Although Small Business Server or SBS 2011 is essentially an Exchange Server 2010 installed on a Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, migrating SBS 2011 is completely different and a bit complex than migrating Exchange 2010 to Microsoft 365.
Since Exchange 2010 has already reached its end of life on January 14, 2020, organizations running on SBS 2011 want to move to either on-premises Exchange Server 2013 and later or Microsoft 365 (also referred to as Office 365).
Methods to Migrate SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365
You can choose between three different ways to migrate from SBS 2011 to Office365.
You may also consider using an EDB converter tool, such as Stellar Converter for EDB to export mailboxes from the databases on your current SBS 2011 server to Office 365 directly. The software auto-maps the source mailboxes on SBS 2011 to destination mailboxes on Office 365 and provides an option to edit or manually map the mailboxes for precise migration.
Moreover, it is 4 times faster. It can process and export up to 4 mailboxes from SBS 2011 database to Office 365 simultaneously and transfer your data to Office 365 and significantly reduce the downtime.
Steps to Migrate SBS 2011 to Office 365
In this article, we will discuss steps to migrate SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 using the Minimal Hybrid method. Minimal Hybrid or Express Migration is an option in Exchange Hybrid Configuration Wizard to migrate mailboxes and data from SBS 2011 to Office365.
The steps to migrate from Exchange 2010 on SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 are as follow,
- Setup and Verify Domain Ownership in Microsoft 365
- Start Minimal Hybrid Migration
- Migrate User Mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365
- Export Mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Office 365 Directly
- Convert Mailboxes on SBS 2011 to PST and upload to Office 365 for Import
- Update DNS Records in Office 365
Setup and Verify Domain Ownership in Office 365
During Express or Minimal Hybrid migration, the SMTP address of each mailbox on SBS 2011 is used to create a new account and Office365 mailbox. However, you need to verify the domain before you can run the migration. The steps are as follow,
- Login to Office 365 or Microsoft 365
- Navigate to Setup> Domain and then click Add Domain
- Enter the domain name in the ‘Add a domain’ page that you use for SBS 2011 and click ‘Use this domain.’
- Add a TXT record to your DNS. For this, you need to sign in to your domain provider account, such as GoDaddy, or click ‘More options’ to add the TXT records to DNS manually.
- After adding the TXT record in the DNS, wait for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Click ‘Continue’ and then click ‘Verify.’
- After successful verification, click ‘Finish.’
NOTE: If verification fails, wait for another few minutes and then try again.
Now that you have verified that you own the domain, you can start the migration.
Start Minimal Hybrid Migration
Sign in to a system connected to your SBS 2011 domain and log in to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 account as Global Administrator.
Then follow these steps,
- Go to https://admin.microsoft.com/ and click Setup> Migrations.
- Select Email and then click ‘Get Started.’
- Click ‘Download the Hybrid Configuration Wizard’
- Click Download Application
- Open the Hybrid Configuration Wizard and click ‘Next.’
- Accept default value on the On-premises Exchange Server Organization page and click ‘next.’
- Select Use current Windows credentials on the Credentials page.
- Enter admin credentials for SBS 2011 (Exchange 2010 on-premises) and Office 365 organization.
- Click ‘next’ to validate the credentials and establish a connection between on-premises Exchange and Office 365 and then ‘next’ again.
- In Hybrid Features, choose the ‘Minimal Hybrid Configuration (Recommended)’ option and click ‘next.’
- Select ‘Use Exchange Modern Hybrid Topology’ and click ‘next.’
- Accept EULA terms. This will install and configure Hybrid Agent. Click ‘next’
- Click ‘Update’ on the ‘Ready to Update’ page to prepare SBS 2011 (on-premises Exchange 2010) for migration.
- After the update, choose the ‘Synchronize my users and passwords one time (Recommended)’ option and click ‘next.’
This will download Azure AD Connect Wizard on your system, which you can use to synchronize users from on-premises Exchange 2010 (SBS 2011).
- Run the downloaded Azure AD Connect Wizard and chose ‘Use express settings’
After the synchronization, you will see all your users synchronized from SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365.
Migrate User Mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Office 365
To move mailboxes to Office 365 from SBS 2011, you can export the mailboxes to PST and then use the Data Migration option in Office 365 to import the PSTs in Office 365 or install and EDB Converter tool, such as Stellar Converter for EDB to move the mailboxes from SBS 2011 directly to Office 365.
Migrate Mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 using EDB Converter Tool
To speed up the SBS 2011 mailbox migration and overcome the challenges associated with manual import and export of mailboxes from SBS 2011 to office 365, use an EDB converter software, such as Stellar Converter for EDB.
Unlike the manual approach, the software can directly extract mailboxes from your Exchange 2010 database and export them directly to the user accounts by automatically mapping the source and destination mailboxes. It gives you complete control over mailbox migration. It allows you to edit mailbox mapping and apply filters to include or exclude deleted/junk mail items and mailboxes based on the email address or date range.
