By Valentin Vasquez, Senior Solutions Architect, E2E
Until recently, organizations looking to perform an Exchange migration
between different Active Directory (AD) forests really only had two choices of software tools for assisting with the migration. You could write migration scripts using the Exchange Management Shell (PowerShell)
programming method that Microsoft provided, or you could use legacy 3rd party tools from ISVs. Unfortunately, these choices have left a lot to be desired for organizations looking to perform and manage migration projects.
The PowerShell method lacks the ability to effectively schedule the migration processing, and it doesn’t give you the ability to inform your end-users of their personal migration schedule. In essence, you’re dealing with a completely manual method. It doesn’t give you any control over the management aspects to run your migration project unattended. And it requires a higher level of knowledge in order to properly execute the project in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your end-users.
The second traditional choice has been agent-based tools from ISVs that were mostly architected over 10 years ago to handle migrations from Exchange 5.5 to 2000. While these tools were somewhat helpful at the time, they are not well architected to assist with migrating recent versions of Exchange Server. Especially when you think about having to deploy multiple agents on all of the Exchange servers in your environment. That’s where they have to run, or perhaps crawl is the better term, as they are typically 10 times slower than PowerShell and PowerShell-based technology. These agents have a three-step process and work in a serial progression. First, they export the mailbox data to a file on the source Exchange server. And then you wait. And then another agent copies the data file from the source server to the target server and you wait some more. And then finally, another agent imports that mailbox data into a server. The net result is that these transitions are quite tedious and slow in their execution. These tools make for a very long, drawn out project.
So what’s the good news? The good news is that there is a new alternative designed specifically for a new generation of Exchange Servers and it’s dramatically better than the other choices available.
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