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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People often ask me "How can Binary Tree help ensure that my migration will be successful?" I think this is a great question that I am always happy to answer. And recently, a customer found out first hand the lengths we are committed to their success.
Thursday, August 25, 2011, I received a call from a client asking to understand how our CMT for Exchange
solution can help them migrate 50 NSF files to PST’s. They explained to me that their company had recently acquired a small organization and they promised the business that they would have the PSTs available on Monday morning.
Understanding that there was a huge time crunch to meet their deadlines, I set up a conference call with my Solutions Architect, the customer and myself. We began to show them the steps they would need to do to complete this migration. As I listened to the customer ask questions about completing this email migration
on their own, I quickly realized that for them to read the manuals to learn our product, set up and configure the solution, and complete the project in less than four days was a very tall order.
So I offered up our Support team
. I explained to the client that if they would like, Binary Tree
would be happy to take their NSF files and convert them After considering the challenges they were facing, the customer agreed and we set up call for later Thursday afternoon to discuss how they would send us their files.
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Binary Tree offered the customer two methods for doing the conversion. The customer could ship us their files on a hard drive or they could upload the files to our ftp site. Since there was such a time crunch involved they asked if they could drive the files to us.
We were about 3 hours from each other and we agreed that we would meet Friday morning to receive the hard drive with the NSF files. Within 24 hours we had the proper NDAs in place and the files were on their way to our support team. The plan was to retrieve the hard drive, use our own migration farm and start the migration on Friday and finish up by Sunday morning. Then we would meet back up with the customer on Monday morning with the hard drive and newly migrated PST files.
Normally this would be a very simple process for us. The next day, Saturday, August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene had other plans in mind and our location for the migration happened to be directly in Irene's path.