’t addressed was Hybrid Exchange. The reality is that many organizations turn to a hybrid approach for security or compliance concerns, specific application needs tied to the Exchange Server, and most commonly as a flexible, phased approach to a full Exchange Online deployment.
Today, BitTitan® unveiled new capabilities in MigrationWiz that support the batching and ongoing management of a Hybrid Exchange environment. In this Feature Spotlight, we walk through the difficulties facing hybrid consultants using native tools today; how MigrationWiz redefines the approach to these projects; and the benefits of engaging BitTitan for future hybrid scenarios.
Pain Points: Hybrid Projects Today
Hybrid setups aren’t new. Savvy IT admins and consultants have relied on their own processes via spreadsheets, PowerShell scripts, and the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) to perform these migrations. Ultimately though, these projects remain complex, manual endeavors that tie up top-tier IT resources for extended periods of time.
Over the past year, we have worked closely with Hybrid Exchange consultants to understand the biggest struggles with the status quo and how BitTitan could add value for our customers through MigrationWiz. Those conversations centered around four key pains.
The top two are technical barriers and interrelated: today’s hybrid projects rely on custom PowerShell scripts and spreadsheets to discover users and edit or manage them within different migration batches. Because of that, overall management of batches within this hybrid project is highly manual and complex when you consider the scale of these projects.
As a result, these projects require seasoned hybrid consultants or veteran IT people to manage, which ties up the partner’s most expensive people by hourly rate and could prevent them from working on other high-margin activities.
Finally, many hybrid projects are turned over to the end-user’s internal IT team for long-term management. But because of the complexity and lack of central management for these projects, success rates are often low and partners frequently have to reengage to get the project back on track.
Hybrid Exchange with MigrationWiz
MigrationWiz solves for these pain points by providing a single, unified console on top of Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) to manage and monitor your Hybrid Exchange migration.
The biggest strength of MigrationWiz for hybrid projects is improved batch management. Via the Hybrid Agent, MigrationWiz automates the discovery and creation of user batches while also analyzing delegate relationships, providing customers with a clear map of permissions between users so they can be migrated together to Exchange Online.
Since this automation is built into MigrationWiz, hybrid consultants can forego much of the custom scripting and spreadsheet maintenance found in today’s hybrid projects, which also helps reduce manual errors during this process. From the import of users to finalizing individual batches, all management of hybrid projects can be performed from within MigrationWiz. The result is a simpler, streamlined experience that enables a lower-tier engineer to manage and execute this project successfully.
Many of MigrationWiz features, including Project Sharing, Action Logging and automated end-user notifications, are built into this scenario, too, and the steps in-product follow the same flow as all our other scenarios. Our Knowledge Base has been updated with migration guides and support documents to assist with the adoption of this new functionality.
From the Create a Project page, Hybrid Exchange will now appear an option in the lower right corner.
Like other projects, the first step is to configure endpoints. The Source endpoint will be locked to Hybrid Exchange, so all a partner will need to do is name the endpoint. On the Destination side, we need Global Admin Credentials for the Destination tenant, as well as the Target Delivery Domain.
Once the endpoints are set up and the project saved, it’s time to add users. We offer three options for MigrationWiz customers to add users to their project.
- The first is Discovery via Agent. This requires a Hybrid agent be installed and executed on the customer’s Exchange server. It will automatically create batches by pulling active mailboxes and batching by the Organizational Unit entered during configuration. At the end of the discovery, a CSV will be sent to MigrationWiz and batches created automatically.
- The second and third options both involve a CSV import. Customers have the ability to download a sample CSV and add their users manually, just like they would today. Or they can choose to autogenerate a CSV through a PowerShell script we provide to autopopulate that CSV. Either way, once the CSV is finalized, they will need to import into MigrationWiz and away they go.
For handling delegates, MigrationWiz customers have three options:
Once batches have been imported, they appear together on this page. As batches are synced, stopped, finalized, or encounter an error and fail, the statuses across the top will update accordingly.
Partners can sort this list by a couple different factors, and also click on the batch name to view lists of individual users and manage users within that batch.
Once a batch is ready to go, we begin synchronizing. Similar to a pre-stage approach, this migrates the majority of data to the cloud but does not cut the user over and the user remains attached to their Hybrid Exchange mailbox. This locks the ability to move users into the batch, though you can remove users from the batch.
Because we have credentials for the Destination tenant, available Microsoft 365 licenses will appear in this window, too. Maximum error count can also be adjusted.
Once a batch is synched, it can be left here for a given period of time or cut over by “Finalizing.” This migrates the remining data and applies settings that were configured in the pre-migration phase via Advanced Options. The user is now using their Exchange Online mailbox.
Learn More Next Month
To learn more about Hybrid Exchange Management with MigrationWiz, register today for our upcoming webinar to dive deep into hybrid projects with BitTitan product architects and product managers. Got an upcoming project? Don't hesitate to contact us today and get the conversation started!