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Microsoft Previews Office 365 Import Service

Microsoft today announced a preview of a new Office 365 Import Service option, which is aimed at organizations migrating lots of data to Microsoft's datacenters.

The Office 365 Import Service leverages Microsoft's existing Azure Import/Export service. It shows up now as an option for global administrators to use in the Office 365 admin center portal. They can either transfer files over an Internet connection to Microsoft's datacenters or they can prepare a portable drive for mail shipment to Microsoft.

The service can be used to transfer .PST files (Outlook data files) to Microsoft in preparation for moving to Office 365's Exchange Online e-mail service. Alternatively, the Import Service can be used to transfer files for use with Microsoft's SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business services, which may include large collections of files.

The choice of either uploading files or shipping them to Microsoft on a disk depends on the amount of data that an organization has to move. Shipping a disk is the faster method if an organization has "more than 10TB of data" to move, according to a Microsoft TechNet article. Microsoft accepts drives of up to 4TB in size using 3.5-inch SATA II/III media. The drive contents are encrypted using Microsoft's BitLocker solution.

The Office 365 Import Service preview is currently available to Office 365 subscribers using the Commercial, Education or multitenant Government plans. It's not available yet to dedicated Office 365 tenants, and it hasn't rolled out yet to Australia, Brazil, China or Japan.

At the current preview stage, the Office 365 Import Service is free to use. Pricing hasn't been announced yet for the final product, nor is it clear when Microsoft will roll it out.

In other Office 365 news, Microsoft announced a new Service Trust Portal this week. IT pros administering an Office 365 account can log into this page to get access to various compliance reports for Office 365 services. The portal provides access to Service Organization Controls (SOC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) reports, for example.

Microsoft also has a more publicly accessible Office 365 Trust Center that discusses compliance issues. It's not quite clear why all of the compliance documentation isn't housed in that one place.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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