Power BI for Exchange Migrations

Are you planning or in the beginning stages of an Exchange migration?

Exchange to Exchange Online migrations are very complex. There are many factors that need to be considered, users, technical details, VIPs and project champions., etc..

My goal is to help in some areas of migrations that are constant across migrations to Exchange Online using Power BI.

How can you utilize Power BI with Exchange Migrations? First we need to start with Power BI.

Power BI is not just an application but a cloud analytics service. It allows users to visualize and analyze data quickly. It has a easy and user friendly interface that lowers the bar for entry for new users. Where things get a bit complex is when trying to sort out licensing. I have a blog post that explains at length licensing and the different versions of Power BI.

Power BI Key Features

The ability to import data from a plethora of sources, especially other non-Microsoft services, including but not limited to the following.

    • Azure Data Lake
    • Azure Cosmos
    • Azure Blob
    • Salesforce
    • Facebook
    • Dynamics
    • QuickBooks Online
    • Zendesk
    • Google Analytics
    • Excel
    • Access Databases
    • SQL/MySQL
    • PostgreSQL
    • GitHub
    • JSON
    • Folders
    • SharePoint
    • XML
    • Teradata
    • Oracle
    • IBM DB2 Database
    • IBM Informix (Beta)
    • IBM Netezza
    • Amazon Redshift
    • Google Big Query
    • OData Feed
    • R Script

 

 

 

 

 

Now to the fun stuff!

The list below contains some of the primary areas that are difficult to extrapolate but are crucial to migrations. Gaining visibility adds a level of clarity certain to ensure your migration runs smoothly. The following list is are the areas that I will be focusing on.

    • Mailbox Delegations
    • Mailbox Sizes
    • Mailbox Item Counts
    • Migration Waves

We can create basic reports that can accomplish the following.

First, we will need to export data.

Export all of the mailbox permissions with the following Exchange PowerShell code.

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited | Get-MailboxPermission | Select Identity,User,@{Name='Access Rights';Expression={[string]::join(', ', $_.AccessRights)}} | Export-Csv MailboxPermissions.csv –NoTypeInformation

Next, we export all of the mailbox sizes.

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited | Get-MailboxStatistics | Select-object DisplayName, ItemCount, @{expression={$_.TotalItemSize.Value.ToMB()};Label="SizeInMB"} | export-csv MailboxSizes.csv -Notypeinformation

Now, that we have the data we need to import it in to Power BI Desktop. There is a lot of data wrangling required. The data wrangling will vary depending on naming schemes, etc., but this Power BI template can serve as a guide. Simply download the file and change the source location of the data to where you stored the files that were created.

Prior to creating reports, you will need to download the visualizations from the Microsoft Marketplace.  I used the Bubble Chart by Akvelon and the Network Navigator Chart which is from Microsoft.

The video below will show the basic reports that you can create.

This methodology can be applied to shared mailboxes, which is what let me to developing these reports. I have an old post here. Hopefully the creativity juices are flowing and you will apply Power BI visualizations to many other areas.

For Microsoft Partners Only

Information Technology departments across the globe have started are in the initial stages of moving any one part of their infrastructure services to the cloud. Microsoft has taken the world by storm with Office 365. I must admit at first, like many IT professionals, I was hesitant to move to Office 365.  After learning more about I decided to get O365 certified. This brought a set of challenges, I realized I do not have a test environment! At first it wasn’t much of an issue. I would test things out with trial accounts, not a bad idea 25 users, etc. Not a bad idea but it was getting old quickly!

The solution

My employer was a Microsoft Partner and as a partner there are benefits. One of these not so well known benefits is the Office 365 Demo Site! This site allows the creation of up to 6 tenants. It has changes over time, they use to allow the license category selections and the term for a tenant was 6 months before it was automatically removed. The new terms is 3 months for automatic deletion of tenants and one license scheme. Either way it is a great place to for testing.

Below is a quick guide on how to get started.

Step 1 – Sign In

Visit the Demo Site and sign in.

Microsoft Demos

Microsoft Demo

Step 2 – Create Tenant

Once signed in you will be taken to the dashboard, in Home and under My Demo Environments you will have the option to “Create a New Demo Environment”, click on the + sign.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Step 3 – Chose Tenant type and/or Industry

You will see the options for tenant creations, sometimes there are many options. I think it depends on what Microsoft is pushing for the year. Not long ago it they had all Enterprise Tiers even the E5.

When I took this screen shot I only had the one shown below.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Select the tenant type.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Under Industry you have more options.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Once you select one select finish at this prompt.

Microsoft Partner Demo

Step 4 Take note of you tenant name

After it completes you will be taken to the Dashboard were you will be provided with the tenant domain name, administrator account and password. The tenant domain name is where the green dot is located in the screen shot below.

Microsoft Partner Demo

That is all there is to it. Now you can test, demo, etc with a real live Office 365 Tenant without the need of 30 trials.