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Google Apps to Office 365: Be careful of the Office 365 Migration Tool

Monday, November 4th, 2013

We recently did a complete migration from Google Apps to Office 365 (mostly to fully embrace and pilot the Office 365 offering as a whole) after having piloted a secondary gateway with Office 365 for around a month.

In the process we used the Exchange Online batch migration tool (IMAP Migration) to migrate roughly 25GB of mail from Google Apps to Office 365. We kicked the job off, ran it, and it completed after roughly 18 hours (not too bad for a complete item by item creation in Exchange).

There were a few minor things like how Google Apps handles IMAP and the All Mail folder (which essentially meant duplicates in all of our mailboxes on Office 365) but nothing major.

Until a month later...

Our Office 365 migration job status was showing as completed and finalized. In my opinion, that means nothing else is happening right? Wrong.

A month later we purged our old data from Google Apps before removing the accounts and all went as planned, or so we thought.

Until the next morning when we woke up, and all of the same folder names that were deleted from Google Apps were now deleted from Office 365, including all of the mail items within those folders.

Apparently completed and finalized doesn't actually mean it's still not running in the Microsoft world. The job kicked off at midnight of the day we removed email, and because it was "syncing", removed all the folders that were no longer on Google Apps.

Support seemed completely in awe by how and why this occurred, so apparently this doesn't happen that often.

My best piece of advice is before you purge your old data, make sure that you remove the batch migration jobs completed (as in delete). You might also want to back up both environments if you're super nervous.

Luckily for us we had local backups so there wasn't any lost mail, just a slow recovery process.

We could have also gone the route of eDiscovery and compliance hold to recover the items, but unfortunately that doesn't preserve folders.

365in' Tom Out.

Tags

Office 365

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