The general rule is to install the Essentials for Office 365 software closest to your data repositories. For example, if you are migrating from a SharePoint on-premises to SharePoint Online, deploy Essentials closer to your source within your network. If you are migrating Google Drive to OneDrive for Business, consider deploying Essentials to a cloud computing service like Azure or Amazon EC2 where the benefit of not downloading and uploading through your network can be realized. Keep in mind cloud computing can be a costly operation when considering this an option.
NOTE: If you do explore the option of cloud computing in Azure be sure to provision your Azure instance in the same data region as your Office 365 tenant. If you are unsure about your tenants region, please contact Microsoft support for assistance.
Regardless of your hardware location, machine specs are also of importance and can be broken into four basic categories; CPU, memory (RAM), hard disk space and network.
•CPU: Recommendation is any modern dual core 64-bit CPU with hyper threading enabled. Most CPUs manufactured in the past 3 years will be more than sufficient.
•Memory: We recommend having at least 4GB of available memory on this hardware. Available memory meaning memory not being consumed by other processes rather than total amount of physical memory installed. You may have 4GB installed on the hardware, but other processes like Windows may consume 50% or more of that amount. This will be crucial when talking about multi-threaded or parallel operations in the coming sections.
•Hard Disk Space: While the data during a migration is only stored temporarily, other dependencies like installation, logs and backup data can consume disk space. Please be sure that at least 10GB of disk space is available to be consumed by Essentials. If disk space reaches zero, expect performance and other issues. If you are creating a backup, make sure you have enough disk space (local or cloud) to store the totality of your backup plus an additional 5% for overhead.
•Network: The faster the better. Any stable connection will do, but a fast 1Gbps hard wired network connection is ideal.
Now that the hardware is setup and ready to go, lets discuss the host configuration. When we mention host, we are talking specifically about the computer that Essentials for Office 365 is installed to and any software settings or configurations that can affect performance.
We mentioned it the Hardware section and we will mention here again, a stable network connection is important. Avoid at all costs any migration or backup over VPN or unstable Wi-Fi connections. If you login using a VPN and notice frequent lost connections or slowdowns, dont expect these operations to work any more smoothly for you.
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