Part 5: Migrating Resources Mailboxes, Mail-In databases and Groups

Published: 2013-08-07
Updated: –
Version: 1.0

This post will focus on migrating Groups, Mail-In databases and Resources from Domino/Notes migration to Exchange On-premise or Office 365.

Before going into any details, if you are planning to do a migration from Domino and want to use Dell Software’s Notes Migrator for Exchange, it is important to mention that there is a requirement from the vendor to use certified people for the project.

This blog post is based on Notes Migration for Exchange version 4.7.0.82.

Read the other parts:
Part 1: Migrations – Overview
Part 2: Prerequisites for Domino/Notes migrations
Part 3: Migrating Domino/Notes to Exchange 2013 On-premise
Part 4: Migrating Domino/Notes to Office 365
Part 6: Prerequisites for Coexistence between Domino and Exchange 2013/Office 365
Part 7: Configuring Quest Coexistence Manager for Notes with Exchange 2013 On-premise
Part 8: Configuring Quest Coexistence Manager for Notes with Office 365
Part 9: Prerequisites for Quest Migration Manager
Part 10: Migrating User Mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013 using Migration Manager
Part 11: Migrating User Mailboxes from Exchange On-premise to Office 365

Installation Notes Migrator for Exchange (NME)

The installation is a regular next/next/finish installation. During the first startup it will ask for a license file, so provide an appropriate license and the application will start.

The installation and configuration instructions can be found at:
http://www.testlabs.se/blog/?p=680

Creating batches/collections

Creating batches of Groups is done through “Group Collections – Manage” and the “New collection…” option.

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Creating batches of mail-in databases and resources works the same way, following the steps below.
Users are migrated based in batches (or collections), these batches are created through “User Collections – Manage” and pressing “New collection…”.

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Provide a collection name and label (label is not required). Labels can be very helpful when looking for a particular batch after creating many collections.

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Designating users for each batch can be done either by finding them in the directory (i.e. NME database) or by importing from a TSV file. In this example, I select from the directory because I am only selecting one user. In other cases, the TSV import may be useful.

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As demonstrated below, I search for a user with a Display Name that starts with Jonas. Type the desired characters in the value field, press “Add” button. You can add multiple criteria to the search filter if desired and press “Find now” when ready.

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The results will be shown in the search result section. Select the desired user(s) and press “OK”. The user is then added into the batch.

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For illustration, the picture below shows a collection of Groups.

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Migration finalization / switch / routing

Updating routing for groups, mail-in databases and resources works almost the same as user routing.

Migrations are accomplished by switching the routing and migrating the contents.
NME will configure the objects with appropriate forwarding settings to ensure Domino can route email to Exchange for this specified forwarding domain.

See section Notes from the field for configuring Domino mail routing.

Before any changes are made, it’s good to have insight of how the objects look in Domino Administrator. See the pictures below. For more information about the objects, an LDAP browser can be used.
I recommend Softerra LDAP Browser 4.5.

Rooms

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Room100 – Restricted room “specific people”, can only be booked by the listed people.

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Room101 – “Owner only”, only owners are allowed to book the room, others requires owner approval.

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Room102 – No restrictions

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See the picture below for total summary of the Domino restriction settings (source: Dell Software: Pre-migration planning guide).

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Room switching / routing / migration

From “User Collections – Migrate User Data”, select the migration batch by pressing the arrow and choosing the desired batch. When selected, press “Migrate…”

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Select “Manage mail routing” and press “Next”.

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Select “Exchange” and “Quest Coexistence Manager for Notes” with “Using ActiveMail processing”.
This will configure the associated Domino object with a forwarding address.

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Calendar domain: Exchange” (this is used during Freebusy coexistence, discussed in coexistence post)
”Set server running qcalcon: dominoserver/dominodomain” (specify the server that have Qcalcon installed)
”Specify your Domino domain: dominodomain” (specify your Domino domain)

Check “Set mail forwarding address”
”Forwarding mail domain: exchange.testlabs.se” (Domino need to route mails to this SMTP domain)
Select ”Append Domino domain to forwarding address”
”Overwrite existing mail forwarding address: Always

Then press “Next”.

