Regardless of the particular technology, any migration project can be broken down into three key stages. When applied to an e-mail migration, these are as follows:-
Microsoft Exchange mailbox access is granted or denied based on an Active Directory user account with a unique security identifier or SID. This mailbox may be local, or linked to another forest where users authenticate. Choices made regarding this user account provisioning will impact migration, co-existence, and transparency to the user community.
During co-existence multiple e-mail systems must be integrated in several ways. Directories or Address Books must remain synchronised so that users on either system can send and receive mail. E-mail needs to flow seamlessly between the many systems, as well as into and out of the hybrid system to and from the outside world. If possible, collaborative technologies such as resource booking and calendar sharing can help make the co-existence period easier on the user community.
Finally questions must be answered over how much historical data including mailbox messages, calendar appointments, and other resources to migrate.
Each migration plan needs to be tailored to the technology being used. Differing migration scenarios and products have differing constraints.
Background “sync and switch” migrations such as Exchange 2010 suspended mailbox move or Quest Migration Manager for Exchange (QMM) offer the ability to move far larger numbers of mailboxes at a time but may have other drawbacks, in that both source and target mailboxes exist at the same time, which introduces other project complexities.
For any new or existing Exchange Server deployment there are many additional modifications that can be made many of which are not available out of the box. The provision of a fully featured e-mail system requires attention be given to the areas of availability, security, connectivity and disaster recovery.
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