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6 Points to Keep in Mind Before Migrating From Lotus notes to Exchange 2010

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When it comes to providing great business solutions, IBM and Microsoft are the two top companies excelling in the art. Both launch similar products aimed at a wide audience set and have a good customer satisfaction rate. Since their products are quite similar in concept and operation, customers often try to switch between their products in order to best fulfill their needs.
 
Here we will be discussing one such scenario – migrating from Lotus Domino to Microsoft Exchange 2010. However, instead of actually looking at the procedure, we will discuss some good practices to be followed before you migrate Lotus Notes to Exchange 2010.
 
1. Focus on the differences and pick the one suiting your needs
Both the products have their own pros and cons and clearly marked differences. It really depends upon your need as to which side you should stay on. For example, if your main focus is features, you would want to move to Outlook and Exchange; however, if security is your top priority, you would want to stick with Notes and Domino. So before deciding to switch, first list down your specific needs; then decide which of the two fulfills the need better.
 
2. Test the effects of migration
This step is crucial. Before starting the migration process, perform a few test runs. In fact, perform as many test runs as needed to be absolutely sure of the server capability and migration infrastructure. This will also help you in finding out an overall success percentage. That is, find out what percentage of the total messages were successfully migrated. Conducting thorough testing before actually migrating will save you from unexpected problems later.
 
3. Pick the correct configuration of Outlook
There are a number of configurations of Microsoft Outlook available in the market. The differentiating factor can be any feature, for instance, the format of PST files (Unicode or ANSI). Here too, clearly noting down your needs and expectations from the client-server combination will play a crucial role. If you understand what you want from your email client and server, you will be able to select the correct configuration based on the features it has.
 
4. Learn about the terminology and feature changes to make it smooth
Every tool has its terminology. Before migrating from Notes to Outlook, learn which features in Notes are called by what names in Outlook. Also study what you should do in Outlook to make your everyday work resemble that of Notes. For example, synchronization of address books and calendars, permissions to be set or removed so that you can send and receive emails the way you want etc.
 
5. Take care that the Exchange logs don’t fill up
In Exchange, data to be written to the database is written to transaction log files as well. When you migrate your existing files from Notes to Exchange, they are considered as new data and before entering the Exchange database, they are written to log files. Thus, if you don’t scale the logs properly, they might fill up and that is not desired. To avoid this you can take more frequent backups or try circular logging.
 
6. Watch out for replication
The Domino server is not very strict when it comes to database replication, and that’s why the user mail files in the Domino directory might have duplicate entries. Take care to make allowances for this when you migrate Lotus Notes to Exchange 2010.
 
Concluding lines
Migrating from one email client-server combination to another is a heavy task that requires time and much processing. Hence, make sure you take care of the above mentioned points before starting the process.
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Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
I would have loved to see a list of comparison between the products in terms of features, and pros and cons. Moreover, detailing the effects and common pitfalls would have made your article stronger. However, points 5 and 6 are great warning tips for which I will give you my vote.
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