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DNS Records, when domain not hosted with MS

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I can see the process for moving my domain to be hosted with MS, and then contol the records. However, what I cannot figure out is how to leave my domain where it is, and just point my mail to Office 365 (i.e. change the relevant MX record) and then set up user accouts in that domain, but hosted on Office 365.


Are MS making it necessary to move the whole domain to Office 365?






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  • Hello Roger,

    Most domain registrars will let you change the various records under a DNS entry independently.  In my case, I've had my DNS MX Records pointing to BPOS (which also required a CNAME change for domain ownership verification), but I left my A records pointing to a completely different website.  The only time you're going to "move the whole domain" to Office365 is if you're doing  redelgation to SharePoint Online.



  • Please ignore above question. I have figured it out myself. I was confusing Domain redelegation and domain transer.


  • Thanks Chase; will take a look at that.

  • You may have to wait in worst case 48 hours for DNS records to be distributed to all ISPs on the Internet. The use of email in Office365 only demands a new MX pointer in the public DNS.

  • OK, I have the same question as the original poster and this thread doesn't help answer my question. The only place I see where I can add a domain in wants me to do a complete redelegation, transferring the whole domain in. I don't want to do that, I just want to manage my domain myself but get the domain into the system so that I can use it for user accounts and such. Help?

  • Hello George,

    Yes, this is definitely a change that's occurred recently and I'm verified it with a throwaway test domain that I have.  This is in accord with the moves O365 SB is taking to align itself with OLSB.

    Basically, if you're a Small Business customer, you end up doing a full domain redelegation in that O365 becomes your domain host (since you have to switch over that domain's nameservers to Microsoft for automatic SharePoint Online redelegation.)  However: there is nothing keeping you from just clicking "Next" on the Edit name server records page.  Skipping this step essentially avoids full redelegation.

    Enterprise customers keep the ability to maintain their own domain registrar and choose whether or not they want a domain to be partially redelegated to SharePoint Online.

    I apologize for the confusion here; with the release of the Public Beta changes are coming thick and fast, but we'll get the right answers to you as soon as we can.



  • Chase,

    I understand the reasoning behind it ... many small businesses would find it simpler to just have Microsoft take care of everything. While I can see the full redelegation being the default, I do think there should be a more visible option for keeping control of your own DNS.  As a technology provider, I have a bit of a complex setup scaled across several different servers, requiring me to maintain control over my own DNS.

  • Hello,

    You're right with the simple option; O365 Small Business is OLSB's direct replacement, so an effort is being made to make O365 SB a "one stop" sort of solution.  The flexibility you're looking for is in the Enterprise licenses -- domain verification there is similar to BPOS where you just basically change the CNAME, point the MX at us, and away you go without any nameserver changes.



  • I am moving over from Google apps and while I am looking forward to some of the functionality, I find it quite odd that Microsoft wouldn't give me the choice of keeping my DNS where it is, when most things can simply be done by an MX record or a CNAME which is exactly what O365 will do behind the scenes. I do not understand the advantage I get by doing this.

  • Hello,

    We're looking at more than just mail with Small Business; you're also seeing a domain redirect to the SharePoint site.  I'm definitely not arguing that it seems strange for this complete DNS "takeover" to be occuring since it's completely different than what a lot of folks experienced from our earlier BPOS setting, but it's definitely in line with the OLSB offering.



  • Microsoft has made this whole thing ridiculously more complicated than it needs to be.

    I am really surprised that people at MS actually got paid to think this up!

    Why would someone who has a domain, web services, MX records, etc....all of the sudden simply change their pointers to MS 365?  WHich is exactly the presumption made by MS 365 solution.

    Back to BPOS!  Their servers are crud...and extremely slow, but at least it WORKS!

    Microsoft...please, go back to the drawing board with this, and FIX IT!

  • I agree this is an extremely bad choice on MS part. But this is the BETA period. Hopefuly if enough of us complain LOUDLY to MS about this they will give the SB clients the option of MS hosting the DNS or third party. Yes the users will have to do more work to get everything configured correctly but that is what technology partners are for. it is OUR job to do this work for our clients. Only a hand full of my SB clients would be able to host their DNS with O365. It has already been pointed out that O365 DNS is not very good with dealing with sub domains. I think we all need to find out who we have to complain to about this. If this is going to be the way MS is going to require SB clients to operate then I will not put my SB clients on O365. I can not see BPOS as a long term solution for them as from what I know BPOS is going to be retired in favor of O365. It is why they never upgraded BPOS to EX2010. So that will leave Google Apps for Business as the only good non self hosted email package solution.

  • I dont have much of a problem with moving my dns to be hosted by Microsoft, but the problem is your dns editor to be kind is - GARBAGE.

    I've tried adding an a record with @ to point to my websites ip address , 24 hours and people cant visit '', but my '' alias is working just fine.   In EVERY OTHER DNS system you can add a blank a record (which is the proper way) to point to the root domains ip address.  I can also edit and create TXT records.

    Why do you expect people to move their dns over when your dns editing system is fundamentally useless?  Provide the proper tools and alot of people here wouldnt mind having the dns hosted at office365.

  • Chase,

    When you say this:

    "However: there is nothing keeping you from just clicking "Next" on the Edit name server records page.  Skipping this step essentially avoids full redelegation."

    Are you saying this is a hack that makes it possible to host site at 365 but email elsewhere-in other words add an mx record in the dns panel? In another thread I was told I couldn't.  


    And just to be clear on OLSB-there WAS a partial redelegation option that allowed you to host site and email separately. The only restriction was you couldn't host email at OL without a site. So if the intent is to replicate that set up for SB users, that option needs to be included in 365. 

  • I believe he is talking about int he process of setting up DNS with O365 so they do not actually completely move DNS to O365.