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If Exchange mailboxes have forwarding/targetAddresses configured, these can be removed using this option as well. In my test case, I don’t have these configured, so I will let them be unchecked. Press “Next”.

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When switching (routing) mailboxes, with sufficient hardware, I typically run this operation with at least 20 threads (simultaneous processes). However, in this scenario it is being performed on a couple of mailboxes, so I left it with 1 thread. Press “Next”.

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A summary is shown, press “Next”.

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The operation can be scheduled but, in my case, I want to run it now. Press “Next”.

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The operation starts…

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…and it was completed. Press “Exit”.

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When the operation is complete, you can verify that the object in Domino directory has been updated.
Note that the Forwarding address (known as “mailaddress”) now is configured, the Mail system (known as “mailsystem”) is configured to Other Internet Mail (has a value of “5”) and Domain value has been deleted.

Migrating data

Since the mail routing is complete and new mail will route directly to the Exchange mailbox, it’s time to migrate the data.

One thing to keep in mind before starting the migration, is verifying the mailboxes were created with the correct mailbox type. In this scenario it should be created as “Room Mailbox”. This can be verified by running the PowerShell command:

Get-Mailbox room* | ft DisplayName,Resourcetype –Autosize

If they were listed as User Mailboxes for some reason, they could easily be changed to Room Mailboxes by running the PowerShell command:

Get-Mailbox room* | Set-Mailbox –Type Room

Similarly, for Mail-In databases to Shared Mailboxes, verify they are listed as shared mailboxes. If needed, change the type by running the PowerShell command:

Get-Mailbox mail-in-databases* | Set-Mailbox –Type Shared

Before the migration, one of the target mailboxes had 1 item and a total of 4 kb. All others had zero items, shown in the picture below. Using PowerShell command:

Get-Mailbox room* | Get-MailboxStatistics | ft displayname,itemcount,totalitemsize –Autosize

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Go to “User Collections – Migrate User Data”, select the migration batch and press “Migrate…”

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Select “Migrate mailbox data”, press “Next”.

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In this scenario, I didn’t use the notification options. However, these can be helpful for letting users know that they are migrated and should start to use Outlook instead of Notes. Press “Next”.

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Select the data types you wish to migrate. I decide not to migrate Trash and the Archive. Everything else will get migrated. Press “Next”.

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Select the preferred conversion method for DocLinks. For this example, I used “Notes .NDL attachment (requires Notes client to use after migration)”. Press “Next”.

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Select “Through Domino server(s)”, press “Next”.

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Select “Server-based mailbox”, press “Next”.

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In my scenario, I want to migrate everything, but the filtering options can be very useful in projects that might require migrating (or pre-migrating) a subset by date or size.

After selecting the appropriate settings, press “Next”.

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When migrating mailbox data, I commonly run it with 8-12 threads (simultaneous processes).

You will need to determine the setting that is best in your environment. This is normally done before or during the pilot phase of the project to ensure the optimal configuration is ready for production migrations.

In this scenario, I am just migrating three resources so I leave it with 1 thread. Press “Next”.

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A summary is shown, press “Next”.

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I want to start the migration now. However, if that’s not the case, you have the opportunity to schedule it.

Press “Next”.

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The operation starts…

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…during the operation…

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…operation completed. Press “Exit”.

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For this example, the migration throughput rates are low because we migrated a couple of test mailboxes with a small sampling of data. As you scale your migrations to include additional mailboxes and threads, much higher throughput rates will be achieved. This was done in a lab environment using slow disks and small amount of memory.

When the migration is completed, I recommend comparing item counts and mailbox sizes, but you will need to account for data compression differences between Domino and Exchange.

I’ve seen differences between 20-35% depending on the circumstances. This means a Notes mail file of 1 GB may be 1,35 GB in Exchange. However, this is just a rule of thumb and needs to be estimated with actual data from each project since every customer is unique.

Verify the item count and mail data size by using the same PowerShell command:

Get-Mailbox room* | Get-MailboxStatistics | ft displayname,itemcount,totalitemsize –Autosize

The picture below shows that there are now a total of 5 items and 17 kb of data in the mailboxes.

