When companies first launch, business owners typically use the standard, free email accounts you can find on the market, to communicate with employees, customers and partners. However, as the business grows and additional employees are hired on, a more robust email platform is often necessary. But, how do we switch email platforms without losing all of the thousands of emails that contain important and sensitive information? This is where mail migration begins. Obviously, there are many other reasons a company or institution might need to migrate their mailboxes; but whatever the reason, mail migration has to occur if you want to maintain all of your data.
Mail Migrations Explained
Mail Migrations are often quite tedious and cumbersome projects. An email migration is a process used to migrate mailbox contents from one mail provider to another, such as: moving Gmail mailbox contents to Microsoft Exchange mailboxes. In this blog we cover the many tools and techniques we have used to successfully move over a petabyte of mail.
More commonly, mail migrations fail before they ever start. Migrations require proper and adequate assessment of the current mail systems (source) and a thorough evaluation of the future mail systems (destinations).
Considerations of the "Source" assessment include:
- - Features and limitations of your current email system (spam, archiving etc.)
- - Average size per mailbox
- - Existing retention policies
- - Existing mail formats
- - Identification of special cases such as large mailboxes or resource accounts
- - Organizing mailboxes into groups such as VIP's, IT, Delegates and Resources
- - Scrubbing mail addresses for proper formatting
Considerations for the "Destination" evaluation include:
- - Identify all the mailbox features offered by the new mail system
- - Are any features missing in the destination mail system that were offered by the source mail system?
- - Will the destination mail system accept your source mail formats? Will mail be altered during the process?
- - What is the total storage amount per mailbox?
- - Has the Destination mail system be configured correctly for a smooth cutover?
- - Have you considered the amount of training required for your end-users and admins?
These are just a few of the considerations needed prior to beginning your mail migration. Although every mail issue cannot be predicted, proper planning can reduce the amount of implementation time used during the actual migration of mail.
Improper planning on mail migrations can increase mailbox remediation time significantly. Mailbox remediation is the process of removing errors or anomalies from a previously attempt mailbox move. We estimate that an average of 5-8% of total mailboxes migrated will experience or require some form of remediation.
Now that I've covered the basics of mail migration, next week I'm going to go over some of the different obstacles that you WILL be confronted with when migrating mail. No two mail migrations are the same, so there is a lot to look out for and be aware of before you jump the gun!