I was asked the other day about Office 365 OnRamp and what this tool actually does. A clear description together with useful background information can be found here, but here’s a brief description extracted from that site:
“OnRamp for Office 365 is an automated assistance tool that helps you gather configuration requirements and perform deployment readiness checks against your on-premises environment. OnRamp can accelerate the deployment timeline, especially for organizations with requirements such as identity federation or hybrid deployment.”
If you’ve not run this tool before, I thought it would be useful to show you what to expect. This article won’t cover every screen shot or possible configuration, but it should give you a good heads-up if OnRamp is new to you. OnRamp can be accessed via https://onramp.office365.com/onramp/ or you can access it from within your Office 365 tenant by navigating to the Tools section where you will see the option to Check your Office 365 configuration with OnRamp Autochecks as you can see below from Figure 1. Note you need to do this from a domain-joined machine as described in the linked topic at the start of this article.
Figure 1 – OnRamp Autochecks in the Office Portal
Accessing OnRamp will require you to enter your Windows Azure AD Identity credentials. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be presented with the screen shown below in Figure 2 where you need to select the cloud service that you wish to deploy – in this case it’s Office 365.
Figure 2 – Service Selection
At the next screen, you can choose the Office 365 features that you plan to use and hence would like OnRamp to check. In my example, I have chosen Exchange Online, Lync Online and Office 365 ProPlus.
The User Management screen allows you to choose how you are planning on managing your users. In my example here, I am planning on synchronising my on-premises users to Office 365 and additionally plan to install Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to allow single sign-on.
Figure 4 – User Management
Since I selected Exchange Online back in Figure 3, I am now presented with the choices around email migration. Of course, I could choose not to migrate any existing mailbox data to Office 365 and start with clean empty mailboxes, but in this example I’m going to deploy a hybrid setup as I am migrating from an on-premises Exchange 2010 (or later) deployment.
Figure 5 – Mail Migration
On the next screen, you will be asked to confirm whether you are comfortable with the complex technologies that you have chosen to deploy, such as ADFS and hybrid Exchange in this example, or whether you require the assistance of a technical partner.
Figure 6 – Determining Assistance Level
At this point you may be asked to install an ActiveX control to allow the forthcoming checks to be performed. Assuming you confirm that this is acceptable, you will then find yourself at the screen shown in Figure 7 where you can see that we are ready to start the automatic checks.
Figure 7 – Ready to Start Checks
However, to actually perform the checks the computer where you are running the checks from needs other prerequisite software installed such as the Windows Azure Active Directory Sign-In Assistant and the Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell. If any of this software is missing, you will see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8 – Prerequisite Software
Once this software has been installed, OnRamp will proceed with the checks. You will need to provide your tenant admin credentials for the tests to complete and once you’ve done this and the tests are complete, you should be presented with a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 9. You can see from Figure 9 that most checks have failed, largely because for this example OnRamp was run against a new tenant that has not had much configuration performed against it such as the configuration of directory synchronisation for example.
Figure 9 – Checks Complete
Each check failure has a view details link beside, which you can select to obtain more information about the failure. As previously stated, this particular tenant has not had directory synchronisation configured yet so clicking view details besides the users and groups failed check is the logical place to confirm this. The result is shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10 – Users and Groups Issues
Here it can be seen that there are various Active Directory-related issues, one of which confirms that directory synchronisation hasn’t occurred in the last three hours. Selecting each individual requirement will give you additional information in the right-hand pane, such as the steps you need to take to resolve this issue.
The great thing about OnRamp here is that you can continually run it during your deployment to check your progress and resolve issues. It’s a valuable addition to your Office 365 toolkit.