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Group migrations

We created one Group collection/batch at the beginning of this article.

For illustration the two Groups will be migrated into Active Directory (AD) / Exchange. The first group, called “Finance”, is a Multi-purpose group (could be compared with Security Group in AD) that could not only be used for mail but also controlling permissions.

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The second group called “Marketing”, is Mail-only group, which could be compared to a Distribution Group/List in Exchange and is only used for distribution mails.

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Let’s start the provisioning process within “Group Collections – Provision”. Select the desired group collection and press “Provision groups…”

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Verify the Group Type for the collection and the path are correct. Also, verify the container for external contacts is correct. Check the option “Keep groups in sync with corresponding Notes groups”, this option will make sure that the group is updated with the correct members. Press Next.

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A summary is shown, press Next.

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I want to run the task Now, press Next.

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The result is shown. Press Exit.

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Groups were created successfully in the correct OU.

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Verify the members are correct. Looks fine…

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The owner/manager (ManagedBy) is also migrated over.

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If groups are updated in Domino on a regular basis and they need to be maintained in AD/Exchange, a scheduled job could be created to automate this process. Information about how to create a scheduled job can found in the Administration Guide of NME included with the software.

Permissions / Delegation / Restrictions during migrations

The following quote from the User Guide regarding migration of delegated users outlines

the prerequisites quite well for getting the delegates over to Exchange.

The permissions on normal Domino mailboxes are migrated IF the prerequisites above are fulfilled.

I would like to recommend investigating both the Resources and the Mail-In databases regarding restrictions, who has permissions to book and who is the owner before starting the migration. This can either be done in Domino or using an analyzer tool, like MessageStats.

Changes regarding migration of delegates have been made in the last version of NME (version 4.7.0.82). These optional variables has been added and could be used, more information can be found in the release notes for NME.

[Exchange]

MigrateResourceDelegation=<#>

GrantResourceOwnerFullAccess=<#>

MigrateMailInDBOwner=<#>

Notes from the field

Dell Software – MessageStats – The tool can be of great value for analyzing and investigating environments before starting migrations. More information is available here: http://www.quest.com/messagestats/

Domino SMTP routing – This can be difficult to understand if you haven’t been working with Domino or been involved in any migration projects before. I posted an article about coexistence that goes through the configuration steps: http://www.testlabs.se/blog/?p=1042

Proxy server – One thing that can be a potential issue during migrations is proxy servers. I recommend avoiding them as much as possible. If you can avoid them you will most likely save yourself some issues that might occur if a proxy server is used. These tend to block or throttle traffic, the impact can be either that the migration throughput will be very low or that it will prohibit the traffic from reaching its destination.

Creating batches/collections – If you are involved in larger migration projects, you likely won’t want to find each user manually. As an alternative, you can search by a Domino Directory value that is unique to each migration batch.

Another method for adding users to the batch is using TSV files. If you choose this approach, Excel will become your best friend.

Pre-stage/Delta migration consideration – In cases where it’s possible, I recommend starting the migration right away after the pilot has been approved. This means that the mailbox data can be migrated over/synchronized before the actual migration must take place. By pre-staging data, the mailbox switch/routing can be done fast and finally the mailbox delta data (differences) can be migrated. This can minimize the “migration time”. By this, I mean the time that the end-users are impacted in some way or another.

One thing to keep in mind if using this method is that as soon as a mailbox is created in Exchange, the Free/Busy requests from other Exchange users sent to this newly created user won’t be sent back to Domino (where the most current data remains and action should take place).

I have requested a feature from Microsoft that would make the “forwarding” of Free/Busy requests possible, but haven’t heard anything back from them yet. It would be great if that could be solved, probably easily by using targetAddress attribute together with a new attribute, for ex. forwardfbreq set to either 0 (default) or 1.

Don’t hesitate to comment if you would like to add anything or if you have other experiences, I will add it into the post and link your blog.

Next post will be published after the holidays, in the meanwhile enjoy the vacations stay tuned after summer for new publications, we I start of with Coexistence Manager for Notes.