Exchange Cross-Forest migrations are not as
impossible, expensive or complex as you may think. If you are
considering merging an Exchange 2003 or Exchange 207 organization into
another organization, you should know that it can be done and you can do
Cross organizational moves are
complex and on my last large cross-org project we had nearly 100
Exchange 2003/2007 servers and over thirty locations with multiple SMTP
paths. Moreover, we were dealing with two separate AD forests with
absolutely no automated directory synchronization. Even with these
challenges plus WAN link migrations we established a process to
successfully migrate roughly 600 people in a six hour window with
minimal personnel and an exceptionally low failure rate.
you do the math you will see that we built capability to migrate 2400 a
day or 16,800 people per week.
we are not running four shifts a day, seven days a week I have a few
moments to talk about how can do it too.
As you read this, you will
notice that I have included code samples, a few tips and some overall
ideas to enforce by conviction that this can be done without expensive
tools and to illustrate my points. You should not take this article as a
complete migration guide but as a confidence builder.
are far more technical strategies that are better described somewhere
else such as sizing, migration throughput, error handling, WAN moves,
server centralization, scheduling and the overall technical aspects of
the scripting and process.
I have tried however to give you enough
information so you can understand how manageable this process really is.
So let’s set the stage. You are tasked with planning
the migration of thousands of Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 users from
one company/organization to another. You have trusts in place and
accounts in each Forest with rights and you have read very little
documentation that would suggest you can accomplish this on your own.
Moreover, you have a quote for $500,000 worth of migration software and
have no idea how you will maintain your budget or if the software is
even worth it.
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Copyright Stephen Bryant 2008