No pain in migrating mail to Exchange 2003

Forget about the phrase, "no pain, no gain" when it comes to migrating mail to Exchange 2003 from Lotus Notes, MS Mail or another version of Exchange.

One the biggest reasons to migrate or upgrade to Exchange Server 2003 is its unequaled performance and features when paired with Outlook 2003 on the client end.

Migrations from Exchange 2000 Server, more an upgrade then a migration, are a simple process. But what about migrating from other messaging platforms such as Exchange Server 5.5, Lotus Notes or even MS Mail?

While the process is entirely painless, Microsoft has made it easier with the Exchange Server Migration Wizard.

You can find the Exchange Server Migration Wizard in the Microsoft Exchange, Deployment folder located on your Programs menu.

Once you click past the introductory page of the Wizard, you will be prompted to select the type of migration you are performing. After that point, the Wizard is very specific in telling you what it needs to accomplish its task. Additionally, the Exchange team was kind enough to code in some other helpful hints that are designed to make your migration a smoother one.

Migration Paths
The Exchange Server Migration Wizard provides a number of migration paths from common messaging systems that you may have in use. The following migration options are available when you start the Wizard:

  • Import from Migration Files. This option allows you to import previously created migration files that were created when you performed a partial migration by selecting the Extract Migration Files only option. This option can also be used to import the files that are created by a third-party or standalone source extraction application.

  • Migrate from Microsoft Mail for PC Networks. This option lets you migrate users, mail and schedule data from a Microsoft Mail post office into Exchange Server 2003.

  • Migrate from Microsoft Exchange. Here you can migrate mailboxes from another Exchange organization (Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 5.5) into your Exchange Server 2003 organization. The Wizard migrates all information in the source mailbox to the new mailbox including these folders: Inbox, Tasks, Contacts, Calendar, Drafts, Sent Items and any custom folders the user created. Additionally, if no user account exists in the target Active Directory forest, it will create one based on the Exchange Server 5.5 account in the source organization.

  • Migrate from Lotus cc:Mail. This allows you to migrate user mailboxes, messages, draft messages, attachments, bulletin boards and mail lists from the cc:Mail post office into Exchange Server 2003.

  • Migrate from Lotus Notes. Migrate users, mail and scheduling information from a Lotus Notes or Domino server into your Exchange Server 2003 organization.

  • Migrate from Novell GroupWise 4.x. This option lets you migrate users, mail and schedule information from a GroupWise 4.x post office into the Exchange organization.

  • Migrate from Novell GroupWise 5.x. Perform the same tasks as the Migrate from Novell GroupWise 4.x option, only for GroupWise 5.x servers.

  • Migrate from Internet Directory (LDAP through ADSI). Migrate mail account information from LDAP compliant directories into Active Directory.

  • Migrate from Internet Mail (IMAP4). This option allows you to migrate messages from an IMAP4 server to Exchange user's mailboxes.

Even though a path is not specified for migration from GroupWise 6.x, many people have told me that they have been able to perform the migration as the APIs are the same in GroupWare 5.x and 6.x -- your mileage may vary, however.

Will Schmied, BSET, MCSE, MCSA, is a systems engineer for a Fortune 500 shipping and transportation company. As a freelance writer, Will has written for Microsoft, Pearson, Sybex, Syngress, TechTarget, CNET, msexchange.org and several other organizations. Will has also worked with Microsoft in the MCSE exam-development process. You can visit Will at his MCSE certification portal, www.mcseworld.com.


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This was first published in May 2004
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