Binary Tree would like to welcome Joel Greenwell as our guest blogger. Joel is the owner of Pearbrook Management Consultancy
in the United Kingdom and is an expert information technology and services consultant. Joel, along with Pearbrook, provides personal consulting services, and will works to help customers discover new business opportunities, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies wherever possible.
Clients always want to maximise the efficiency of their infrastructure, and this is especially true with migration projects to a new Exchange environment.
One particular project that I recently worked on started with a Lotus Domino environment that had 8TB of mail data, and the challenge was to migrate all 3,500 users to an Exchange installation that had only 4TB of storage in total. Before I go any further, the client was also implementing an archive solution on Exchange, so this wasn’t going to be an
impossible exercise, but more of a clever execution of migration techniques and leveraging the capability of advanced features in the Binary Tree migration products
Knowing what Binary Tree’s software tools are capable of, I came up with the concept of SNAP and DELTA, a two-stage migration methodology that staged a partial migration of data to the new Exchange platform, and then at a later date allowed for the final cutover of the users and their remaining data. The SNAP stage of data migration focused specifically on migrating email content delivered to a users’ mailboxes up to 6 months prior to being switched over to Exchange and Outlook.
The DELTA stage of migration covered all the remaining mail, calendaring, and contact data and was performed when users were actually being switched between email environments.
environments are dependent on log files for their operation, and when migrating large amounts of data, there are plenty of log files being generated. SNAP migrations allowed us to manage the generation of log files, thereby ensuring Exchange was always available during the course of the DELTA migrations.
The SNAP migration also allowed us to assess the performance of the new Exchange environment with live data, not only with the delivery of service to end users, but also impact of tertiary activities such as Indexing, Backup, Archiving, and Anti-Virus scanning of content. Thereby we could address any issues encountered with the Exchange environment and underlying architecture (Virtual Machines, Server Blades, SANs etc) with genuine data with no risk to the business.
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For organizations operating more than one messaging system, especially those as diverse as Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange, seamless messaging and calendaring coexistence between messaging systems is no longer a 'nice to have,' it's a 'must have.' The success of these initiatives is directly correlated to the experience of the end users and very often it's specific to how well the calendars work between users on different email platforms. Users can become quite vocal if meetings disappear from their calendar or they can't schedule a meeting because they can't look up the availability of the other users. As Vadim Gringolts discussed in his blog post last week on coexistence:
" ...users insist on perfect functionality of ALL calendar entries, complete and continuous synchronization of ALL directory entries, instantaneous and accurate free/busy lookup, and uninterrupted workflow of mail-enabled applications with their custom emails, forms, and approval buttons."
Keeping up with new software releases, features, and integrations is a constant challenge for IT Administrators. They need to be able to easily and efficiently perform smooth and seamless transitions from one platform/release/upgrade to another. Tack on the responsibility for establishing and maintaining interoperability between two different messaging systems, whether due to a merger, an acquisition, or a platform migration, and their job can quickly become overwhelming. Even so, it's vital that companies with differing email and calendaring systems are able to harmoniously coexist and that users are able to work without interruption.
So what should the end user experience look like when an organization is coexisting with Domino and Exchange? And what are the planning best practices for administrators to ensure that their hybrid environment is fully interoperable and their users are not disrupted?
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