Day summary

This day is a weekend.. Although I put it clear to everyone around me that I never work in weekends.. this was no ordinary time to apply this rule, so we did work on this day!

The main tasks that we needed to accomplish this day was to prepare the migration computers (VMs on GCP), and sorting out the user groups to be migrated (based on domains)..

I started out the work by creating the virtual machines on Google Cloud Platform, and I installed CloudMigrator on each one, having already requested the licenses, I made sure they were available easily on each migration machine, as I was trying to make things simple and getting to anything related to the project easy from every machine.. because I was expecting a big mess to come later on when we start the migrations (and it did indeed come!).. I ended up … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 4: Starting up migration, the NDRs mishap!”

Day summary

So we ended the previous day with a lot of things done, in fact the day ended while we still had a lot on our list of unfinished work, so we were all eager to start the next day to finish the pending work.

In this day, we had to complete the user sync setup between active directory and Google. Before going into the details about this, I need to explain how we ended up dividing users to groups and the criteria we categorized users on.

Looking at the customer’s total data sizes, it was about 31TB of email messages. Of this 31TB there were 14TB used by about 450 users only. Those users started from 20GB per-mailbox up to 50GB… The remaining 17TB was distributed among the remaining 3000 users.

Because we had very little time, we thought that 45% of data can be done easy enough … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 3: More manual work!”

Day summary

This day was all about the directory and password sync tools… We wanted to finalize their configuration to allow the support team the time for demonstrations and practices before going out to users and change their profiles…

We started out by working on GCDS, once we started working on the tool, we were faced with two critical problems:

  1. Turned out the current number of licenses on the G Suite Admin Console is less than the actual number of users and less than what the customer has approved.
  2. The OU that the customer wanted to sync was including disabled users, service accounts and a lot of user accounts with their ‘mail’ attribute value is wrong (it contained spaces in the beginning and end of the field).

We started out working on the second problem, since it is more visible to us and we knew what to do to fix … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 2: Getting things warmer”

Day summary

We started the project with a technical workshop with the customer IT teams. They had 2 teams working on this: infrastructure and hosting team, and the end-user support team. We divided ourselves into two teams as well, I went with the infrastructure team, and we sent 2 guys to help the support team making their plans, guides, and process to start working on users.

Our initial plan was to start users data migration as soon as possible, first we need to get an idea about the distribution of sizes, and then we will sort out the largest mailboxes and do the migration for them at first, our idea was since we have limited time and we have a risk of losing access to the old service once the subscription is over, we at least have the bulk of the data migrated… Among the group of the large mailboxes, … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 1: Starting up”

So we recently won a really great project… 3600 users on Office 365 to G Suite, the IT team of the customer were very convinced and willing to change, however the time frame we got for the whole project was somehow ‘tight’…

I’ve done pre-sales part on this project, and we originally started with them on a POC where two of their IT members migrated their data and created forwarding from Office 365 to G Suite. Then the testing circle slowly expanded to include their CIO.

Once we got the IT’s satisfaction, the CIO submitted his report to the board. They needed one week to make the decision and we won the deal.

Turns out that after sitting with CIO after the approval that we have only 75 days 60 days to finish the whole project. Their subscription will expire and they will not renew, and they already sent the … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days!”

This is a really quick post for the greater good… I have been looking into a solution to satisfy a customer requirements (really strange ones) about their need to automatically create daily versions of all files on a certain G Suite account they have…

The good thing about this is they are all using the Business license (the unlimited Drive storage) so it does not matter really how large the files goes on the Drive. I just need to make sure the destination folder does not get downloaded for offline access (hence the need for archiving).

I checked for some samples of code around and I found a lot of scripts with only one common problem: They cannot work well with sub-folders… So I tried to create my own and I came up with this script…

This will work with files and folders and sub-folders well. It will copy first … Read the rest “Code snippet: AppsScript – Copy files, folders, subfolders in Drive”

I’ll try in this article to list and briefly explain what need to be considered and checked while designing the coexistence scenario between the Exchange server and G Suite.

It is worth to mention that basically 90% of the work is not going to change for most of projects, so this can serve as a reference and a plan to apply for most of the projects to come.

Through out the work and experience I have got, I believe the below points are the most common settings and configuration that need to be checked and changed. I’ll also keep the list updated with anything I encounter that is not on it later on…

Put all contact objects used for forwarding in a separate special OU

You will face the need to create mail contacts on the Exchange server to forward mail to them. Depending on the size if the project, … Read the rest “Tips for designing a coexistence scenario between Exchange Server and G Suite”

System survey and data gathering (2/2)

To complete the second part of this section, I am going to talk about the following points:

  1. Confirm the number of users to be migrated
  2. Get an estimated data size for all users and for each user
  3. Make an inventory of all groups that are mail enabled
  4. Make sure a password policy that match requirements by Google is active in the local network with no exceptions
  5. Check local DNS to confirm local domain name and relation with public domain name
  6. Confirm access to the Exchange server with an administrator user that has “Full-Access” permission and “Receive-As” permission on all the databases and all users
  7. Confirm access to Active Directory and local DNS services with an administrator user with proper permissions to create/edit/delete user objects and DNS records
  8. Confirm there are available PCs to be used for GAMME when needed for data migration
  9. Agree on
Read the rest “Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 2: System survey and data gathering 2/2”

So, after the introduction in part 1, I will start with this subject, which is the most critical of the whole project, because based on the output of this step or phase, your plan and your action and teams will be decided.

System survey and data gathering

For me, the most important tasks that always created issues and troubles in every project, can be resolved by making sure the following items are all known and documented before starting to make the plan:

  1. Make sure the domain to be migrated is not registered with Google Apps
  2. Confirm the customer has access to the public domain DNS zone, and get the access
  3. Internet connection: its stability and available bandwidth
  4. Find out if a mail security or anti-spam solution is in use, and email flow route
  5. Find out the most important workflows and processes that are related to the email system
  6. Check
Read the rest “Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 2: System survey and data gathering 1/2”

Introduction

This article is reflecting my own experience in planning and executing migration projects from an Exchange mail system to Google Apps for Work… I will try to make it as organized as possible while I make sure I include all the information and problems that I came across during my time working with these projects…

Why it is important to have a plan as close to 100% accuracy as possible?

First planning every project is the most important and critical phase. If you plan wrong, you will fail, if you plan well, your project will get through… But if you fail to plan, then you are making a plan to fail… whatever you do in the project planning phase/stage/time is considered a plan, whether a good one or a bad one… So doing that right is very important to everyone…

Second, when talking about an existing infrastructure of a … Read the rest “Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 1: Introduction”