Some Useful Tips for a Successful Migration from GroupWise to Exchange 2010

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 has taken a giant leap in terms of features like ease of use and management, cost of ownership and flexibility of integration. This is indeed the right time to migrate from GroupWise from Novell to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. The migration from GroupWise to Exchange 2010 will lead to close integration on-premises and also online deployments. These are the tips, which help in a smooth transition process for the organization from GroupWise to Exchange 2010 migration process in a planned way, there should be a seamless transition from one environment to another, with the overcoming of challenges on the road map for the deployment.

The features on Exchange 2010 focuses on simplicity for users, enhanced levels of redundancy and availability and therefore it does not affect the migration process from GroupWise to Exchange Server 2010.

Pre-Migration Assessment

This involves a realistic assessment of the criteria for a proper measurement of successful migration. 100% data recovery is not possible to expect with this transition, as not all messages will be intact after the migration from GroupWise. There should be an achievable target on such a conversion like a 98 % conversion of messages from 98 % mailboxes to migrate GroupWise to Exchange 2010. We need to track this percentage change. The tracking results can only be made successful when we migrate from GroupWise to Exchange 2010, starting with a pre-assessment procedure.

Other than calculating the completion criteria, we can also ask questions like the following:

  • The intended amount of migrated data
  • Number of domains, physical servers and post offices
  • Number of mailboxes
  • The mailboxes which are orphaned, expired, disabled and unused
  • Groupwise archives to be migrated to Exchange 2010 format or to Outlook .pst files
  • The storage after the migration

Next, the Active directory objects needs to be created for the Exchange 2010 mailboxes. The GroupWise directory structure is separate from eDirectory and does not need eDirectory objects. If we need to migrate user objects from the eDirectory, a separate mechanism has to be employed in comparison with the situation of creating normal user objects.

Integration of GroupWise with Exchange 2010

The important step is that of integration of GroupWise with Exchange 2010. Directory synchronization has to be achieved between GroupWise and The Exchange 2010. The GroupWise address book and the Exchange Global address list must have same users, distribution groups and resources. The route between GroupWise and Exchange as well as the hybrid system of GroupWise/Exchange 2010 and the outside world, is done through the SMTP routing. The message formats are message size limits are to be taken note of.

Planning of the data storage

The next of course is the planning of the data storage. The older version of GroupWise running in Netware server used a heavily modified FAT 32 file system but Exchange 2010 uses NTFS. A 40 % reduction in volume happens, based on the smaller sector size during the migration.

groupwise to Exchange

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 has taken a giant leap in terms of features like ease of use and management, cost of ownership and flexibility of integration. This is indeed the right time to migrate from GroupWise from Novell to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. The migration from GroupWise to Exchange 2010 will lead to close integration on-premises and also online deployments. These are the tips, which help in a smooth transition process for the organization from GroupWise to Exchange 2010 migration process in a planned way, there should be a seamless transition from one environment to another, with the overcoming of challenges on the roadmap for the deployment.

The features on Exchange 2010 focuses on simplicity for users, enhanced levels of redundancy and  availability and therefore it does not affect the migration process from GroupWise to Exchange Server 2010.

Pre-Migration Assessment

This involves a realistic assessment of the criteria for a proper measurement of successful migration. 100% data recovery is not possible to expect with this transition, as not all messages will be intact after the migration from GroupWise. There should be an achievable target on such a conversion like a 98 % conversion of messages from 98 % mailboxes to migrate GroupWise to Exchange 2010. We need to track this percentage change. The tracking results can only be made successful when we migrate from GroupWise to Exchange 2010, starting with a pre-assessment procedure.

Other than calculating the completion criteria, we can also ask questions like the following:

 The intended amount of migrated data

  • Number of domains, physical servers and post offices
  • Number of mailboxes
  • The mailboxes which are orphaned, expired, disabled and unused
  • Groupwise archives to be migrated to Exchange 2010 format or to Outlook .pst files
  • The storage after the migration

 Next, the Active directory objects needs to be created for the Exchange 2010 mailboxes. The GroupWise directory structure is separate from eDirectory and does not need eDirectory objects. If we need to migrate user objects from the eDirectory, a separate mechanism has to be employed in comparison with the situation of creating normal user objects.

 Integration of GroupWise with Exchange 2010

 The important step is that of integration of GroupWise with Exchange 2010. Directory synchronization has to be achieved between GroupWise and The Exchange 2010. The GroupWise address book and the Exchange Global address list must have same users, distribution groups and resources. The route between GroupWise and Exchange as well as the hybrid system of GroupWise/Exchange 2010 and the outside world, is done through the SMTP routing. The message formats are message size limits are to be taken note of.

 Planning of the data storage

 The next of course is the planning of the data storage. The older version of GroupWise running in Netware server used a heavily modified FAT 32 file system but Exchange 2010 uses NTFS. A 40 % reduction in volume happens, based on the smaller sector size during the migration.

 Running pilot migration

 A crucial step, which comes next, is the running of a pilot migration. The purpose is in the identification of challenges, which comes while, we make the transition from GroupWise to exchange 2010 and what can be the preventive measures for finding a resolution of any associated problems. This is to ensure that there should be enough problems during the pilot migration, so that we can have a fairly sized sample for what we expect, when the actual migration takes place. Before this happens, we need to understand the time taken for a controlled migration from GroupWise data but on a single migration server.  This is the migration baseline, which is based on the throughput in GB per hour. The throughput decides on the time taken for the data volume to migrate. This will also determine the amount of disk space on the target computer as compared to what was required by GroupWise. The behaviour of the data can only be gauged by testing the data.

 Calculate the percentage of mailbox transferred

Another step is to calculate the percentage of mailbox transferred. We need to know the total number of mailboxes skipped or filtered. The moved number of messages and the associated errors or the warnings, for each single mailbox. Individual logs for the migrated mailboxes are required because of tracking the total messages and appointments, before the migration took place. The percentage is calculated on the basis of total of filtered and moved items and then the number of errors are subtracted. The result is divided by the total number of messages. If the actual calculation matches with the earlier value of 98 %, or higher, then we can get assured that there has been a successful migration and the mailbox is signed off successfully.

The final tip is to avoid a GroupWise kind of environment, when working with the Exchange Server 2010 product. It is often tempting to recreate but most often, the results can be disappointing.

A crucial step, which comes next, is the running of a pilot migration. The purpose is in the identification of challenges, which comes while, we make the transition from GroupWise to exchange 2010 and what can be the preventive measures for finding a resolution of any associated problems. This is to ensure that there should be enough problems during the pilot migration, so that we can have a fairly sized sample for what we expect, when the actual migration takes place. Before this happens, we need to understand the time taken for a controlled migration from GroupWise data but on a single migration server. This is the migration baseline, which is based on the throughput in GB per hour. The throughput decides on the time taken for the data volume to migrate. This will also determine the amount of disk space on the target computer as compared to what was required by GroupWise. The behavior of the data can only be gauged by testing the data.

Calculate the percentage of mailbox transferred

Another step is to calculate the percentage of mailbox transferred. We need to know the total number of mailboxes skipped or filtered. The moved number of messages and the associated errors or the warnings, for each single mailbox. Individual logs for the migrated mailboxes are required because of tracking the total messages and appointments, before the migration took place. The percentage is calculated on the basis of total of filtered and moved items and then the number of errors are subtracted. The result is divided by the total number of messages. If the actual calculation matches with the earlier value of 98 %, or higher, then we can get assured that there has been a successful migration and the mailbox is signed off successfully.

The final tip is to avoid a GroupWise kind of environment, when working with the Exchange Server 2010 product. It is often tempting to recreate but most often, the results can be disappointing.

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