Feature Spotlight: Hybrid Exchange Management with MigrationWiz

BitTitan is currently testing new Hybrid Exchange Management capabilities in MigrationWiz with select partners. In this Feature Spotlight, we discuss the difficulties of current hybrid processes and the benefits of the new management features in MigrationWiz® for this scenario. Check back in the coming weeks for additional content around Hybrid Exchange Management.

 

For over a decade, MigrationWiz has been the go-to solution for all types of migration projects. From the early days of BPOS and mail-only moves to today’s multi-workload projects, we’re here to ensure success in the transition to a new environment.

One scenario we hadn’t addressed were migrations in a the hybrid Exchange environment: the coexistence and maintenance of an Exchange Online instance alongside an on-premises Exchange Server. The reality is that many organizations turn to hybrid configurations for security and compliance concerns, specific application needs tied to the Exchange Server, or as an intermediate step to a full Exchange Online deployment. The process for migrating between instances of Exchange has been less than ideal, including the hand-off from a consulting partner to the end-user organization.

Today, BitTitan® unveiled new management capabilities in MigrationWiz that leverages Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) to support migrations in a hybrid Exchange environment. Currently in beta with select partners, Hybrid Exchange Management capabilities will be generally available later this year.

In this Feature Spotlight, we walk through the difficulties of hybrid migrations today; how MigrationWiz redefines the approach to this configuration; and the benefits of engaging BitTitan for future hybrid scenarios.

 

 

Pain Points: Hybrid Exchange Management Today

Hybrid migrations aren’t new. Savvy IT admins and consultants have created manual processes via a combination of spreadsheets, PowerShell scripts, and the Exchange admin center (EAC). Ultimately though, these processes lead to a lack of visibility and control over this configuration and tie up top-tier IT resources for extended periods of time.

Over the past year, we have worked closely with hybrid Exchange consultants to understand the biggest struggles with today’s processes. Here’s the feedback we kept hearing:

  • Batch Management: Adding, removing, managing groups of users is highly manual and inefficient. The EAC UI only supports adding one migration batch at a time and provides limited batch management capabilities, such as moving a user between batches.
  • Creation and Management of PowerShell Scripts: A lack of sophisticated capabilities in the EAC leads to custom scripting or adding users one batch at a time.
  • Limited Status Updates: PowerShell commands to fetch information from the EAC often have a twenty-minute delay. IT needs to see live statistics about their project.
  • Low Success Rate in Transition to End-User Org: Service providers and consultants often struggle when it comes time to hand off the hybrid configuration to the customer. Internal IT teams need an easier and less-manual process to manage their own migrations over the long-term.
  • Expensive Resources: Because of these struggles, hybrid projects are typically sourced to tier-3 IT professionals – high labor costs that also tie up valuable personnel, made worse by the poor hand-off.

 

Managing Hybrid Configurations with MigrationWiz

MigrationWiz solves for many of these pain points by providing a single, unified console to manage and monitor your hybrid migration in real-time.

The biggest strength of MigrationWiz for hybrid projects is improved batch management. MigrationWiz automates the discovery of Source AD user data and CSV creation to bring users into migration batches. While the EAC only supports adding one batch at a time and offers limited ability to move users between batches, MigrationWiz can automatically import multiple batches and offers far greater functionality to move users in and out of batches and manage projects before sync/cutover.

 

 

Since this automation is built into MigrationWiz, hybrid consultants can forego much of the custom scripting and spreadsheet maintenance found in today’s hybrid projects. The result is a simpler, streamlined experience that enables a lower-tier engineer to manage and execute this project successfully.

Many of MigrationWiz features, including Action Logging and automated end-user notifications, are built into this scenario, too, and the steps in-product follow a similar flow as all our other workloads. Our Knowledge Base has been updated with Migration Guides and support documents to assist with the adoption of this new functionality.

 

Bottom-Line Benefits

All the research and features compiled into this scenario boil down to this:

A Simpler, Faster Experience: Fewer configuration steps, with more control, for quicker time to value.

A Reduction in Project Resources: A dedicated, lower-tier engineer can manage migrations 2-3 hours a week vs. a lengthy, on-site consulting engagement and still create a seamless turnover to end-user IT.

A Secure, Risk-Free Process: End-users don’t have to provide partners with RDP or password access to the console. Automation removes the manual, error-prone steps that accompany any migration.

The result? A better solution to simplify these configurations, preserve margins, and ease the transition to the end user.

Hybrid Exchange Management will be widely available later this year and we plan to share more information, documentation, and demos as it’s finalized, including information about licensing. To learn more about this scenario, view new documentation in the BitTitan Help Center. We will be constantly updating both these pages with additional information. Check back soon!

 

 

About the author

Grady Gausman

Grady Gausman is a staff writer for the Bits & Bytes blog.

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