Staged VS Hybrid Migration

Should we use Staged or Hybrid Migration?

To answer this question we often ask if the On-premises Exchange Organization will be permanent in Hybrid With Exchange Online? Because if so, Hybrid is the option to favor. Hybrid is still a migration option, so after a couple of Projects you will see it isn’t build to be a permanent solution. But thats a topic for a later blog post.

But we are looking for the Migraiton Method without having a permanent on-premises Exchange Organization, so Our goal is to migrate all users to Exchange Online.

So I usualy ask the customer a couple of easy, not directly, but interesting questions.

How many mailboxes are we migrating?
I ask because a large number of users will take more time, and therefore it is more important for features to work between users still not migrated yet and the Lucky once we have migrated.

How many office location are we migrating?
I ask because if we wanne do a Staged migration we need Outlook to create a New Outlook Profile, and it isn’t every employee that can do this themself. So it can be a bigger job for the Nike shoes then a Hybrid Migration. The Hybrid Migration will upon finishing the migration process reconfigure the Outlook Profiles before it asks the user for a restart of Outlook to finish the reconfiguration. Keeping all settings like signature and temporary remembered recipients that aren’t stored as contacts.

If your tired of Reading now, the short summary is Hybrid Migration requires more work prior to migrating mailboxes and Staged Migration requires more work during the migration of mailboxes. But don’t underrestimate the pre-reqs for configuring a Hybrid Migration.

Read this Technet article for more information on pre-reqs for Hybrid Exchange.

But the pre-reqs for Hybrid is only a Learning process, so after a while you will get the hang of it.

But we might still be wondering which option for migration to use, so lets see some comparison to what Hybrid Migration will have for features that Staged Migration doesn’t.

Primary everything is available within their own Exchange Organization, so these features are for communicating crossover the On-premises Exchange Organization and the Exchange Online Organization.

– Free/Busy sharing
– Calendar sharing
– Reconfigure Outlook Profile and keep all settings
– Fallback migration from Exchange Online
– Archive in Exchange Online
– Secure mail transport
– EOP for all mail transport
– Full GUI for Migration batches

Staged Migration will enable mailflow through Your On-Premises Exchange Organization for all users, and only requires Outlook Anywhere configured and mailbox Access rights, to reach the mailboxex when migrating them.

So, Hybrid Migration is allover the better Migration Option when we look at the features, but if Your migrating users over the night or perhaps a weekend, theres is no need for the Hybrid Features to exist between the Exchange Organizations.

You will allways have to feel weather the cost of establishing Hybrid will out value the features. Sometimes I recommend Stage Migration ofcourse, but the customers love certain features in Hybrid sometimes.

So do you still give them Hybrid Migration even if its against Your own recommandation?

If you can’t convince the customer, I say we deploy Hybrid and have fun while doing it. But usualy the customers allready stuck on Hybrid Migration, is often right 🙂


I am Roy Apalnes, a Microsoft Cloud Evangelist working av Sopra Steria. Main focus in Microsoft Security and Endpoint Management, with a bigger picture in mind.

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