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Retire your Exchange Servers. Migrate to Office 365 with Exchange Online.

Posted April 19, 2017
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If your server is approaching end-of-life, it’s time to consider your options. Office 365 ensures a smooth transition to the cloud.

By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy

Are you still running an Exchange 2007 server? Microsoft Exchange Servers tend to have a 10-year lifecycle. Exchange 2007 goes end-of-life this tomorrow, meaning no further technical support will be provided and no bug fixes or security patches will be released. Read more about this here.

Exchange 2010 has another few years to run, reaching end-of-life in January 2020. Support for Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016 will end in April 2023 and October 2025 respectively.

If your Exchange server is approaching end-of-life, it’s time to consider your options.

Why should I retire my Exchange server?

When the time comes to retire your end-of-life, on-premises Exchange servers, you’re faced with a choice to make:

1.      You can upgrade to a newer version of Exchange Server. This means you’ll face the same decision in a few years’ time when that version also reaches end-of-life.

2.      You can dramatically enhance your organisation’s productivity by transitioning to Microsoft’s powerful cloud-based solution – Office 365 with Exchange Online.

Simply upgrading to a more recent version of Exchange server may be the quickest and most straightforward choice. However, this is a temporary solution and you’ll end up repeating the exercise in a few years.

It is important to remember that if you have Exchange 2007, there’s no direct upgrade path from to Exchange 2016. You’ll need to plan for a time-consuming two-phase migration, first upgrading to Exchange 2010 or 2013 and then to 2016. It’s a big task, but well worth the effort if you’re determined not to move to the cloud.

Why should I migrate to Office 365?

Migrating to Office 365 is the most effective approach for retiring your on-premises Exchange platform. It lets you make a direct jump from 10-year-old architecture to cutting-edge technology! You’ll also eliminate the costs associated with purchasing and running the Exchange hardware, including power usage, physical footprint, backups, maintenance, security and upgrades.

There are major benefits and cost savings from adopting Office 365 when it comes to your business licensing structure. With Office 365, your entire business will work on the same version of Office and everyone will automatically be upgraded to the latest versions as they are released.

Instead of paying per license, or having a server for your Office and applications, your company will now pay per user and as a package in the cloud, reducing overall costs to your business.

How should I migrate to Office 365?

Depending on the size and nature of your business, there are a few migration options to choose from when moving to Office 365. You’ll need to be aware of the number of users, how long the migration may last, and whether you require integration between your on-premises platform and Office 365 during the transition. This will help you decide between a cutover migration, staged migration, or full hybrid migration.

· Cutover migration

A cutover migration is fast, simple, and best for small businesses that don’t have many mailboxes. On a selected date, you migrate your entire system, shut down your Exchange servers and begin to use Office 365 exclusively. This method does require users to reconfigure their Outlook profiles.

· Staged and hybrid migration

Staged and full hybrid migrations are more complex and primarily geared towards larger organisations that require more than a week to transfer all users. Mailboxes are moved in batches, letting you control which users are transitioned at a given time.

Our recommendation?

At Bremmar, we recommend hybrid migrations. They mean less interruptions and offer the most seamless approach for all users.

Cutover migrations are only recommended if used on small businesses, otherwise they can be extremely interruptive to users. Staged migrations lay in between cutover and hybrid, so to provide a better migration experience to businesses, we recommend hybrid.

should I move to office 365

What should I expect from Office 365 after the migration?

When you have completed your cloud migration, you’ll see immediate productivity benefits as your employees gain access to state-of-the-art tools and applications. The service comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so your business will stay up and running for longer. And since you only pay for what you use, you should also see reduced IT costs.

If you’re concerned about security or losing control of your data, rest assured that Microsoft Office 365 adheres to strict security and compliance requirements. This includes ISO 27018, which is a code of practice that focuses on protection of personal data in the cloud. For compliance reasons, it’s also important to know that all your data will be stored locally in Australia.

Microsoft maintains all IT infrastructure and takes full responsibility for security patches, backups and maintenance. Data is securely encrypted both in storage and in transit. These are clear benefits of Office 365 that you would obviously lose if you continue to run your business on an end-of-life Exchange server.

With Office 365 and Exchange Online you’ll never need to worry about upgrading your system or purchasing new equipment. Your Microsoft subscription includes all future versions, which will be automatically upgraded as they’re released. You’ll always have access to the latest features!

Benefits of Office 365

With Exchange Server 2007 fast approaching end-of-life, time is running out to transition your organisation to a supported Exchange platform. If you’d like some guidance on the best approach to ensure a successful Exchange migration, then contact us today on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au.

By Chad Gowrea, Director - Solutions and Strategy

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