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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How to handle Challenges of Lotus Notes to Exchange Migration

At present, Lotus Notes and Microsoft’s Exchange are the most widely used email communication platforms. Although both platforms are quite popular but switching from Lotus Notes to Exchange is very much seen these days. Because of Exchange Server’s rich and varied features and high availability of trained IT staff on Microsoft technology, Exchange is becoming center of attraction for most of the users as compared to Lotus Notes.

These days many companies are planning to migrate from IBM Lotus Notes to Exchange but before migration one must be really sure and determined about switching to Exchange Server before performing any sort of data transfer. As the process of migration is not that simple, small error at the beginning may result in big problems. So before migration, exchange admin must be aware of the complexities which he could face and should be aware of the process to tackle those, else it could be hard and time consuming task in the absence of an appropriate knowledge and awareness.

Now the question arises how to successfully migrate from notes to Exchange. For that Microsoft has provided exclusive product-Mail Migration Wizard to serve Domino to Exchange switch-over.

Migration using Migration wizard


 Microsoft’s Mail Migration Wizard allows you to migrate from foreign email platform to Exchange. This platform provides user an option to export selective mails from notes mailbox to Exchange.However in this also there are some complexities which if not properly handled, it can lead to big disaster. Here below are some of the most common challenges which a person can face during migration:

Challenges of Migration

  •  Slow Migration speed using Microsoft Migration wizard
  • Co-Existence between notes and Exchange
  • Synchronizing data between Domino server and Exchange
  • Migrating users’ mailboxes
  • Select the migration software


Slow Migration speed: Migrating mails using Export Wizard is a very slow process as in this at one time only single mail item is migrated. If size of your mailbox is large, it could take even days or months to migrate.


Co-Existence between notes and Exchange: In Migration at the beginning, it is required to set up coexistence between both servers till all users migrate from Domino to Exchange. In migration,at first it is required to create Directory coexistence,Messaging coexistence,Calendar coexistence and then synchronization between databases of these two servers occur.


If I particularly talk about Exchange, there are several tools that allow coexistence between Exchange and Notes.These tools are:

•    The Microsoft Connector for Lotus Notes
•    The Microsoft Exchange Calendar Connector
•    The Exchange Migration Wizard.    

‘The Microsoft Connector for Lotus Notes’ lets you transport messages between the Notes and Exchange; it keeps track of the whole message transfer procedure and gets the directories synchronized for both systems.

‘The Microsoft Exchange Calendar Connector’ keeps track of all calendar Notes and Exchange free/busy information, its location and other related information.

‘The Exchange Migration Wizard’ performs the operation of extracting and importing the data from Notes to Exchange.

Synchronizing data between Domino server and Exchange:After creating co-existence of mailbox items Synchronization between data of Domino and Exchange server is required. The data which is required to be synchronized between the two systems in co-existence are: address books directories, free/busy connector, migrating the Domino users to Exchange GAL. Once done, you can migrate Domino user mailboxes to Exchange.And you can synchronize directories to exchange by setting up the Directory Connector.
However, if synchronization fails, migration would be impossible.In such case, Diagnostics Logging plays a very important role. The diagnostics logging level for DirSync is set to high and for the first two (Service, Controller) it is set to low.

Migrating  each mailboxes separately :  Even after all this migration is not that simple, for that you need to transfer each and every email separately along with other items of user mailbox account like contacts, address book, journals, tasks and calendar. So before migration organization must first do efficient planning as Migration is a complex process and once migration is completed, you may find that some of your data is lost or Integrity of your mailbox could be affected.



Migration using professional software:Migrating data either way between IBM Notes and Microsoft Exchange requires in-depth knowledge of both platforms. However, it is too costly and time consuming process for an organization, especially for large organizations as cost involved in buying hardware, installation, software purchase, licenses and required would be high and 

So, after all this discussion what I can say is that for saving time and efforts and to have more secure migration,it would be better to use any Professional  tool for notes to exchange migration.

Before purchasing any software carefully read out the features and other instructions mentioned at product page. Also check the product specifications. You can find many software available from different vendors, so make a comparative analysis before making any decision. Also, try the demo versions of the software before purchasing it and choose the one that fits your budget and requirements.

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