Planning your Public Folders Migration to Office 365? – Use this Strategy

When Planning a Public Folder Migration to Office 365, there are several key components you’ll want to analyze.  In this post we’ll cover public folder migration from Exchange 2007/2010 to Office 365 and public folder migration from 2010 to 2013 or 2016.

How much Public Folder Data does your Organization have to Migrate?

Depending on the amount of data and number of Public Folders your organization has, you may want to use a third-party migration tool to facilitate your Public Folder Migration.

With the introduction of Exchange 2013, Microsoft eliminated the Public Folder structure of old. This older Public Folder design within Exchange had problems: mainly scalability, portability and high availability. Microsoft took care of these problems with Exchange 2013 by transitioning to Public Folder Mailboxes. They are very much like Shared Mailboxes, but instead they handle Public Folders.

Because the Public Folders are inside a mailbox that means that they can be members of DAGs (database availability groups) and contained within the existing database infrastructure that you have designed. 

sequenced public folders

Public Folder Limits in Exchange and Office 365

There are a few limits that you should be aware of with Public Folder Mailboxes in Exchange and Office 365. With Exchange 2013 & 2016, the Public Folder Mailbox has a maximum size of 100GB. Office 365 has a 50GB mailbox size limit. If you ever plan to migrate your Public Folder to Office 365, it is wise to configure your Exchange Public Folder Mailbox to have a maximum size of 50GB.

Microsoft only supports a maximum of 100 Public Folder mailboxes with Exchange 2013 and 2016. Although more can be created, they are just not supported nor are is it recommended. Office 365 has a limit of 1000 Public Folders and a maximum total size of 50TB.

Avoid a migration fail! What to look for in your Public Folders

When migrating from Exchange 2007/2010 to Exchange 2013+ or Office 365 you are required to rename any Public Folders with “\” because any Public Folder with a “\” will be placed in the Parent Public Folder and create all kinds of issues after the migration.

Also, be sure to check for mail enabled Public Folders with special characters or spaces within the email address. Older versions of Exchange allowed this type of email address and this is not compatible or even routable, which will cause the Public Folder migration to fail.

If you are migrating many Public Folders with large amounts of data, you could hit the 1000-line-item-limit for the  creation command. During the process of creating a Public Folder to Mailbox Map process, a CSV file is created based on the maximum mailbox size parameter you set. If that CSV has more than 1000 lines, an error can occur and must be bypassed manually. After the Mailbox map CSV is created, all new top level Public Folders cannot be created until after the migration because it is not contained within the map file. This has caused major business impacts for some clients in the past. 

Large amount of folders or data in your Public Folder hierarchy?

With large amounts of folders and/or data in your Public Folder hierarchy, you should consider using a solution that does not use a Microsoft Script and therefore, does not have the limitations that go along with utilizing the Microsoft Script for your Public Folder migration. There is a solution that automatically maps the Public Folders to the Public Folder mailboxes and allows 100% functionality for users during the migration process.

These are just some of the limits and challenges with Public Folder migrations but they are the ones that come up most frequently.

The Simple, 4-Step Solution We Recommend

LiquidData offers the first solution that completely de-risks a Public Folder migration to Office 365 or newer versions of Exchange in an easy to use 4-step process. And, you stay within the application from start to finish, never having to leave and get information or run scripts. Let’s go through the four steps in brief: 

1. Crawl and Analyze Your Public Folder Hierarchy

With the right public folder hierarchy analysis of your you can easily determine what to migrate, what to archive and what to exclude. This step delivers statistics used for calculating your PublicFolder Mailbox layout. 

2. Partition and Sizing Public Folders

Utilizing the statistics from the first step and combining that information with known destination limits, optimizes your Public Folder Mailbox layout and Public Folder distribution. This process automatically detects folders that exceed known destination limits and offers to split them for you!

3. Mailbox Creation in the Destination

The solution is designed to create Public Folder Mailboxes in the destination where each PublicFolder is assigned using the sizing algorithm in the previous step. 

4. Finalize and Cut Over to your Destination

Finalize is when you cut over from your source Public Folder environment to your destination. Avoiding typical complexities involved in this process, the solution splits the process into two, in addition to allowing you to reverse them at any time, with a simple click. Once finalization occurs, you run one more migration to capture any remaining content on the source to complete your migration.

Ask LiquidData for a demo to analyze and move your Public Folders seamlessly!

public folder migrations

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