Archive for the ‘Exchange’ Category

I’ve been laid off – which means the end of the Migration to Exchange Post series

I knew it was inevitable, but I’ve been laid off on grounds of “cost cutting – due to economic crisis.”

As a result, I won’t be continuing my “Migrating to Exchange – One Domino Admin’s tell all journey” series.

I hope it was informative to those out there that haven’t had the chance to work with Exchange, but have heard all the hype over the past few years.

Here is my summary:

  • Microsoft is not the best solution, but it does integrate well with it’s other products (desktop, email, document management, proxy servers, firewalls, security). You can have an end-to-end solution. There are obviously downsides to putting all of your eggs in one basket, but it has to be said.
  • Microsoft Sales team promises alot that they can’t deliver.
  • If you use Microsoft Engineering team to implement what the Microsoft Sales team has sold you, you will get proof positive on the previous point. Even the Engineering team will admit that they’ve oversold you.
  • If you are going to migrate to Microsoft, get a 3rd party independent consulting company to implement it for you or at least help with managing the project.
  • When migrating to Microsoft, keep an eye on the cost of additional hardware, the cost of SQL server licenses, and the cost of bandwidth upgrades which will be inevitable and make sure and factor in those extra costs. You won’t have a server for server comparison between your existing products and Microsoft. You may be able to use virtual machines for some of your systems, but some of the systems require physical hardware and/or cannot exist on the same box as other servers.
  • Single Copy Storage that Microsoft has touted for Exchange is a myth (for lack of a better word) and Microsoft Engineering is actually recommending against factoring it in as a disk saving attribute when doing capacity planning. Single Copy Storage is only valid across each Exchange Store (database) on an Exchange server, and typically, you will have several Exchange Stores on each server – so the benefit is minimal.
  • Only a certain number of mailboxes can exist on an exchange server and those mailboxes must be split amongst different Exchange Stores (databases). There is recommended limit to how many stores you put on each Exchange server. It’s actually quite a bit more complicated than the Domino database model and Domino’s DAOS (which is server wide).
  • I can’t stress enough how much more bandwidth you will need compared to a Domino infrastructure.
  • There were many things that I felt Microsoft did much better than Domino, such as the Calendaring and Scheduling, but I won’t get into that here. :)

…..and yes, I am interested in contract work, please contact me at the link on the navigation menu (upper right).

Post7: Migrating to Exchange – One Domino Admin’s tell all journey

This was originally drafted on March 31st, 2009 and I’m just now getting to publishing it.

I sat in on an Office Communications Server 2007 design discussion and here are a few points that we covered that I felt noteworthy.

The client must have Microsoft Office Communicator installed. I guess this must be different from Microsoft MSN client and Microsoft Windows Live client.

As part of the unified communications concept, you have “One number” which means that a user can be contacted on different devices/numbers at the one number. Sort of like smart routing.

3rd party Internet awareness with AOL/Yahoo must be subscribed to a service from Microsoft

Exchange 2007 server Unified Messaging role – can route phone calls, read your email to you over the phone, read your voicemail to you over the phone, etc. I believe alot of PBX and other hardware dependencies must be in place for this to be a reality.

OCS 2007 archiving role…can act as instant messaging journaling. Archiving can be journaled by Symantec Enterprise Vault. The benefit of this is that e-discovery for legal can take place in one technology for a particular query instead of having to use Facetime archiving search tool for e-discovery of IM history.

Post6: Migrating to Exchange – One Domino Admin’s tell all journey

I first Drafted this on March 18th, 2009 after a meeting with Microsoft Design Engineers and I’m just getting to publishing it. Only a few factoid type bits of information is included and the final number of servers that we’ll need to implement compared with the existing number of Domino servers.

I apologize in advance for the vagueness.

If you have 2003 outlook clients, you must have public folders server to provide free/busy time services to outlook 2003 clients.

Outlook 2007 can connect directly to mailbox servers over MAPI

However, all other types of connections or clients, need to connect through the Client Access Server (CAS) server which routes us through to the Mailbox server for every transaction.

Every messages must go through a hub transport server, even if two mailboxes are on the same mailbox server.
This is generally to achieve journaling better.

Before Domino servers 38 including 3 BES servers (15 sites) after Exchange user servers 105 (14 sites)

Post5: Migrating to Exchange – One Domino Admin’s tell all journey

The more I’ve been reading about Exchange 2007 administration, the more it sounds like alot more work (not to mention alot more servers).

I read this blog entry at the Tech Republic Blogs titled “Scripting the remove and disable mailbox attributes in Exchange 2007

Here’s an excerpt:

The two scenarios can be scripted out in large amounts with normal batch files. A common way to make these scripts is a concatenated formula within an Excel spreadsheet that requires only the username or e-mail address to be added to create the command, which would be copied and pasted to save or run in the Exchange Management Shell.

I do happen to be good with a command line interface and actually enjoy it from time to time as shown in this previous post on my blog about writing a Domino server maintenance script that performs several tasks and a reboot every week in what I call “Preventative Maintenance.”

….but having to use the command line, or run a batch file, and intensifying the process by using Excel just to disable or delete a user sounds asinine.

Post4: Migrating to Exchange – One Domino Admin’s tell all journey

Last week, I met with Microsoft regarding one of our sites that is not currently on Domino. We will call this Site A. We built 2 clustered Domino servers for that site in September of last year and put it on hold because we didn’t want to go through the labor/cost of migrating 300 existing Outlook clients to Lotus Notes if we were only going to migrate them back to Outlook a few months later.

We’ve been waiting on how the contract negotiations with Microsoft will go and then determine through the Microsoft design, planning, and scheduling to see how long it will take.

The problem is that this site relies on a 3rd party host provider. We have no guarantee of backups, no resolve if the company goes bankrupt, no compliancy capturing, and then the added cost of paying for the external service.

Their existing mail setup is Outlook 2003 or 2007 accessing POP3 mailboxes with local .pst files. The meeting was to determine how we should proceed in the next few weeks because the management at that site is now very concerned several months after we had planned on bringing this service in-house that data is not secure and protected.
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