Migrate Mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 using Azure AzCopy
In Exchange 2010 SP1 and later, you can use the New-MailboxExportRequest cmdlet to export mailboxes to PSTs.
Then you need to either upload the PSTs via Azure AzCopy (network upload method) or copy the PST files to a hard drive and ship it to Microsoft (drive shipping method).
Microsoft will upload the PSTs to Azure storage in Microsoft Cloud within 5-7 days after receiving the hard drive. The shipping method will cost you $2 per GB, and each PST should be >= 20 GB. For detailed information on drive shipping to import PSTs, refer to this guide.
We have detailed the manual steps to import the mailbox PSTs in Office 365 below via the Network Upload method using Azure AzCopy.
- In Office 365, click ‘Setup> Migration> Email> Get Started’ and choose ‘Import my PST files to import the PSTs.
- Click Show network upload SAS URL. Copy SAS URL & paste it on the notepad or save it somewhere safe.
- Click ‘Download Azure AzCopy’ and then install it on your system.
TIP: You can also download the portable version of Azure AzCopy and run command prompt to execute Azcopy commands.
- Launch Microsoft Azure Storage AzCopy and then use it to upload the PSTs from your local drive to Azure Storage on Microsoft cloud. Ensure PSTs are not large and the internet connection is a high speed and stable to avoid issues. Use azcopy login command to sign in and then execute the following command to upload PSTs to Azure Storage.
AzCopy copy "/path/to/pstfiles/" “
The –recursive switch ensures all PSTs from folder and subfolders are uploaded to Azure Storage.
AzCopy copy E:\SBS2011\MailboxPSTs\PSTs\ “https://xxxxx.blob.core.windows.net/ingestiondata?sv=2015-04-05&sr=c&si=IngestionSasForAzCopyxxxxx” --recursive=true
We recommended you upload two or three mailbox PSTs to Office 365 and import them to test everything is working fine before uploading all mailboxes.
You can upload single or multiple PSTs by adding a complete file path. For instance,
AzCopy copy "/path/to/pstfile01.pst">
- Based on the PST file size and network speed, this may take a while to finish.
- After the successful upload, you can use Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer to check if the uploaded PSTs are available on Azure Storage using SAS URL.
- Download the PST Import mapping file and open it in Microsoft Excel.
- Enter the mailbox details. You can add up to 500 rows. If you have more than 500 PSTs to import, creating multiple mapping files. Do not change or delete any field from the header row.
- Keep the Workload to Exchange, enter the folder location in FilePath row, PST file name in Name, email address of the user where mailbox will be imported in the mailbox, and specify mailbox folder in TargetRootFolder. Setting IsArchive to ‘False’ will import the PST into the primary mailbox. If IsArchive is set to ‘True’, the PST will be imported into the archive mailbox.
- After mapping all the users and mailboxes, save the file as CSV and then back on Office 365, check ‘I’m done uploading my files and ‘I have access to the mapping file’ options. Then click ‘Next.’
- Click ‘Select mapping file’ and then choose the CSV file.
- Click ‘Validate.’ If some PSTs are not uploaded, check the issue and resolve it. Then re-upload the file, validate and then click ‘Next.’
- Review the PST import job details and click ‘Submit.’
- The file will be added for import jobs into Office 365. Click ‘Done’
- Select the Import Job you just finished uploading and then click ‘Import to Office365.’
- You get an option to filter the data. Select ‘Yes, I want to filter it before importing’ to exclude data based on time, type of mail item, or fields, such as ‘To’, ‘From’ and ‘CC.’ After applying the filter, click ‘Next.’
- Review the filters and click ‘Submit.’
- It will display the data size that will be imported to the mapped mailboxes. Click ‘Done.’
- You can check the import progress by clicking on the import job on Microsoft 365 Compliance page.
- The import may take a while to finish. Ensure the Global Administrator account you are using to import PST has Mailbox Import Export role assigned.
- Once import is successful, the status will change to ‘Success.’
- To verify the import, login to user’s Outlook account to check the data.
- Repeat the steps to move and import other user mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Office 365.
Update the DNS Records in Office 365
Once the mailboxes are migrated successfully from SBS 2011 to Office 365, you can update the MX records in DNS records in your Domain name provider website, such as Godaddy, and point them from SBS 2011 to Office 365.
Now go to Settings> Domains to update the domain name in Office 365. Follow and complete the domain update wizard.
Once done, click ‘Okay, I’ve added the records.’
From now on, the emails will be delivered to Office 365.
At this stage, you have successfully migrated from SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 or Office 365. You can decommission the SBS 2011 after verifying email flow and ensure all data is moved to Microsoft 365.
In case you encounter any error while migrating SBS 2011 or Exchange 2010 to Office 365, you can reach us via comment down below.