Active Directory Synchronization Made SimpleJuly 9, 2012
There’s no getting around the need for Cross-Forest, or Inter-Org, email migrations. They just happen. And in some cases an IT group has only a few days to plan out the transition. They are brought about by different events such as mergers & acquisitions, company divestitures, or just plain company partnerships when organizations want to combine their email environments onto a single platform. Whatever the reason for your migration project, you will need to address the same issues every time.
The cross-forest migration process is quite complex and the Binary TreeE2E Complete product can assist you to simplify and streamline the mailbox migration process. However, to begin with, you will need to synchronize the Active Directory (AD) forests, establish bi-directional data flow between the domains, and prepare the environment for the mailbox migration process.
What options are available? Are there solutions which can ensure the success of the AD transition?
Good news on that front was announced in April when Binary Tree released the AD-to-AD directory synchronization tool. The new AD-to-AD sync functionality provides for the bi-directional synchronization of all mail-enabled AD objects: users, contacts, distribution lists and their members, and rooms and resources. Mail-enabled objects can be synchronized as contacts, as mail-enabled users, or as disabled mail-enabled users; Groups can be synchronized as Groups or as mail-enabled objects. In addition, administrators are able to exclude groups and members from being synchronized and are given options to resolve group and member conflicts by skipping the group, by renaming it with a specific prefix or suffix, or by merging the contacts of the source into the matched target group so that all members in both groups are in the target environment.
There are other options available on the marketplace. You can perform the AD transition with the free ADMT tool from Microsoft, or purchase another tool from a 3rd party vendor.
ADMT was built to help with one-time AD moves, not on-going bi-directional synchronization. However, for a mail migration project, you will need to run separate Powershell commands to prepare the Exchange mailboxes for migration. In addition, the ADMT tool doesn’t bring over to the new AD domain all the attributes which are necessary to successfully transition a mailbox.
As for the 3rd party tools, most of them are complex and time-consuming to deploy. While providing a great deal of functionality, they are not necessarily integrated with the mailbox migration solutions which means you will need to separately deploy and manage multiple products. Using these products may often result in an increase in the transition workload and timeline so much so that the overhead outweighs the benefit.
To sum up, if you are looking for a highly-functional directory synchronization andmigration product to streamline and facilitate Exchange mailbox migrations, then you should really look at the Binary Tree AD-to-AD Synchronization software. For the level of functionality that the product offers you, it is quite easy to configure, and with the appropriate prerequisites in place, it can be deployed in minutes. More information on the product can be found on our website. You can also request a trial version along with the E2E Complete product.