Office 365 Deployment Tips

DNS record changes should be hosted by a service provider that allows you access to the DNS records so you can make immediate changes. If not, you may want to move them first to a service provider that does or plan to move them to Office 365 as part of the migration. Set current DNS record TTLs as low as possible a week or so ahead of your migration (the further out from the live changes the better).

image001

If relocating an existing email solution, make sure you have access to the old email as PSTs and that you have access to the previous email data after the move (i.e. webmail access from  the old provider for any email that is slow to make the DNS changes). Make DNS changes after hours, preferably on a Friday. Those of you with DNS experience know this is best practice to allow replication over the weekend during minimal email traffic times.

If using Office 365 Premium hosting and you plan to deploy Office 2013 Note the following:

  • Office 2013 will only install on Windows 7 or greater
  • There is no longer a downgrade to Office 2010 for older PCs. However, if you have licensed copies of Office 2010 you should be able to connect it to Office 365.
  • Uninstall ALL previous Office packages including the demos (email configuration settings will be retained by default).
  • You can install 2013 before transferring to Office 365 email by simply creating a new Outlook profile when you connect to Office 365.
  • Install the 32-bit version of Office 365. Note: You need to download for each individual user; there is no .MSI or .EXE that you can transfer from PC to PC.

To get to the Office 2013 Download Log on as the mailbox/user, right click on the Gear in the top right and select “Office 365 settings” as shown below:

image006

You then Select “Software” on the Menu to the Left as shown below:

image011

You then scroll down and Select “Installation” as highlighted below from the PC you plan to install this users copy on and the install will begin. Note: “Remaining installs available” per that user/mailbox as highlighted below.

image012

To create an alternate Outlook profile, go to Control Panel and select mail. If it does not appear use the search in the top right of the window and type in mail. It should then open the profile manager so you can create a new one.

image013

It should then open the profile manager to create a new one using “Show Profiles” as shown below:

image014

 

You can then select “Add” to create a new profile. You will most likely want to change the setting to also “Prompt for a profile to be used” until your migration is completed as highlighted below:

image015

PST Importing is a MESSY ADVENTURE:

  • Know your true ISP upload and download speed baseline.
  • DO NOT IMPORT PSTs during office hours if at all possible.
  • REPEAT: DO NOT IMPORT PSTs during office hours if at all possible.
  • DO NOT IMPORT PSTs over four gigabytes. If possible see data transfer calculator.
  • Note: Microsoft may limit the connection to 150Kbytes/sec
  • There are some powershell scripts to upload the PSTs but I have not tested them and in any case you are still limited to the upload pipe you are using.
  • Close Outlook and Backup or copy PST’s first to maintain unmodified PSTs. (Default location is C:Users%username%AppDataLocalMicrosoftOfficeOutlook) as shown below:

image016

  • Mount PSTs rather than importing.
  • Move a folder or directory from the mounted PST one at a time during slower times in the day. By doing this you limit the bandwidth use and you can limit importing to only data that you truly need from the PST. 

Caution: While data is synchronizing users may not receive incoming email to Outlook. Have a copy of webmail open on the systems as well to make sure all incoming responses are timely.

  • If you do import full PSTs do it on a Friday evening and leave Outlook and the PC on all weekend to allow more online time to transfer. Use the calculator link above.
  • If users have high speed internet at home it may be faster to have them take the laptop home and continue the imports. Especially if you have multiple users with PST’s importing that can choke your bandwidth in the office.
  • If you are not sure what Outlook syncing is doing to your ISP speed, check it and compare to your original baseline test.
  • The only way to stop the Outlook syncing is to shut down Outlook completely or set it to offline mode and use webmail. Since it is Exchange all webmail and mobile interaction will sync with Outlook.

To set Outlook 2013 to work offline: click the “Send/Receive” tab and click “Work Offlilne” as highlighted below. Note: It will change to gray if Offline and it may take a  minute or so to change modes.

image017

 

You can also confirm Outlook is Working Offline by viewing the icon on your toolbar which will now have a red “X” as shown below.

image018

Let us set you up on Office 365 or other software with ease! Call us toll-free today at 877.552.0404.