Rackspace Email to Microsoft Exchange Migration

Use the information in this article to plan, schedule, and complete a migration from Rackspace Email to Microsoft® Exchange.


  • Applies to: Administrator
  • Time needed: Minimum of 5 business days to schedule a migration
  • Tools required: Administrator access to the Cloud Office Control Panel

For more information about prerequisite terminology, see Cloud Office support terminology.

To determine if migrating your users to Microsoft Exchange® is necessary for your business, compare the available solutions:

FeatureRackspace EmailRackspace Email PlusMicrosoft Exchange
Syncs to mail client✓ Mail✓ Mail✓ Mail

✓ Contacts

✓ Calendar

✓ Notes

✓ Tasks
Syncs to mobile device✓ Mail✓ Mail

✓ Contacts

✓ Calendar<br
✓ Mail

✓ Contacts

✓ Calendar

✓ Notes

✓ Tasks
Online contacts
Online calendar
Online notes
Online tasks
30GB Cloud Drive storage
Desktop file synchronization
Online document and spreadsheet editors
Maximum mailbox storage25 GB25 GB100 GB

Note: Upgrading from Rackspace Email to Rackspace Email Plus does not require a migration. For details, see Upgrade to Rackspace Email Plus.

If you are considering the migration because your Rackspace Email mailbox is at maximum capacity, you might want to reconsider because migration does not immediately resolve the issue. Try the recommendations in Rackspace Email storage maintenance and best practices.

Before migration

  • Consider the number of users migrating. All of them must prepare for the migration.

  • Set up Autodiscover for your domain. See Set up DNS records for Cloud Office email for the necessary autodiscover record.

    • Autodiscover enables users to set up email in Outlook® by using only their email address and password.
    • Outlook 2016 setups require Autodiscover.
  • Instruct all of your users to verify that they can find all of their email in apps.rackspace.com. The mail stored in apps.rackspace.com is the mail that you migrate.

    If a user notices mail is missing in apps.rackspace.com, that mail might be stored locally and is not going to migrate. These users must import their locally stored email into their Rackspace Email IMAP account before migration.

    If any of your users are using a POP connection to their mailbox, direct them to the following instructions to synchronize their locally stored mail to apps.rackspace.com:

  • Remove special characters from folder names.

    Folder names with special characters—such as commas, periods, slashes, and ampersands—cause migration issues. For example, the period in the folder name 1.Inbox causes migration failures. Change folder names with special characters to use only alphanumeric characters.

  • Consider the special preparation that Mac users require when migrating from Rackspace Email to Microsoft Exchange. For more information, see Prepare your Mac users for migration from Rackspace Email to Microsoft Exchange.

Data that migrates

Review the following lists to understand which items migrate and which do not migrate.

Items migrated

  • Mail stored in webmail migrates. You can verify what email is stored in webmail by logging in at apps.rackspace.com.
  • Calendar and contact data stored in Rackspace Webmail is not guaranteed to migrate, but migration is attempted. We recommend backing up your contact data to a .csv file. For instructions on exporting contacts from Rackspace Email, see Import or export contacts in Rackspace Email.
  • Users remain members of any aliases or lists they are a part of.

Items not migrated

  • Tasks and notes in Rackspace Webmail
  • Autosaved and group contacts in Rackspace Webmail
  • Flags in flagged messages
  • Passwords
  • Forwarding rules
  • Safelists and Blocklists
  • Custom signatures
  • Rules and alerts
  • SharePoint® permissions and user settings
  • Outlook settings (categories, junk folder settings, delegate permissions, folder permissions, archive settings, and autocomplete settings/NK2)

Migrate from Rackspace Email to Microsoft Exchange

After you have prepared all of your users to migrate from Rackspace Email to Microsoft Exchange, schedule your migration by performing the following steps:

  1. Submit a ticket through your Cloud Office Control Panel or contact support directly via chat or phone, and request a migration from Rackspace Email to Microsoft Exchange.

  2. After you receive your migration plan in a support ticket, read the plan carefully, and respond to the ticket with the following information:

    • Confirm that you have read and fully understand the migration plan.

    • List the date and time that you want the migration to start.

      Warning: Users do not have access to email after the migration has started.

    • List all email addresses that you want to migrate.

    • Ask any questions that you have about the migration plan.

Our Internal Migrations team replies to you within five business days to confirm your scheduled migration time.

What to expect during migration

  1. You receive a ticket update notifying you that the migration has started.

    Warning: If you do not receive this notification on the day of your scheduled migration, check your migration ticket to verify that you confirmed your migration date with the migration team.

  2. After the migration has started, users can't access their mailboxes.

    Note: Mail is still delivered to your mailboxes and is available after the migration completes.

  3. Migrations take time to complete. However, we do notify you if anything occurs that could prolong the migration.

    Factors that affect the duration of your migration:

    • Number of mailbox items. Each item is processed individually, so the more items in a mailbox, the more individual processes to complete.
    • Mailbox size.
    • Number of users migrating.
  4. When the migration completes, you receive a ticket update informing you that the migration has completed.

After migration

After you receive notification that the migration completed, you and your users must perform some final steps to ensure that everyone can access their new Microsoft Exchange mailboxes.

  1. User passwords change during the migration, so you must update all the users' passwords through the Cloud Office Control Panel. See Change a Microsoft Exchange mailbox password.

  2. After you have updated all of the passwords, instruct users to log in to apps.rackspace.com to verify that they can access their new mailboxes and that all their email migrated.

  3. Users can reset their own passwords by using the instructions in Change a Microsoft Exchange mailbox password.

  4. Users must configure their mail client on all devices, including desktop and mobile devices, to connect to their new mailboxes. They can obtain instructions at emailhelp.rackspace.com.

    Warning: If users do not configure their mail client to connect to the new Microsoft Exchange mailbox, they do not receive new mail in their mail client.

  5. When you have confirmed that all of the data has been successfully migrated, submit a ticket to remove the remaining Rackspace Email licenses from your account.