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Google Workspace Migration to Microsoft 365

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Common scenario nowadays is the need to combine, relocate, or consolidate IT infrastructure. For example, companies merge, acquire other companies, or divest. Or they change providers due to specific business needs such as cost optimisation. This often means performing a tenant-to-tenant migration like merging multiple tenants into one, or splitting one tenant into two. Further complication is added when cross vendor cloud migrations are required. Such moves involve migration of mailboxes, files, domains, and other services. Due to the different nature of clouds and high complexity for such migrations third-party tools are also needed.


We recently completed a project where we were tasked with migrating Gmail and Google Drive data to Microsoft 365 and optimising the on-premises identity management infrastructure based on Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services.


Business needs:

  • Cost optimisation.

  • More flexible business applications.

  • Increased productivity.

  • Reduced employee burden and increased security by using single identity to login everywhere.

Customer challenges:

  • Lack of technical knowledge and IT personnel.

  • Unfamiliarity with own IT environment.

  • Outdated servers with unsupported operating systems.

  • Lack of process that handles inactive employees.

  • Outdated documentation.

Transformation approach:


Key step in any migration is good planning. We use a five-phased approach as shown and explained below:

Nuwey migration approach

Discover

  • Detailed discovery of on-premises, Google, and Microsoft 365 environments.

  • Produce master migration list with active users, groups etc. identified for migration.

  • Identify all dependencies e.g., applications, services, processes etc.

Design

  • Prepare migration approach and communicate pros and cons with customer.

  • Build migration plan and design based on customer feedback using transparent approach for end users.

Build

  • Build all needed Azure IaaS components like VMs, VNet, Bastion etc.

  • Setup migration platform based on AvePoint migration tool. Other products can be used as well, in this case we selected AvePoint due to several factors including customer preference.

  • Expand on-premises environment with:

    • S2S VPN between on-premises and Azure VNet.

    • Additional domain controllers hosted in Azure.

    • Specific sub-OUs based on MML containing active user objects for migration.

    • AADConnect server to synchronise user identities from specific ADDS OUs with scoped permissions to Azure AD.

  • Move FSMO AD roles to newly built AD server and obsolete non supported domain controllers.

Integrate

  • Perform mailbox data synchronisation.

  • Perform Google Drive data synchronisation to OneDrive for Business.

  • Precreate distribution groups in Exchange Online, populate members and set permissions.

  • Validate and transfer user mailbox and calendar permissions.

Below diagrams present the environment changes before, during and after transformation:

Migration phases when transitioning from Google Workspace to Office 365

Validate & Cutover

  • Validation of all needed requirements like user permissions, mail-flow etc.

  • Deliver knowledge transfer for “How to use new services”.

  • Prepare and distribute end user communication.

  • Perform data cutover and Proofpoint mail flow switch to Microsoft 365.

  • Provide hyper care post migration support.


Conclusion on Google Workspace Migration


We have managed to perform a migration of all data from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365 while also optimise identity management infrastructure with zero downtime or data loss. End users have been prepared and trained prior to the actual cutover which allowed them to start utilising the new services without inconvenience post migration.


If you need help with similar scenario do not hesitate to contact us today. You can also check out our M&A page which outlines the capabilities we offer.

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