For a pair of skates to work optimally, their bearings must be cleaned on a regular basis. Accumulated dust and grime on the bearings create friction, preventing them from spinning smoothly. Similarly, as VMC Program Manager David Cherry explained, e-mail mailboxes should be properly cleaned in order to expedite Exchange messaging migration.
There is a company with offices in the U.S. and Europe that underwent messaging migration without testing. It should have taken minutes, but many email accounts took 24 hours to migrate; one account even took four days. Some individuals had very large mailboxes and the great distance between the company’s headquarters and its European offices exacerbated the issue. Even with the fastest pipe speed, migration speed is dependent on the back and forth negotiations across the wire.
That’s why we strongly recommend doing trial runs with test groups before performing mass migration, as they determine network’s speed across different pipelines. Testing the network provides us with a good understanding of how long it will take for each mailbox to complete migration.
When we test, we are essentially running the migration with a small group to draw out potential issues that could arise during mass migration. A test group should be varied and made up of actual mailboxes, not fake accounts created to test the environment. While each migration is unique, let me give some general numbers: We want about 25 small mailboxes (1-100 MB), 25 medium mailboxes (100-500 MB), 25 large mailboxes (1 G), and 5 extremely large mailboxes (15 G or larger).
We’d adjust and go deeper into the planning stages based on the results of the test. For instance, if we find that too many accounts are taking too long to migrate, we’d articulate to users that they need to archive and/or delete their message. We’d also implement a quota on mailboxes, so that users are reminded to archive or delete when they near their limits. These changes result in smoother, faster migration because there is a lot less data to transfer.
A lengthy messaging migration not only costs a company time and money, but also takes up valuable resources. What steps can you take to ensure your process doesn’t roll off-course?