I wanted to put together a post about how you actually get ready for office365, there are a few different steps that you will need to take and that’s why I am going to do this as a blog series rather than try to include everything in the one post. This first post is going to focus on the current enviorment, the as is state if you like.
Its really important that we ensure that our current environment is as good as it can be prior to a migration to the cloud. This is particularly important if the organisation as most do, are going to be using Azure Active Directory. I always recommend that a customer wanting to do a move to Office365 perform an assessment of their current enviorment first.
By performing an assessment of the “as is state, we have a much better idea of the things that need to be changed, updated or removed. I call these the remediation items and include them in any report that I prepare for the customer. This post includes a detailed breakdown of all of the applications and scripts that I use to perform these assessment’s.
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Tool.
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations—including Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 2010, Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, Hyper-V, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, and Windows Azure.
One of the nice features of The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is that it is an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that has the ability to securely assess an environment for various platform migrations—this includes, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2010 and Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, Hyper-V, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, and Windows Azure…. Phew that’s a long list!
In a nutshell the tool provides detailed readiness assessment reports with hardware and software information, plus it also provides recommendations to help organisations with their IT infrastructure planning process.
It is an invaluable application to have in your toolkit and could be used in a number of different scenario’s. Each scenario provides detailed information and also includes the ability to generate reports which can be used to further analyse and distribute the captured information. The scenarios that you can view are outlined below:
- Desktop Virtualisation
- Server Virtualisation
The tool displays the captured information in a simple yet comprehensive interface which is reminiscent of the familiar Windows 8 interface.
The cloud scenario assessment in particular offers a very detailed analysis and provides comprehensive deployment and sizing recommendations based on the scans completed of the enviorment.
As I mentioned above, the tool provides extensive reporting capabilities including approx. 30 customer reports and proposals that are specific to the environment that the tool has inventoried. Click here for more information on the reports and proposal that are available, this just makes my job infinitely easier!
Click here to view the MAP toolkit and download the latest version.
The backbone of every enviorment is Active Directory, without this crucial system running well the other components that make up an enviorment will typically experience a myriad of different issues. Hence it is so important to ensure that prior to any migration, cloud or otherwise that AD is scrutinised and any issues discovered are fixed. Microsoft have done an excellent job of providing us with a tool that will assist us in this, IDFix.
IdFix is used to perform discovery and remediation of identity objects and their attributes in an on-premises Active Directory environment in preparation for migration to Office 365. IdFix is intended for the Active Directory administrators responsible for DirSync with the Office 365 service.
This tool that will assist with preparing a Directory Synchronization deployment with Office 365. It will discover objects in Active Directory that have duplicates, invalid characters, are using a local UPN and a few other things.
One of the invaluable features of this application is that as part of the report which is generated, IDFix provides the administrator with the ability to fix up any issues discovered in the scan via the ACTION column.
Other Useful Scripts
- Count total user, group and contact objects in Active Directory forest, this script is courtesy of Thomas Ashworth and can be downloaded here. The results of the script will output to the PowerShell console and will be saved to a CSV file.
- Active Directory Audit scripts, these scripts are provided courtesy of J House Consulting and there are literally too many to list here! You can download these scripts by clicking here. I use a few of these scripts for various things like identifying all computer objects etc.
Exchange Enviorment Report
This fantastic PowerShell script, the Exchange environment report was masterminded by Steve Goodman . This script is my go to as a consultant, especially for Exchange Hybrid builds. It was born out of the Exchange TAP Tool and the primary objective of the script is to generate a report which gives you a fairly granular overview of your current Exchange enviorment. The supported versions are 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. I have included an excerpt from Steve’s blog post for what the tool actually reports on:
- Total Servers per Exchange version & service pack
- Total Mailboxes per Exchange version & service pack, plus Office 365 remote mailboxes
- Totals for Exchange roles across the environment
- A site-by-site breakdown for the following:
- Mailboxes per site
- HTTPS FQDNs used for Internal, External and SCP URLs
- CAS array names
- Exchange servers, version, update rollup and version, service level, highlighted installed roles, OS version and service pack
A breakdown of each Database Availability Group including:
- DAG name, member count and member list
- Database information such as:
- Mailboxes per database and Average Size
- Archive mailboxes per database and Average Size – only shown if a DB includes Archive mailboxes
- Database and whitespace size
- Database and log disk free space percentage
- Last full backup date/time (new) – only shown if at least one DAG DB has had a full backup
- Circular Logging state (new) – only shown if at least one DAG DB has circular logging enabled
- Server hosting the active copy
- List of servers hosting copies and copy count
- A breakdown of Non-DAG databases including Exchange 2007 and 2003 DBs, including the database information above, along with Storage Group name (where applicable).
Office365 Bandwidth and Network Connectivity Test
Bandwidth and network connectivity is an important consideration and often one that is overlooked by many organisations. Unfortunately by not taking this into consideration potential problems can arise down the track when there is not enough available bandwidth for the current workload. I use the office 365 bandwidth test and network connectivity test available here.
Note: you will need to make sure you have the latest version of java runtime installed to see the results of the test.
So there you have it a consultants secrets revealed! I hope that you find this post useful and that it aids you in a successful migration to Office365, I will try and keep this updated as I find new tools and develop new scripts.