1. Home
  2. Training Library
  3. Microsoft 365
  4. Microsoft 365 Courses
  5. Planning for Microsoft 365 Implementation and Migration

Planning for Microsoft 365 on-premises Infrastructure

Start course
1h 10m

Microsoft 365 represents a combination of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility offerings – providing the most complete set of SaaS technologies that Microsoft has to offer. With Microsoft 365, organizations can deploy a complete solution encompassing both devices and applications, along with applying security and compliance policies to protect the entire suite.

This course will help you as you plan your migration of users and data to Microsoft 365, including planning your identity and authentication solution, and the on-premises infrastructure needed to support your migration. We’ll also help you understand and identify your business requirements and use cases, to help drive your decision-making process when planning to transition your infrastructure to the Microsoft cloud. We’ll spend some time focusing on networking and discuss some of the networking decisions that need to be made to ensure an optimal migration experience, as well as the best experience for your users after migration.

This course will also help you to identify which data needs to be migrated to the cloud, and what the best migration method will be based on your scenario – we’re also going to cover the different types of user identities, how your users will authenticate, and how that’s going to affect your migration planning.

In addition to talking about these different components, we’re also going to run through a few demos – showing you some of the practical steps involved, along with some tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Plan a Microsoft 365 Implementation, including the supporting infrastructure
  • Plan your identity and authentication solution, both on-premises and in the cloud
  • Identify your users, data, and mailboxes to be migrated to Microsoft 365
  • Plan the migration of your groups and user data to Microsoft 365

Intended Audience

This course is intended for people who:

  • Want to become a Microsoft 365 administrator
  • Are preparing to take the Microsoft’s MS-100 exam 


To get the most from this course, you should have a general understanding of networking & server administration as well as IT fundamentals such as DNS, Active Directory and PowerShell.


We've already talked a bit about the different identity and authentication types in Microsoft 365. Now, let's talk about the infrastructure changes that are required when planning your integration and eventual migration to Microsoft 365

Microsoft provides a great deployment planning guide for your infrastructure on the docs.microsoft.com site. And it's a great place to start your design planning. Microsoft breaks down their deployment guide into six phases: networking, identity, Windows 10, Office Pro Plus, mobile device management, and Information Protection. In this course, we're only gonna cover networking and identity, as these are the first two pieces you need to have thought through and implemented correctly before you begin to do anything else. 

Windows 10, Office Pro Plus, and mobile device management I would consider to fall further down into your M365 deployment. Although you might potentially deploy Windows 10 and Office Pro Plus before you migrate to, say, Exchange Online, it's most likely that these might be separate initiatives that you'll kick off after your migration completes. I wouldn't make this a hard and fast rule, though, as these technologies are deeply interwoven with the other services in Office 365. 

The order in which you deploy these services and migrate your data is gonna depend entirely on your business requirements and how well you can manage the rate of change in your organization. Let me give you an example. Let's say that your organization has primarily Windows 7 and Office 2010 devices. While this configuration will still work with Exchange Online, it's not ideal. Office 2010 can't take advantage of modern authentication, so MFA won't work on these devices, and Intune Management on Windows 7 is nowhere near as robust as it is on Windows 10. 

In this case, you might decide to upgrade these computers to Windows 10 and Office Pro Plus prior to migrating any of your data to Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business, as an example. You might even be at a point in your hardware refresh cycle where you can begin to deploy new laptops using Intune Autopilot to configure them and deploy Office Pro Plus to these machines. If you can handle the communication and change management correctly, you can even time your migration to Exchange Online with giving your users newly deployed computers. Over one weekend, users can have their mailboxes migrated to Exchange Online, home drives migrated to OneDrive for Business, and then come in on Monday morning to a brand new laptop with Windows 10 and Office Pro Plus installed. Mind you, this might be too much change for your users to handle all at once, so you might choose instead to split these deployments out and do the upgrade to Windows 10 or Office Pro Plus first, and then migrate their data in the backend after the fact. The migration experience when using modern desktop and Office software is much smoother than it is when using Windows 7 and Office 2010. 

Another example would be your management of mobile devices through Intune. If you haven't been using anything to manage your mobile devices, you can choose to deploy Intune ahead of your mailbox migrations. This will allow you to register your mobile users and provide them with a managed email profile pointing back to your on-premises Exchange server. Then, you can very easily and quickly switch over all your mobile devices to Exchange Online during your mailbox migration, as well as deploy the supporting Office applications, Outlook mmobile, and Microsoft Authenticator. Information Protection might be way down on your list of priorities, or it might be the very top. Depending on how important it is to you to have rights management and data loss prevention in place, you might decide to deploy Information Protection first, so that all data migrated into Office 365 is automatically protected. As you can see, you have a fair amount of flexibility in the way your approach this checklist. 

Take the time to read through and understand how each phase relates to you and when you want to implement that technology phase.

About the Author

Jeremy Dahl is a Senior Technology Consultant who has spent the last 8 years focusing on Microsoft 365 technologies and has been an Office 365 MVP for the last 6 years. Jeremy is a self-proclaimed cloud addict who architects technology solutions that combine cloud technologies with on-premises solutions, allowing organizations to make the most of their existing infrastructure while still taking full advantage of the agility and scalability of what the cloud has to offer.

Jeremy can be found blogging about Microsoft 365 technologies on his website, masterandcmdr.com, and evangelizing the Microsoft cloud on Twitter.