Domino to Exchange Migrations: A Weekend Cutover or a Phased Approach?

Domino to Exchange Quick Cutover Migration & Phased MigrationHopefully you’ve read my prior article about considerations regarding the decision for coexistence when migrating from Lotus Notes to Exchange.

Now, I’d like to discuss whether or not a quick cutover is possible, or if a more controlled phased migration approach is a better fit for your enterprise. 

To help you make this decision, consider these factors:

  • The number of users migrating
  • The total amount of data being migrated, as well as if it’s approximately the same amount for each person, or different amounts for different people
  • The location where the data is being migrated—on-premises or to a hosted environment
  • Any Lotus Notes archives that need to be migrated
  • If Coexistence is required (refer to my prior article on this topic dated August 26th)
  • Whether your Help Desk resources can support everyone moving to Outlook all at once, or not
  • Lastly, whether you want to pre-load all mailbox data, or migrate a subset and move the rest later
To achieve the best outcome, we strongly recommend a quick cutover to pre-load the most recent 30 days of mailbox data. That way, you can get everyone on Outlook quickly and bring in the rest of the data later on. The result: less impact to your users and they are all working in active email!

The best way to approach this process begins with determining how many users you plan to migrate. If you only have a few hundred users, with the proper infrastructure and knowledge, you can perform the cutover during the course of a weekend. Just a walk in the park—right? However, if you have several thousand or tens of thousands of users, rest assured you will be doing your migration over several weeks or months. This might be more like a well-planned journey.

A Garden Hose or a Fire Hose?
More so than the number of users, it’s the volume of data that impacts the speed of a migration. Think of it as pushing as much data as possible, as quickly as possible through a hose—better known as throughput. For example, if you determine that you want to migrate 250 people per night, the time required is impossible to calculate. Each user will have different amounts of data. But if you can establish the average amount of data per user along with a throughput number -- that is to say the amount of data that can be moved in one hour -- and use those numbers in conjunction with the number of workstations available to perform the migration, you can now forecast how long it will take to migrate that amount of data—and which type of hose you have at your disposal!

Another factor in determining migration speed is the destination of the data. Is it going to an on-premises data center, or is the data moving to a hosted environment? Now we can use the hose analogy. If you’re on your local area network, the nozzle on the hose is wide open; if hosted such as Microsoft Office 365, you have a somewhat closed nozzle because you’re sharing the hose with the provider’s other customers. The reason is simply that, in a shared, multi-tenant environment, the provider is concerned about slowing down their other customers who are already using that same hose.

What If You Don’t Have The Resources?
Migrations to Exchange are complex and challenging projects.  If your enterprise doesn’t have the right expertise, time or staff to plan and implement a migration on their own, you might want to consider an option like Binary Tree’s Remote Managed Migration. This is an increasingly popular approach whereby migration workstations within your organization can be remotely managed by Binary Tree migration engineers or qualified partners to execute your Migration-as-a-Service (MaaS).  This approach works great to expedite the process of the migration as there is no learning curve and these Engineers have the experience.  This approach can be used to do both on-premises and Hosted Exchange environments such as Office 365.

However, as mentioned above, sometimes the size of the hose into Office 365 can be slow.  In this case, Binary Tree can provide a Remote Hosted Migration.  In this scenario, it is also a Migration-as-a-Service where we first replicate your Notes mailbox data into our own controlled data center and then we migrate your data to Exchange Online in the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. And since our data center has a direct connection to Microsoft’s data center, your data will be migrated faster than you could migrate it directly. We basically perform the entire migration on your behalf. It’s fast, it’s cost-effective, and you can still use a phased approach to make the migration less disruptive.

The How: SMART Migration Methodology
Binary Tree has over 20 years of experience employing different approaches for various enterprises. We have enabled more than 6,000 customers to migrate more than 30 million email users, including moving over 3 million users to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud, and facilitated some of the most complex migrations on the planet!

Here’s how we help organizations understand the risks and benefits to any approach, using our SMART Migration Methodology:
Superior technology and knowledge to become your Trusted Advisor

Messaging benchmarks to help understand where the enterprise expects to be in the future

Analysis of your unique Domino environment of users, servers, policies, workflow and content

Rationalization of the analysis, vis-à-vis your benchmarks, helps to build a migration road map

Transformation is achieved by adopting the right processes, behavior and strategies to continually transform your messaging platform

Takeaway: A migration event takes time and preparation. It’s a major project in its own that necessitates using a proven methodology. And Binary Tree has developed the most comprehensive and successful approach possible – resulting in the most seamless transitions with the least impact for end users.