Notes from the field – migration tools

I’ve been recently involved in a major migration project for a utility company here in my home country. There were lots of aspects to cover, but the most fun were of course Active Directory and Exchange. Basically we had to move an entire Microsoft infra-structure from the old AD forest to a different one that already existed.

Microsoft provides every tool you’ll need for this kind of migration, although there are some great third-party software that can make your life a little bit easier. But since I like to do things the hard way (and the cheapest way), the tools I used were 100% Microsoft. Here’s the complete set:

  • Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) v.3: don’t even think in doing an inter-forest migration without this neat tool. It provides complete user, group and computer migration. For the users there’s an option to migrate passwords and to keep the old SID. And for the computers, the tool will translate all the security information in the disk, in order to match the new domain, so you get to keep the old user profiles.
  • Exchange Migration Wizard (MailMig): After migrating the users, it’s time to migrate their mailboxes. Exchange to Exchange migration is really easy, although the process can be a little bit slow. I strongly advise you a 2-step procedure, extracting first all the information to .PST files and then importing them to the new server. All the old e-mail aliases are kept. MailMig is included in a typical Exchange server installation.
  • Exchange Profile Redirector (ExProfre): Updates Outlook profiles after moving mailboxes across Exchange organizations or administrative groups. Just run it in the logon script, and the user won’t even notice he changed Exchange server.
  • InterOrg Replication Tool: Use it to replicate Public Folder content from one Exchange Organization to the new one. The tool also supports replication of free/busy information.
  • PFAdmin: It’s never easy to migrate Public Folder permissions. I used PFAdmin with success. I’ll explain how in a different post.

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