Office 365 Beta: Completing provisioning of archive in the cloud from your on-premises Exchange 2010 server

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In Exchange 2010, we introduced Personal Archives, a feature intended to allow you to reduce or eliminate PST files by provisioning archive mailboxes for your users. For more details, see Understanding Personal Archives in Exchange 2010 documentation.

In Exchange 2010 RTM, you can provision a user's archive mailbox on the same mailbox database (MDB) as the user's primary mailbox. In Exchange 2010 SP1, you can also create the archive mailbox on a different MDB located on the same Mailbox server as the user's primary mailbox, or on another Mailbox server. Using mailbox move requests, you can also move archive mailboxes independently of the primary mailbox.

With Office 365 beta, we also enabled organizations to store archive mailboxes in the cloud, while maintaining the primary mailbox on your on-premises Mailbox servers running Exchange 2010 SP1. Users can seamlessly access their primary on-premises mailbox and their archive in the cloud using Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 and Outlook Web App (OWA).

Screenshot: Provisioning an archive in the cloud in Exchange 2010 SP1
Figure 1: Provisioning an archive in the cloud for a user with an on-premises mailbox.

To enable archive in the cloud, your organization must be enrolled in and setup for Office 365 beta (you can sign up for the beta here). (This post is not intended to cover all the rich co-existence scenarios made possible with Office 365 and on-premises Exchange deployments.)

Office 365 beta and cloud-based archive state

When provisioning an archive in the cloud for a user with a primary mailbox on-premises, the archive mailbox provisioning status in the Exchange Management Console (EMC) changes to Cloud-based archive pending. After the cloud-based archive's created (in Office 365), the archive status is not automatically updated in EMC. Additionally, Outlook and OWA do not detect and load the archive mailbox.

Screenshot: User's archive status shows as 'Cloud-based archive pending' in EMC
Figure 2: After provisioning an archive in the cloud, the user's archive state shows as Cloud-based archive pending in the EMC (and the Shell).

The workaround

Here's a workaround to manually update the archive provisioning status in your on-premises organization using the ChangeArchiveStatus.ps1 script (download it from here).

Note: It's a temporary workaround required for the Office 365 beta — it'll not be required for Office 365 GA.

  1. Provision an archive mailbox in the cloud using the EMC or the Shell on-premises
  2. Wait for the DirSync cyle to complete (this may take up to 2 hours)
  3. Confirm that the archive has been provisioned in Office 365. This step requires your organization's Office 365 account credentials.
    1. Use the Shell to connect to Office 365. For details on how to do this, see Connect Windows PowerShell to Outlook Live.
    2. Run Get-MailUser <user> | fl ArchiveStatus and check if the value of the ArchiveStatus property is set to active.

Important: Do not perform the following steps until the archive status in Office 365 changes to active.

  1. Using a Shell session to an on-premises Exchange server, run the ChangeArchiveStatus.ps1 script using the following syntax:

ChangeArchiveStatus.ps1 <user> $true

  1. Refresh the EMC and verify that the user's archive status is now active.
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