So you’re planning or know someone who is planning an email and/or application migration? Do you have questions? Is someone asking questions that you don’t have answers to? Do you want to know what’s really in your environment? Is it time to budget? If any of these questions sound familiar to you, then sit back and let me tell you a little story of my own experience.
Off on the Wrong Foot
Several years ago, I was working as an IT Manager for a mid-size manufacturer that was a long-standing Lotus Notes shop. One day our new CIO - a staunch supporter of the Microsoft platform - called me into his office and asked me a simple question:
“John, how many Notes Applications and Messaging users do we have today and how complex is the environment?
I was completely baffled. No one had ever asked me that question before and I was at a complete loss for an answer. So, in my perplexity and search to find an answer, I grabbed the Lotus Notes Administrator. He smiled at me and said:
“It’s pretty complex, John, and a great deal of the applications are customized. Also, the users own their own applications, so we don’t typically manage them unless we’re asked to. As for the mail, I would say we have a few hundred users, but I’m not really sure how many actual mailboxes we have. Let me run some numbers and get back to you...”.
Three weeks and eight spreadsheets later, the Lotus Notes Administrator finally presented me with what I thought were the answers to the CIO’s questions. After all, we meticulously and manually combed through EVERY server gathering as many details as we could from the administrative console. We even went as far as opening up a few of the applications to find their size and owner.
Triumphantly and with spreadsheets in hand, I walked into the CIO’s office and exclaim, “I finally have the answers you’re looking for!” With a very serious look on his face he said:
“John …why did it take us SO long to get answers to such simple questions? Shouldn’t this information be quick and easy to retrieve? This is the IT Department …it’s critical for us to know how many Notes Applications and Messaging users we have, and have a full understanding the complexity of our environment. In order for us to be successful, we need to have this information updated consistently and readily available. This has me VERY concerned …”.
He was right. Having accurate, trustworthy, and consistent data on the state of our environment was critical to maintain and grow the environment. But, once again, I was unable to answer his questions, and the last thing I wanted to do was show him the spreadsheets because we weren’t 100% confident that they were accurate and complete.
Shortly after my humbling interaction with the CIO, he called the IT Team into his office and made the following announcement:
“We are migrating off of Lotus Notes. I need you to figure out what it will take to migrate our applications to SharePoint or .NET, and I need you to find a way to migrate Lotus Notes to Exchange. I’ll need a project plan and budget by the end of next week. This is crucial to the company’s overall IT strategy and I’m counting on you to execute.”
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Today's blog post was originally posted on June 21, 2011 on Perry Hiltz's wildly popular blog, Domino Diversions. As most of you may know, Perry is a Solutions Architect at Binary Tree and a long-time
IBM Domino solutions expert. Today, Perry is heavily involved
in the success of Binary Tree's pre-sales, technical, and support teams, and focuses primarily on educating and supporting customers during their Microsoft Exchange migrations.
The thought of renaming a Domino Server is a daunting task at best. There are innumerable considerations to address when undertaking this task. There is the server security, groups, connection documents, mail-in-databases, access control lists, and not to mention the user desktop icons. As I continue to work with various organizations, the thought of Domino server virtual clustering has proven to be a way to simplify some of these processes.
The concept entails an Enterprise version of Domino. The administrator will still need to register a new server in the Address book. This will be the new name of the server. Then the next step is to create a cluster with the old server name, then the new server name. Once the cluster directory and cluster replicator tasks are initiated, the cluster directory database will contain cluster information for only the old server.
The next step involves the creation of agents to scan all ACL’s to add the new server entry. Beware of roles, the agents will likely not associate the new server listing with any roles the old server had. Then connection documents to and from the old server need to be copied, and modified to use the new server name. Similarly group membership of the old server will require the new server to be added. Next will be to copy and paste, then modify all of the mail-in-database names. This will need to reflect the new server name. Once all of these aspects are in place, then the server’s Notes.ini can be modified to use the new server ID file for serverid= and keyidfile= to use the new server ID file.
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