Exchange Server mailbox migration based on item age

In the hour of the Microsoft’s Exchange 2016 release, some of you fellow admins are probably starting the day with heads burdened with different data migration scenarios, and your brain synapses are struggling to work out the fastest and easiest solution to achieve the aim of moving your mailbox databases to the newest Exchange or Microsoft 365 (Office 365) servers. It is easier said than done, especially when it comes to migrate huge organizations with scores of users whose work must remain uninterrupted in the process. Most often new mailboxes and mail flow are required to function immediately after the operation is accomplished. A good way to reach your goal is to perform migration in batches, migrating first the most needed data for users from the last relevant period of time, and then in the succeeding batch older data.

This way of migration scenario allows you to control amounts of data basing on the scale of your organization. It is up to you to determine the amount of data for the first batch, would it be a part that involves migration for over 1000 users with one-week data, or less than 1000 with one-month data. Remember to consider how it may affect your network performance and on that basis carefully plan your migration by specifying the number of users and age of data. After you move the first, the most important batch, you may start to migrate the rest of the data.

Whether you are moving your data to Exchange on-premises server or Microsoft 365, you should try to determine the best migration method for your project. You may try to use Exchange solutions to achieve your aims by using e.g. hybrid migration or cutover migrations batches (when you move to Microsoft 365), or just simply perform one-forest migrations in on-premises versions. However, these solutions have different levels of complicacy and involve messing with scripts and cmdlets to filter out mailbox data based on age. Moreover, in case of migrations from legacy Exchange versions (e.g. 2007) to Exchange 2013 or 2016, you will have to perform so called “double hop migrations”, what even more complicates the operations. It all requires very careful planning and adequate level of technical knowledge.

CodeTwo migration software

You may try to avoid all the hassle with CSV file batching, migration multi-stage pilot testing and complex hardware setups before you accomplish your migration. Instead of native Exchange solutions you may try to use dedicated CodeTwo Exchange or Microsoft 365 migration applications.

CodeTwo Exchange Migration (for migration to an Exchange server) and CodeTwo Office 365 Migration (for migration to Microsoft 365) is a software that is driven by the thought to make all migration operations clear and simple. That’s why both programs are equipped with intuitive wizards to lead you smoothly through the migration process. You can make direct migrations from legacy Exchange versions to Exchange 2013 or 2016 without any mid-stages or pre-installations. User’s UI allows you to manage migration projects as Jobs, which may be reconfigured any time you want. Therefore, to perform the above presented migration scenario in batches, you just need to create two Jobs which will involve the Time filter feature applied. In the first job, let’s include only mailbox data from the last 30 days, and, in the second job, let’s migrate the batch with the rest of the older data.

To migrate Exchange data according to age parameters, follow these steps:

  1. First of all, install the appropriate program, depending on what’s you migration target (in our example, an Exchange server will be also the target environment). Next, set up the source server of your Exchange organizations and the the target Exchange server. Then, you may initialize the migration job creation wizard by selecting New in the Jobs tab, and begin to set up your migration.Creating a new job in CodeTwo Exchange Migration.
  2. Now, let’s configure the first job and set the program to migrate only mailbox data from the last 30 days. It can be easily done in the Time filter step of the wizard by selecting Migrate only items not older than and pointing to the date commencing last 30 days period of time. You may tick the Override the time filter… option which lifts off all the time filter settings for contact items and will migrate all contacts in the current job.Setting the Time filter feature to migrate only the newest items (last 30 days)
  3. Remember to take your time for optimizing and configuring the rest of options for the migration job e.g. choose the target server, set the scheduler option, use the mailbox automatch function, and so on. Revise your configurations in the Job summary step.Reviewing the configuration of your migration job
  4. After you successfully migrate the first batch, create a new migration job and set the Time filter option to Migrate all items regardless of their age, then finish the job configuration. The program will automatically recognize all the missing data (including the older data) and will migrate it to the target server.

Configuring the time filter feature to migrate the remaining items

Before decommissioning the old server please use the Run delta migration function to let the program check for any current mailbox data to be complemented in the target server. Learn more

If you are planning to carry out a simple and fast migration of data based on age, then you should consider trying out CodeTwo Exchange Migration or CodeTwo Office 365 Migration, depending on the platform of the target server. You may also try to use native Exchange solutions, however, it may become a troublesome road if your technical skills are not on the appropriate level.

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