Exchange 2007 to Office 365 for a poor confused idiot
I am genuinely sorry for creating a thread just to ask daft questions, but between live@edu, Office 365 for Business, Office 365 for education and two versions of DirSync, I've gotten completely lost in Google tabsplosion hell.
At the moment I have an onsite Exchange 2007 server. I want to either a) move to Office 365 or b) upgrade to Exchange 2010/3 on Server 2012. I'm investigating a) first.
All our users have their own mailbox - about 1400 people total. These would need to be migrated over fully - mail, calendar, contacts - and automatically - I'm not talking 1400 people through PST files. From what I can see about cutover migrations, these are one single migration limited to 1000 users; I want to do it in chunks and for 1400 people.
Ideally I want to do it bit by bit so I can test, but I don't see how I can do this without changing the MX records and breaking Exchange. If I can at least test with my spare domain (more below) that will do, then I can upgrade everyone else in the summer.
Users must still be able to use Outlook seamlessly - on-site SSO and everything.
I'll still need full control over transport rules and the ability to grant access to view mailboxes and - ideally - run PowerShell scripts to forcibly remove messages etc. I like the control Exchange gives me, I just hate the administrative burden of the damn thing.
Ideally I'd also like to set up alternate email addresses for everyone, based on the Office field of AD (where I store their code e.g. JBL for Joe Bloggs) and another (shorter) domain we own. This alternate domain isn't currently used for mail, so if it can be used for testing, say so.
Can all the above be done, and if so, has anyone got a handy deployment guide for me to follow? I've found about 4 and I don't know which one to follow whilst I test :(
(on a related note, is the Exchange Online Protection free to use against onsite Exchange, thus rendering the CAL included in the more-expensive version of EES unnecessary?)