This week on the show, Steve and Paul are joined by Sigi Jagott, long-time MVP and Exchange Server expert, to find out why, and what the best practices are when upgrading on-premises servers to Exchange 2019.

And – at last – cross-tenant migrations are possible natively for mailboxes and OneDrive for Business accounts. We discuss and find out if there are any caveats. Teams arrives on Linux (again!), and we discuss Azure AD resiliency and Microsoft’s slowing cloud growth…

Microsoft 365 Cross-tenant Data Migration is GA for Exchange Mailboxes and OneDrive Data

The Mailbox migration feature has been in public preview since Sept 2022 – a long time waiting, but worth the wait?

Requires licensing – “Cross Tenant User Data Migration add-on”, per-user, per migration available for EA customers, not visible in the portal at the moment, and CSP/NCE partners note they cannot find pricing either.

Cross-tenant mailbox migrations using native features have some restrictions, such as:

  • You cannot migrate mailboxes that are on any type of hold
  • Only user-visible content is migrated
  • Post-migration, the source mailbox is deleted
  • Only Supported for tenants in hybrid or cloud-only
  • A significant amount of setup and management work for identities to do
  • No automatic Outlook reconfiguration
  • No additional cross-tenant collaboration is available, such as mailbox and calendar permissions
  • No support for Microsoft 365 group mailboxes
  • Auto-expanding archives cannot be migrated

For OneDrive, we’ve got a similar list:

  • Limit of 2TB (less than the 5TB allowed)
  • Blocks any OneDrive account with a hold
  • Shared link access does work, using redirects in the source tenant – which is great, although you need to keep the source tenant around for a little while post-migration.

Some additional useful features, like cross-tenant identity mapping in private preview, is intended to complement the cross-tenant mailbox migration.

Domain sharing for email is still in public preview and allows sharing domains indefinitely across multiple tenants, and can be enrolled with an NDA.

Read more on the Exchange Team Blog, see the MEC video on the topic, and read the documentation for Exchange and OneDrive.

Upgrading to Exchange 2019 – Sigi Jagott joins us to give us his tips

We’re joined by Microsoft MVP Sigi Jagott – who you’ll most likely know from this very podcast, to talk about Exchange 2019 upgrades. Sigi has worked on many of these upgrades and gives us some notes from the field. He also explains why people choose to move from Exchange Server 2016 to 2019.

Sigi’s full article on the topic will be landing on Practical 365 soon – and in the meantime, you can see Thomas and Sigi’s MEC session recording from a few weeks ago.

Microsoft Teams PWA (Progressive Web App) launches for Linux

It is not yet the year of Linux on the desktop, but some people still use it as their daily driver for work. And for those folk, Microsoft’s 2019 preview app on Linux didn’t get a lot of love. Now, this has been replaced, by the PWA app of Teams on Linux. It removes requirements for distribution-specific packages to be installed on your Linux machines, and even allows Conditional Access configuration to be applied and used, when using Edge as the web browser.

Available for Edge and Chrome, it provides custom backgrounds, gallery view (from web client), system notification integration, auto-start, and access to system app permissions.

Read more on the Microsoft Teams blog

Microsoft provides details on how they have improved Azure AD resilience

Identity is core to everything Microsoft 365, and often all your other apps – if you are using Azure AD to provide SSO. Microsoft’s Entra team shares what they’ve been working on to improve the Azure AD service resiliency, including:

  • Better change control process including multiple layers of internal testing and a slower roadmap
  • Moving to a cell-based architecture of 117 cells with up to 2% of the traffic on each service, and providing isolation of failures
  • New backup authentication system, in addition to the resiliency of the core service
  • Continuous Access Evaluation allows raising the refresh token from 1 hour to 24 hours, with 30% of user sessions already taking advantage of this feature
  • Regionally isolated authentication endpoints

Read more on the Entra Azure AD blog

Microsoft’s Cloud Revenues Slow Slightly: What does it mean for you?

Technology firms like Microsoft, Meta, and Netflix usually have investors poring over the details and questioning why there isn’t never-ending growth in user numbers. Microsoft’s latest quarterly results show a slight slow in cloud revenues. Tony Redmond examined the detail on his Office 365 for IT pros blog, and we discuss findings like the one below on the show:

Tony: “Microsoft reported that Office 365 commercial revenue was 11 percent (17 percent in constant currency). They said that growth came from expanding the installed base across all workloads and by generating more revenue from E5 licenses.”

Expect more add-ons, upsells, and perhaps a view where new features are a bonus.

Read more on Tony Redmond’s Office 365 for IT pro blog

From the Roadmap: Focus Time in Outlook Calendar

Finally, if you love the focus time feature, which automatically sets your do not disturb (DND) settings in Teams and mutes notifications, then you might have tried to see if you could set your own blocks of time in the diary as focus time. Unless you copy and paste an existing focus time booking, you cannot do this. The good news is – that this will be available in Outlook, in January 2023.

The Experts Conference 2022, December 6-7.

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About the Author

Steve Goodman

Chief Editor for Audio and Video Content and Technology Writer for Practical 365, focused on Microsoft 365. A nine-time Microsoft MVP, author of several Exchange Server books and regular conference speaker, including at Microsoft conferences including Ignite, TechEd and Future Decoded. Steve has worked with Microsoft technology for over 20 years beginning and has been writing about Exchange and the earliest iterations of Office 365 since its inception. Steve helps customers plan their digital transformation journey and gets hands on with Microsoft Teams, Exchange and Identity projects.

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