Many organizations are recognizing the benefits of moving to Office 365 — network accessibility anywhere at any time, easy email access both inside and outside of your organization, as well as reducing operations and management overhead. Barracuda Office 365 simplifies activities like managing Exchange, but migrating your productivity environment to the cloud raises some serious business challenges to ensure that you remain productive and protected before, during, and after your migrations. To make sense of all the “moving parts” to Office 365 and helping you make the right choices that enhance your environment, we’ve developed a simple strategy of prepare, migrate, and operate to get you to Office 365 efficiently and once there, operate securely and productively. Prepare your data by identifying legacy email data, locating PST files, and determining what to migrate, what to keep, and where to keep it (i.e., how to avoid expensive “forklift” cloud uploads).
Prepare your network by ensuring it will support the high-speed internet connections that Office 365 expects and that you can manage bandwidth on a per-user, per application basis. During your migration phase — which may be weeks or months, and may be a staged migration or even a hybrid where you combine on-premises Exchange servers with Exchange Online — how do you continue to support and manage users in both worlds, and to whom should you turn for the outside services necessary for a clean and efficient migration. Once in Office 365, assuring total email security, achieving robust compliance and discovery, securing your most sensitive and critical data, and providing backups so you can restore data losses due to human errors or network glitches. Our solutions work whether you’re still on-premises and considering a move to Office 365, if you are in the middle of a migration to Office 365, or if you’re already operating in the cloud and want to improve your security and productivity. They can be deployed on-premises, in virtual environments, or in the cloud.
Barracuda Office 365 — Prepare
Preparing to migrate to Office 365 is a major project that affects the entire corporate network, so most customers begin with Exchange online. Before migrating to Exchange online, customers need to locate and identify all their legacy email and develop a strategy that will allow online users to access them once in the cloud. Simply migrating everything is time-consuming and counterproductive since much of this legacy information won’t be accessed again. Relying on cloud-based applications like Office 365 highlights the importance of having reliable internet connectivity for today’s organizations. However, many organizations still overlook the impact of Office 365 on their overall network infrastructure. A better strategy is to identify all legacy email and determine what gets migrated and what gets kept in an Office365 — friendly environment before actually migrating. That way, only small, active mail items get migrated while users still have access before, during, and after to any legacy data they may wish to retrieve.
Barracuda Office 365 – Migration
Companies looking to implement Office 365 can be coming from a variety of platforms and configurations — each has an impact on their migration strategy. Barracuda Office 365 isn’t like an upgrade — it’s a wholesale move — yet companies need to duplicate much of their on-premises infrastructure in the cloud to ensure they maintain a productive work environment. “Getting there” depends very much upon where companies are coming from. A real-world example of an Office 365 migration can look like this. A customer running Exchange 2007 solicited bids for migration to Office 365. Since there is no direct “hop” from Exchange 2007 to Exchange Online, the customer first needed an interim Exchange 2010 server to which they would migrate from Exchange 2007 and which would act as “bridge” to an initially hybrid installation of Office 365. They could then gradually migrate users to Office 365 with the ultimate goal of eliminating the interim server, or if not, upgrading it to Exchange 2013.
Barracuda Office 365 — Operate
When operating in Office 365, companies quickly realize that included email security is basic, that preserving email data for business continuity and regulatory reasons is not as easy as they thought, and there is no simple way to restore lost or corrupted data. Office 365 includes Exchange Online Protection for email security, and focuses on spam detection. Protection against far more damaging phishing attempts and zero day attacks requires an optional product which can be expensive and complicated to manage. Office 365’s preservation feature is based on document tags, meaning preserved data is co-mingled with operational data. Over time, Office 365’s very large mailbox sizes can make retrieval time-consuming and frustrating — many regulatory challenges for which preserved mail must be produced have very short response windows. Office 365’s “backup” capability is a totally manual process. It relies on Recoverable Items folders, and in the case of inadvertent deletions, offers a very short recovery window.