How to Maintain QoS during Migration

The GSX Blog

Most of the time, when a company moves mailboxes from an old system to a new one, the main reason of this process is to improve the quality of service (QoS). To achieve this goal, the new architecture has to be more robust and to offer more services, knowing that the design needs to match with the current needs of the business.

However, during the migration process, it is difficult to preserve this quality. To maintain the QoS you need to have a tool which gives you different metrics on both the old and the new platform. Moreover, you must be able to compare these metrics to make sure the QoS is optimal and causes no degradation.

GSX Monitor & Analyzer supports Exchange 2010/2013 and IBM Notes migrations in order to track both platforms during the migration. We are now going to see how this takes place.

The first step is to deploy GSX Monitor & Analyzer as soon as possible on both platforms when starting the migration. To ensure the quality of service, we are going to focus on response time at different levels.

QoS of protocols

Nowadays users frequently access their emails from different devices. Those devices discuss with Exchange via different protocols. You have to be sure that the response time of these protocols is stable enough during the migration. View your protocol response time working on specific SLAs based on performance.

For Exchange we can check protocols directly from the Statistics View:

QoS of messaging

The best way to understand the performance of a messaging service is to use it. GSX Monitor is able to use your messaging system over time. It will do different actions to see how your platform is responding. My device has to set these scenarios as a minimum:

  • Open mailbox (on test per active DB)
  • Send email (internally and to an echo mailbox)
  • Create meeting (to see the response time of the Availability services)
  • Download attachment
  • Resolve user (to see the response time of the Global Address List)

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The second thing to monitor is the number of mailboxes on both platforms. We are going to trend it to see the evolution of the migration. This is very important for many reasons.

The number of inboxes on the new platform will impact the performance at different levels that have to be trended:

  • Disk access
  • Size on disk
  • Protocols’ Access time
  • Scenarios

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Evaluation of the QoS over time

Now you will have to check the QoS based on the different metrics that have been scanned. You have two ways to do it. We recommend combining both methods:

Method 1:
This method uses trend reports. You can generate automatic reports with trends to control the evolution of your mailboxes or the response time on different protocols. My advice is to compare the same metrics for both platforms on the same report, to have a better idea.
In a common scenario, your performance should rise on the old platform (with less and less users) and decrease on the new platform. But the most important is the ratio, except for the number of mailboxes (for this last one it should be 1:1). If your performance is rising from 50% on the old platform it should decrease by 25% on the new one.

Method 2:
In this method you will use Environmental Health reports to trend your performance. This report is based on SLAs and KPIs. My advice is to use the response time scenario as an SLA and the protocol response time as a KPI.
The objective is to trend the response time of the service view by your end-users. This response time should not increase too much during the migration or must stay in acceptable value. An acceptable value could be below the value you get on the old platform and a maximum value is the value obtained on the old platform (our goal is to do better).

GSX Monitor & Analyzer is a great tool to ensure the stability, availability and quality of all your messaging services. Agentless, it can be deployed very quickly on your new platforms. You can schedule reports to track the performance of your messaging applications on a day-to-day basis. You can easily generate reports on demand to verify the impact of your actions on both platforms.

GSX Solutions is a must have during a migration from Exchange to Exchange or Notes to Exchange in a first time. In addition it is a fantastic tool to maintain the QoS of your applications. Learn more >>

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