Office 365 Migration Keeping the same Domain Name

Office 365 to Office 365 migrations having the same domain name differ from the standard migration because Microsoft allows a domain to reside in one tenant at a time. In order to perform the same domain migration, the user addresses should be changed to use the 'onmicrosoft.com' domain names on both source and destination server, rather than the vanity domain names. While adding the domain to the destination tenant, you may observe a minor downtime. This is because Microsoft only allows the same domain to exist on one Office 365 tenant at a time.

There will be some email downtime with this migration due to the time required to remove the domain on the Source tenant and add it to the Destination tenant. This is because Microsoft only allows the same domain to exist on one Office 365 tenant at a time.

Reason for moving the Office 365 tenants with same domain:

  1. You may need to change the Office 365 providers like Godaddy, Rackspace, etc. to directly move it Microsoft.

  2. To avoid the latency of emails you wish to change your office 365 servers from Germany to the USA or from China to the USA or vice versa.

Office 365 to Office 365 Migration with same domain

Steps involved before migrating office 365 in the same domain:

  • 1. Move the users of source Office 365 to another domain
    • Go to the admin center.

    • Select Users > Active users.

    • Select the boxes next to the names of all the users you want to move.

    • Select More options (…), at the top of the page, and then choose Change domains.

    • In the Change domains pane, select a different domain like xxx.onmicrosoft.com

    You'll need to do this for yourself too, if you're on the domain that you want to remove. When you edit the domain for your account, you'll have to log out and login back in using the new domain you chose to continue.

  • 2. Removing the domain from source Office 365 server
    • In the admin center, go to Settings > Domains page.

    • On the Domains page, select the domain that you want to remove.

    • In the right pane, select Remove.

    • Follow any additional prompts, and then select Close.

      Note: It can take as little as 5 minutes for Office 365 to remove a domain if it's not referenced in a lot of places such as security groups, distribution lists, users, and Office 365 groups. If there are many references that use the domain it can take several hours (a day) for the domain to be removed.

      After domain removal, users will not be able to access their email, unless they know and log in with their tenantname.onmicrosoft.com email addresses.

  • 3. Admin account creation on source for migration
    • In the admin portal, change the UPN of the admin account to the onmicrosoft.com address.

    • Create an administrator account (Global admin) in Office 365 to be used for migration.

    • Test mailbox access.

      Note: Test access to the tenantname.onmicrosoft.com addresses, not to the domainname.com addresses. Make sure that the tenantname.onmicrosoft.com account is attached to each mailbox in Office 365. By default, it should be attached

  • 4. Verify the domain on destination Office 365 server
    • Verify the domain in the Destination Office 365 account. We recommend the use of the wizard in Office 365 for this since once the domain is verified with the Text record, it offers to change all the users to the new Default Domain.

      Note: Since the domain was previously added to the account, all that needs to be done is to click the Verify button. If the domain is unable to be verified, and there is an error saying the domain already exists on another account, contact Microsoft and tell them that the domain needs to be manually deprovisioned.

    • Create an administrator account in Office 365 to be used for migration

    • Set up accounts on Office 365 and assign licenses. These can be created in several ways:

      • Manually create the mailboxes, one at a time.
      • By bulk import, via CSV file. Import the CSV file and create the mailboxes.
      • By DirSync, AAD Sync or AAD connect.
    • Confirm that every user has the Destination domain.com domain name added to their mailbox. Add if necessary.

    • Prepare the tenant to send and receive large mail items.

  • 5. Update your DNS records.

    MX Record update: On the DNS provider's portal, change the primary MX record to reflect the DNS settings for the new Office 365 organization. DNS settings to change include Autodiscover, MX, and SPF records. Also, remove the old settings. These settings can be found in the Office 365 admin portal,

    • Inside Office 365, click Admin in the header.
    • On the Admin page, click Domains in the left pane.
    • Click the domain name to be set up, and then click the DNS Settings tab. This page lists the DNS records necessary to set in order to use the Office 365 services.

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 – Frances Russell
United States

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