Exchange Server 2007 Migration: Look Before You Leap

September 15, 2008 —  (Page 3 of 6)
Daniel Schneiderman, director of IT services at InfinIT Consulting, agreed that many of the problems administrators grapple with when setting up an Exchange Server 2007 environment can be avoided with due diligence. “Familiarize yourself with the new architecture and roles,” he advised. “Read the documentation for configuring an Exchange environment. Get familiar with where the new management tools are. Ultimately, the issues—certificate issues, security requirements, etc.—need to be planned for.”

Of course, not all of the challenges can be overcome by learning new tricks. E-mail migration across an enterprise can be one of the most daunting projects an IT organization undertakes. Administrators face disaster if intellectual-property or sales-contact information is lost during a migration. Chaos can result if employees are denied access to their inboxes for any length of time, as each lost hour translates to losses in productivity and sales.

NetApp’s Frey said the top pain points reported by his customers who have set up Exchange Server 2007 servers are large mailboxes, sizing and testing. “Microsoft is recommending larger mailboxes—2GB plus—which for most customers represent a ten- to twentyfold increase over existing mailbox sizes,” he said. “Managing and backing up such a large data set is difficult and, in the case of customers who run a streaming online backup, cannot be done in the common four-hour backup window.”

Sizing an Exchange Server 2007 environment has also become more complex, said Frey, because users can no longer measure and size user workloads in I/O operations per second (IOPS) and then use that number to size other servers. “With Exchange 2007, the user IOPS will change depending on the number of users in a storage group, the number of storage groups on a server and the amount of memory in the server,” he said.

Jason Fisher, Symantec’s director of product management for Backup Exec, warned that high availability and data recovery are points of particular concern for anyone setting up an Exchange environment. “As Exchange has evolved, Microsoft has stayed focused on being able to send and receive e-mail,” he said. “They’ve really kept that focus and created a best-in-breed product. But when it comes to high availability and recovery, it’s not their distinct competence. Anyone who relies on Exchange needs to invest in a data recovery product.”

Related Search Term(s): Exchange Server, ITIL, migration, server management, Microsoft

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