First Show of 2024

For the first show of 2024, we’re joined by a special guest and we’re talking about a subject close to Practical 365’s heart and history – Exchange Online!

On the show this week, Paul Robichaux and I are joined by Microsoft’s Tim McMichael, who as well as being a seasoned Support Escalation Engineer is well known for his prowess in identity and Exchange Server. If you’ve migrated Distribution Groups to Exchange Online as part of your Exchange Online migration then it’s highly likely you’ve used his scripts. He joins us to discuss DLConversionV2, his latest project, and to talk all things around challenges with hybrid identity.

DLConversionV2 with Tim McMichael

DLConversionV2, or to give it it’s full name Office 365 – Distribution List Migration – Version 2.0 is not just a script that helpfully moves your distribution groups from on-premises to cloud-mastered, but a full module that now takes into account Tim’s experience over the years helping organizations large and small with these challenges.

Tim discusses with us what he’s learned about this complex side of hybrid identity management – such as how Distribution Groups often get used for far more than their original scope – often ending up assigned to file share permissions, mailbox permissions, and much more, and how he’s built a complex PowerShell module capable of providing the insight and managed migration of these.

We chat a little about the type of support cases Tim sees, and via the project, he gets insight into the types of challenges organizations are having as they work on projects like this, and we chat about how you deal with a complex challenge of migrating something that is often critical for the organization but must go offline for a period of time during the move. Most interesting to learn is how deep Tim has gone into solving this problem and reducing the time for a switch from what could be several hours, to around 90 seconds for moving even a large DL to the cloud.

In Tim’s day job at Microsoft, he’s moved on somewhat from Exchange Server and Exchange Online and now has a day-to-day focus on Identity, and we chat about what he’s seeing. Naturally, working in a senior support position he rarely gets simple cases to solve and we chat about what sort of organizations are tackling big Distribution Group migrations, and which are migrating all their identities from on-premises Active Directory to Azure AD only.

If you’re finally looking to move your Distribution Groups from AD to online, or you are migrating to Exchange Online and want to add a little more fidelity and wider use for your on-prem DGs, then check out Tim’s blog post on DLConversionV2 on his personal site.

Next time on the show, in two weeks time, we’ll be joined by another special guest discussing safety and governance in AI – and discussing the aftermath of some of the biggest tech stories that affect Microsoft 365.

TEC Talk: Migrating T2T with Native Tools

TEC Talk: Migrating T2T with Native Tools Join Mike Weaver’s Free Webinar on Jan. 18th @ 11 AM EST.

About the Author

Steve Goodman

Technology Writer and Chief Editor for AV Content at Practical 365, focused on Microsoft 365. A 12-time Microsoft MVP, author of several technology books and regular Microsoft conference speaker. Steve works at Advania in the UK as Field Chief Technology Officer, advising business and IT on the best way to get the most from Microsoft Cloud technology.

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