Email systems can be daunting because they are such critical business applications, but throw a migration or transition into the mix and it can be downright intimidating. So how do you make sure your Microsoft Exchange migration is seamless and goes off without a hitch? Here are three keys that are critical to success.
1 – Properly Assess the Current Environment
Assessing the environment doesn’t just mean reviewing the hardware; it also includes existing software and operating system versions. For example, it is critical to ensure your existing infrastructure can support a migration to Exchange 2007 or 2010. Some suggestions of things to look for when assessing your current environment include:
Active Directory functional level
· Forest functional level
· Operating system version of domain controllers
· Operating system version of global catalog servers
· Operating system version of Exchange servers
· Security software versions
· Archiving software versions
· Mail backup software versions
Every environment is different so you may have fewer or more areas to assess. You should always check with Microsoft and any third party software vendors to ensure that their products are supported for the version of Exchange involved in the transition. Performing a proper assessment enables you to create an accurate timeline for the migration, so you can minimize the impact on the organization as much as possible.
2 – Perform Complete and Rigorous Testing
If you’ve done a thorough and proper assessment then you’ll know exactly what to test when you’ve executed your plan. You should test everything that has a connection to your Exchange servers such as send/receive connectors, any mail security gateways, scanners, backup software, mobile phones, email clients, mail certificates, remote access, etc. This will ensure a seamless transition for your users and keep you from having to “fire fight” to resolve issues that could have been handled during the testing phase.
3 – Document and Leverage Lessons Learned
It would be nice if all migrations and transitions went as planned without problems, but that is rarely the case. Issues happen, and it is a good practice to keep a record of all issues, what caused them and how you were able to resolve them. You can review this information for your next project and share this with the rest of your team, so that they are also aware of potential issues for the next migration project.
Assessing your environment, testing, and leveraging lessons learned are key to ensuring a successful Microsoft Exchange migration. Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Please email
them to us and we’ll include them in a future article!
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