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scripted migration to different Exchange server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear Forum members,

    A question in two parts!   But firstly the scenario...

    Within my (educational) organisation we have several domains.   Until recently we ran our mail servers (Exchange) within our AD and all is well.   Our clients are mainly Outlook 2007 and 2010 with a few 2003 still out there.   We have several thousand mail-enabled accounts.

    Now the powers that be have decreed that we must migrate to a centrally-funded mail solution, also Exchange based, but using employee IDs rather than usernames.   There is a cross reference list that can link a username to an employee ID.   This is on its own domain.

    Mail will be migrated from our server(s) to the central server(s) and this has happened successfully for some other Faculties within the Uni.

    Other sections within my institution have elected to manually edit the settings on each user's workstation, a process that would be time-costly and not I think in keeping with what we should be able to do in, say, a scripted approach.   Their approach is to create a new profile and while this works, it may leave users with orphaned PST files, rules files, nicknames and so on.   I.e. too much user pain and not the thing that would make Microsoft look good in their eyes.

    My first question - is there a tool that can do such a migration?   I imagine that while not common, it is something that others particularly in corporate space with company take-overs, etc, have faced.

     

    Assuming there is not such a tool, my thoughts then turn to scripting...

    If one could write a script to look up a user's employee ID and "edit" the user's Windows Messaging Subsystem keys and values, changing the critical items such as user name (to employee ID) and server address, one could potentially leave the other items intact, such as the location of PST, nicknames, rules, etc.

    Of course one would create a backup of that particular registry area before tampering with it, so that it could be rolled back if necessary.   Also, editing the profile may be the only way for Outlook 2003 and 2007 clients as they cannot cope with multiple Exchange accounts.

    Undoubtedly there may be pain in respect of calendar permissions, etc but I imagine they can be taken care of with a comprehensive sheet of instructions to the users.   If we on the technical side can do the mail store migrations on an OU by OU basis and link a script to a OU-based GP, for example, so that it would be fired off on initial logon I figure that our job would be easier and we'd have more time to put smiles on any frowning faces!

     

    This leads me to my second question!

    Where is there a repository of detailed information regarding just what the registry keys for WMS contain?   I have found the odd article or two detailing some things, such as the value 00036601 referring to whether Cache Mode is enabled or not.   Some I can infer from the registry contents - server addresses, user names, file locations.

     

    But I would much prefer to know with authority just what I'm looking at, rather than take educated guesses!!

     

    Kind regards,

    Denis

     

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 6:32 AM

Answers

  • There are a number of third party migration products out there that may help and there are a number of other issues created by these type of migrations that these products try to target Quest is probably the most well know and used http://www.quest.com/migration-manager-for-exchange/ but there a many others see http://www.msexchange.org/software/Migration/ none of these are cheap but some may offer you education licensing.

    Microsoft's tools for modifying Outlook profiles are all part of the office SDK's and involve using PRF files http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179062.aspx

    As far as i know there is no official documentation for the registry entries that Outlook uses as generally modifying registry entries directly using a script would be considered unsupported. From experience the location of the entries changes depending on the version you using and its 32 bit or 64bit os etc. If you look at the PRF file however most of the hexvalues are detailed in there.

    Cheers
    Glen

    • Marked as answer by DenisBrown Friday, January 21, 2011 11:55 PM
    Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:10 AM

All replies

  • There are a number of third party migration products out there that may help and there are a number of other issues created by these type of migrations that these products try to target Quest is probably the most well know and used http://www.quest.com/migration-manager-for-exchange/ but there a many others see http://www.msexchange.org/software/Migration/ none of these are cheap but some may offer you education licensing.

    Microsoft's tools for modifying Outlook profiles are all part of the office SDK's and involve using PRF files http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179062.aspx

    As far as i know there is no official documentation for the registry entries that Outlook uses as generally modifying registry entries directly using a script would be considered unsupported. From experience the location of the entries changes depending on the version you using and its 32 bit or 64bit os etc. If you look at the PRF file however most of the hexvalues are detailed in there.

    Cheers
    Glen

    • Marked as answer by DenisBrown Friday, January 21, 2011 11:55 PM
    Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:10 AM
  • Many thanks, Glen.

    I'll get onto some research into Quest, etc.   I don't like to re-invent wheels when not necessary.   In terms of costs, having colleagues visit several thousand client machines personally, seems old fashioned and very costly so thanks for your response.

    I hear what you say as reagrds different locations, etc depending on version, os bit width, etc.   I guess that's what make the registry such a good thing to stay away from much of the time :-)

    Kind regards,

    Denis

     

    Friday, January 21, 2011 11:59 PM