How to Prevent Office 365 Throttling?

Most organizations have incorporated cloud solutions for their functions. Usually, these are managed solutions offered by multinational vendors, such as Microsoft, to support millions of businesses.

When it comes to Office 365, you can think of it as a fully managed service where users simultaneously access applications and services. On the other hand, Microsoft ensures that you don’t encounter any performance issues with their solution by introducing several safety measures like throttling.


What’s Office 365 Throttling?

Every cloud solution, even Office 365, resides on the server. When accessing resources on these servers, applications and services use calls from client machines to servers or SQL queries. This process can lead to the consumption of power and memory.

Remember, tasks like Office 365 backups, searches, and data migration are resource-intensive. The fact that it’s hard to foresee abrupt spikes in call volumes necessitates Microsoft to introduce processes like throttling and load balancing on their servers to assure a fair distribution of resources and load consumption to avoid server failure.


Why Throttling Occurs

It is worth noting that throttling is expected, so if you come across it, there is no cause for alarm. Throttling is simply a helpful security mechanism that makes sure the service provided by your server stays responsive and healthy. It is commonly known as throttling because it limits the workload getting through the server. Your server could become unresponsive or even crash if there is no throttling.


Circumstances that Cause Office 365 Throttling

You may get various errors, such as 503 Service Unavailable or 429 Too Many Requests, when running an Office 365 migration. Well, these errors don’t mean your migration is faulty. Instead, they notify you that the server is experiencing a lot of pressure and cannot manage the required requests. The best solution is to wait and retry when the server is ready to manage the required requests to continue the migration. Else, you can cancel the process and try the migration at another time.


Office 365 migration is not the only circumstance that leads to throttling. Usually, the number of users on the server during working hours can result in a heavy load. What’s more, backup applications running concurrently can strain the server and cause throttling.


How to Prevent Office 365 Throttling

The best technique to avoid throttling entails scheduling a substantial migration procedure outside the regular business hours. Office 365 migration service throttling allows you to perform migrations during weekends or overnight. However, if you are operating an organization that runs across different time zones, it would be helpful to assess the applications that utilize your tenant to operate. Reducing the background application actions during the migration process lowers the chances of throttling.

If none of these options is attainable, splitting a large migration into small intervals is wise. In such a case, migrate a bit at a time to significantly reduce the request load on the server.

Keep in mind that it’s often hard to prevent Office 365 throttling as Microsoft fully controls the service. However, you can incorporate the following tips to minimize throttling occurrences.

  • Make sure that Office 365 migration schedule is properly spaced out.
  • Perform tests before undertaking the actual migration. Supposing the tests are unclear, you should offload the non-critical tasks to decrease the system load.
  • Reduce the number of versions to back up and restore to lower the number of calls. This action reduces the chances of throttling.
  • Consider adding hardware resources if the migration seems slower than acceptable levels.
  • During the migration procedure, stop various resource-intensive tasks.
  • Distribute the account migration list throughout various servers based on the server resource availability.
  • While migrating, counter-check the throttling policy that applies to Office 365.
  • If batches have to be created, ensure you optimize the migration concurrency.


The Final Say

While throttling may lead to frustration, it shows you are using your Office 365 to its full potential at the end of the day. Getting some throttling periodically is normal, but huge ones show a problem. Huge throttling comprises over 30% of the requests being throttled for about 30 minutes or more.

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