Exchange Online Migration Project



The current in-house (also referred to as “on premise”) email system is Microsoft Exchange 2007.  MS Exchange has been the UA standard email service for a number of years and has gone through several major software version upgrades and hardware replacement cycles.  In recent years other options have become available, notably the availability of hosted services where email systems are located in external facilities and managed by external service providers.  Microsoft offers a hosted messaging environment called Exchange Online. It runs on their hardware in their facilities located in the United States and is accessed remotely via the Internet. This type of arrangement is sometimes called hosting in “the cloud”.

Faced with the need (and associated cost) to upgrade the current system to newer hardware and software, we decided to evaluate the feasibility of migrating to the Exchange Online platform as an alternative. After some testing we are convinced that we can provide a better email service at a lower cost by taking advantage of this hosted environment.

Beginning in spring 2015, we will migrate all of the email accounts from our current in-house Exchange 2007 system to an Exchange Online instance. Exchange Online is currently based on a Microsoft Exchange 2013 environment. Microsoft will own and manage all the hardware and software components, including regular upgrades to new software versions. UA will continue to provision and manage the accounts themselves. 

The new system will provide a user experience very similar to the current in-house system. Outlook and OWA will continue to be the UA supported email clients but others will continue to work as well. Email addresses will not need to change. One major benefit is that the Exchange Online mailbox will have a 50 GB capacity – 100 times the current default.

Office 365 - Exchange (Outlook) Online