Posts Tagged dns records
Well I finally had the notice for my Transition to Office 365 from BPOS a couple of weeks ago. I have to say although the wait has been long I am looking forward to finally being able to run the current versions of Microsoft’s Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync online. The process thus far has been to update my DNS records to reflect the added functionality in Office 365 as well as a simple password change for my administrator accounts. Not as hard as I had expected.
The notification email actually spelt everything out in plain english:
Now I am 24 hours away from the transition date and plan to update you with my experience.
A couple of months ago I attempted to transition myself to Office 365 but when making the change I discovered that the Forefront “Firewall” which deals with the Office 365 and BPOS products didn’t allow this. I understood the technical reasons for the roadblock and patiently waited for the transition team to contact me.
I’ve spoken about the simplicity of a cloud solution and what it can offer. Now I want to cover off the changes you need to make to your current environment before making the move to the cloud.
Most companies out there have a website or at least a domain name which represents their business name or brand. This domain name becomes a part of a businesses identity and is usually the suffix for every employees email address. The Domain Name System or DNS record is where this information is stored; this DNS record is usually hosted or administered by your Internet Service Provider or ISP. In some cases a dedicated DNS registrar i.e. Godaddy, Freeparking or Network Solutions may host the DNS record.
Note: DNS record account information can be one of the hardest things to track down. Make sure you have this information available before signing up to any cloud service.
Migrating to any cloud service requires changes to the DNS records for a company. This isn’t as scary as it may sound however it may be more challenging that first thought. Not all DNS service providers are created equal and the lack of customization can cause a roadblock for your migration. It pays to be on top of things and get any DNS issues resolved first with your service provider.
The DNS changes for Office 365 are very simple however there is one record which may not be supported by your service provider. This record is called the SRV record and is used for Lync online Federation. Federation for Lync is important if you want to use Lync with other companies or communicate with people who have accounts on other messaging platforms such as Live Messenger etc. If you do not need the Federation functionality of Lync then the SRV record change is not required.
The other records that need to be changed/modified are:
- CNAME – This is a redirect record, it allows Office 365 to determine that you own the domain in question and also allows your clients to automatically detect the settings for Exchange Online and Lync Online.
- TXT – This record is used to assist Exchange
- MX – The MX record or Mail Exchanger is the one record that can interrupt your mail flow. This record is only changed once the migration to Office 365 or any cloud based email solution is complete. Be careful the MX record change can and will stop you from receiving any emails! I suggest making any changes to the MX records on the weekend.
These changes are only required for the Enterprise Plans within Office 365, the P Plan or the Small Business offering allows you to use Microsoft to host your DNS records, you will still need to make changes to the Name Server of your DNS record, again this is done via your ISP or existing DNS registrar.
For more information go to the Office 365 support pages: here
Changes to DNS records are made either via a portal provided by your ISP or over the phone. 99% of the time the ISP will provide a portal which requires a specific syntax to make the change. As I said before, some ISP’s may only give a very basic interface that may not allow you to make some changes. Make yourself familiar with the experience before proceeding with your migration.
Within Office 365 you are able to add as many domains as you wish and have multiple email addresses associated with every user. Once you have registered a domain name you can now use that as the default username for the services.
Ill talk about how to get your data into the cloud in my next post…