Migrating those hundreds of bulky user mailboxes from Novell GroupWise platform to Exchange Server can be a challenging task for many organizations. Most of them see it as a burden due to its time-taking and complex migration undertakings. Though, there are several factors that influence organizations to contemplate forward to Exchange Server over their existing Novell GroupWise platform. Some of the notable factors are mentioned below:
- Adopting New Business Technologies: Exchange Server can be a great emailing platform, if your organization is accepting new business technologies or making changes into existing requirements that no longer cannot be fulfilled using your current GroupWise platform.
- Merging with Another Organizations: If the other organization, which you are merging with, has standardized on Exchange Server platform then your business may need to soon move to Exchange Server platform in order to maintain smooth emailing communication.
- Cloud-supported Emails: GroupWise has very limited support for cloud-based services, whereas your organization can take this advantage using the off-premises cloud services by Microsoft.
Besides all these noticeable factors, Exchange Server offers a lot more advantages to its users, through:
- Anywhere Mailbox Access: With Exchange Server, the users have the flexibility to get access to their emails, contacts, calendars, voicemails and everything else from possibly any location using their laptops or handheld devices with Exchange Server and Outlook Web App.
- Enhanced user productivity: Microsoft products like MS Office are already familiar to the users, and it requires no necessary training. They can simply start working on their favorite user interface (such as mobile devices) after integrating their device with Exchange Server.
- Multiple Deployment Options: When choosing Exchange Server, organizations get the flexibility to dramatically reduce cost, and manage full deployment control to meet the best-suitable business environment, through the below mentioned solutions:
- Off-premise solution (cloud cloud)
- On-premise solution (private cloud services)
- Hybrid solution (including both on and off-premise)
However, you should not ignore the technical challenges that you may face during the GroupWise to Exchange migration. The technicality of the challenges that can be classified in two major aspects.
- Ensure Coexistence: The process of migration should always be performed on a suitable time without aggressive approach, such as the weekend. Though, the migration process consumes a lot of time and basically involves the infrastructure of two emailing systems, therefore maintaining coexistence is an important factor that should be taken care at the time of migration.
- Migrating Mailboxes: This is the most crucial and sensitive aspect, where your organization’s valuable data is going to migrate from one platform to another. So, here is the list of things (probable questions) that should be kept in mind while performing the migration:
- How many user mailboxes are you planning to migrate?
- How much space does it consume now?
- Expected space that will be required after it is migrated?
Although, you can use ‘Migration Wizard’ method to manually extract mailbox data from GroupWise and then migrate them to Exchange Server. This wizard gives you the flexibility to migrate either in a single-or dual-step process. When choosing single-step process, then you can fetch data from GroupWise and import it to Exchange by executing the wizard for single time. However, the dual-step process can be used when the single-step process fails to migrate the data. This second method is helpful to migrate data when GroupWise server is not in a good health or there is some difficulty in sustaining the connection to it.
This Migration Wizard make use of Intermediate File Format (IFF) to migrate GroupWise items to Exchange. Moreover, an IFF file is simply a Comma-Separated-Value (CSV) file can be easily viewed in any text editor such as Notepad. The GroupWise data is being extracted using these IFF files and then the data is being imported to Exchange Server. However, this manual migration method does not support the migration of GroupWise archives, frequent contacts and personal address books. In order to perform flawless data migration from GroupWise to Exchange Server, you should trust a reliable third-party GroupWise to Exchange converter.
Kernel for GroupWise to Exchange Server is a perfect migration tool to move bulk of user mailboxes from GroupWise to Exchange Server. It can provide fruitful results to smoothly migrate GroupWise user’s cache or remote mailboxes, archives to Exchange Server in a single attempt, where the migration wizard fails to render it even in multiple attempts.