Office 365 Overview
USF IT currently operates a large, highly available, on-premises Exchange 2007 messaging system, which hosts over 10,000 mailboxes. Maintaining a large messaging system on-premises requires a lot of resources including staff, data storage, and servers. System Vice President Mike Pearce requested the exploration of hosted messaging systems as an alternative for our current premises-based Exchange system in order to provide a highly-reliable environment as well as to provide cost savings. After analysis of a number of alternatives, the accepted recommendation was to utilize Microsoft's Office 365 hosted Exchange solution for education, while maintaining an on-premises-based version of Exchange in what is referred to as a "hybrid" configuration.
While nearly all faculty and staff can utilize Office 365, a few exceptions may be necessary, and those few would remain in the "on-premises" environment. Issues of information sensitivity and confidentiality, certain functionality, and a few limitations, will be taken into consideration in making any exceptions. For faculty and staff which are not a good fit for Office 365, USF IT will provide an updated on-premises environment.
USF IT is now in the process of migrating faculty and staff currently utilizing Microsoft Exchange/Outlook for e-mail and calendaring to Microsoft Office 365. Cost savings, additional storage capability for individual mailboxes, better business continuity design, and additional functionality are some of the major reasons this is a positive direction. In addition, hosting our email solution with Microsoft will provide additional benefits as the major competitors offering this service continue to increase the level of service and the features provided.
UPDATE: The Office 365 migration project has been marked as complete. We are now working to decommission all Exchange 2007 servers on premise, and have migrated nearly all mailboxes from Exchange 2007 to either Exchange 2010, or Office 365. There are some technical issues that prevent the migration of several departments to Office 365, however, once those issues are resolved we plan to migrate those departments as well.
Migration Project Progress
Completed! All departments and colleges, other than those listed below, have been migrated to Office 365.
- Student Affairs (cleanup)
To Be Scheduled
- Physical Plant
- Facilities Planning
- Office of the President
- Office of the Provost
- University Communications and Marketing
Not eligible for migration at this time: