Gradually Migrating to Exchange 2000
Exchange Migration Wizard makes the move to Exchange 2000 and Active Directory gradual and relatively painless.
Aelita's Exchange Migration Wizard is designed to provide a path to migratenot
just upgradeone or more Exchange 5.5 organizations to an Exchange
2000 organization in Active Directory. It allows for the coexistence of
both structures thereby providing the ability to perform a gradual migration
without losing connectivity between users. It can migrate and synchronize
directory information, users' mailboxes, public folders, and calendar
information. The migration can be scheduled and it even allows you to
have the Outlook configuration of the user switched to the new server
once a mailbox is migrated.
Exchange Migration Wizard 2.0, $12/migrated
user mailbox with volume discount
For more Exchange tools, see "Keeping
Exchange Running" in the May 2002 issue.
The first hint that this tool is designed for larger organizations is
evident when reading the installation instructions. The hardware requirements
are quite reasonable and not out of line with what a typical installation
of Exchange would use, but the software requirements need to be carefully
considered before purchasing the product. Exchange Migration Wizard needs
to use a SQL Server 2000 database to store information on what is being
migrated. In order to support coexistence of Exchange 5.5 and 2000, the
X.400 connector is used on both Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. Although
configuring X.400 is fully covered in the documentation, the fact that
the Enterprise Edition of both Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 is needed
in order to use the product is only casually mentioned, which adds considerable
costs if you need to upgrade.
Once you've obtained the necessary software, you'll find that installation
procedure for Exchange Migration Wizard is well-documented and works as
described. There are a few minor gotchas, such as group membership required
to connect to Active Directory and settings to be modified in Outlook
is installed on the same computer, so you really need to read the documentation.
After you've installed the product, you need to determine if you want
to perform a Domain First or Exchange First migration. Domain first migrates
the user accounts used by Exchange mailboxes to the target Active Directory
domain before moving over the mailboxes, whereas an Exchange first migration
moves the mailboxes over and then resolves to which user accounts the
mailboxes should be attached. I think the Domain first migration makes
more sense in most cases and after doing it, users with the new accounts
were able to access their mailboxes on the old Exchange servers.
Exchange Migration Wizard allows you to connect to several source
Exchange 5.5 organizations, your target Exchange 2000 organization,
as well as configure synchronization jobs during the migration process.
After deciding on a strategy, you can create synchronization jobs to
keep directory information, mailboxes, and public folders synchronized
between Exchange 5.5. This is perhaps the best feature of Exchange Migration
Wizard because it allows you to keep mail flowing to all users whether
or not they have been migrated to Exchange 2000. This feature works extremely
well, but it relies upon the X.400 connector. If another connector could
be used to accomplish the same goals, the product could be useful to more
organizations that need this handy tool.
Exchange Migration Wizard is a great tool and it works quite well, provided
that you have the software that it requires: Exchange 5.5 Enterprise Server
and Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server. The need for the enterprise version
of both products necessary because of Exchange Migration Wizard's reliance
on X.400 connectors to keep information in sync between Exchange 5.5 and
Exchange 2000. While this may not be a problem for larger organizations,
it effectively removes this fine tool from the hands admins who work among
many small- to mid-size Exchange installations.
Damir Bersinic, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA, MCT, is an independent consultant, trainer and author.