Office 365 Import Service—migration to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business just became easier

Editor’s Note: 7/13/2017:
The Office 365 Import Service no longer supports importing data to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business, either by using the drive shipping or network upload method. To migrate your data to Office 365, we recommend that you follow the process documented in this support.office.com article.

Editor’s Note 4/28/2016: 
This post has been updated to reflect that the Office 365 Import Service is now generally available.

Traditional content migrations to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business can sometimes require lengthy data uploads over the network. The Office 365 Import Service enhances the document migration experience to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business by making it:

  • Fast—Save time in migrating data to Office 365 by copying it to hard drives and shipping them rather than using the network to upload large amounts of data. However, if you prefer to use the network, especially for uploading smaller data sets, our new migration pipeline is faster than traditional migration methods by an order of magnitude.
  • Simple—A free tool is available to package up your on-premises SharePoint or file share content and prepare it to be imported into Office 365.

To take advantage of the Office 365 Import Service, first prepare the content and manifest packages based on content from an on-premises file system or SharePoint using the preparation tool. Once that is complete, simply navigate to the Import tab in the Office 365 admin center and create a new drive shipping or network upload job.

Office 365 Import Service 1

From there, load the data onto drives and ship it to us using the address listed in the Office 365 admin center or upload the data to the specified location. Once your data is received, it is automatically imported into your tenant in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. You’ll be able to monitor the process in the Office 365 admin center.

Visit the TechNet article for more details and start using the service today.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What happens to my data?

A. Behind the scenes, the Office 365 Import Service uses the Azure Import/Export service. Azure provides secure datacenters located throughout the world to enable you to ship or upload your data to the location closest to you. When you upload your data or ship your drives, the data is temporarily staged within Microsoft Azure until it is imported into SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. All hard drives are encrypted with BitLocker protection, and the BitLocker key is sent separately from the drives. This protects them in the event they are lost or stolen in transit. If you choose to physically ship hard drives to Microsoft datacenters, they will be returned to you once the data has been imported.

Q. How do I enable the O365 Import Service for my tenant?

A. You don’t have to; the service is already turned on and available. The service is available to both our Office 365 dedicated customers as well as SharePoint Online customers. Service availability has expanded to the United States, Brazil, Europe, India, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia, with more regions being enabled soon.

Q. How much will the service cost?

A. Network upload is free. Drive shipping is $2 USD per GB. Drive shipping capacity can be purchased through partners here.

Q. Where can I get more details?

A. You can find all the details about the Office 365 Import Service in this TechNet article.