I was working recently on a project who required data migration from Office 365 to Gmail. Everything went well and we had no issues at all except for a single problem that occurred because of a sort of strange cause…
One of the users has a very large mailbox size, about 70 GB. He uses sub-folders heavily in his Outlook client. And he is not using any sort of rules! He sorts his email manually. When I saw the data migration completed, the IT contact who is working with me from the customer side reported a strange problem in this particular mailbox. He said the user complained about having some of his folders split into two…
After some funny troubleshooting process, I found out the more funnier reason for this problem. The user because he create a folder for everything, has some folders include the character ‘/’. … Read the rest “An important item to check before starting data migration to Gmail”
A little introduction
I have been working on a G Suite migration project for one organization for a while now. In the beginning of the project few months ago I sensed a problem would arise later on. That problem is about a long time co-existence setup.
You would ask why that is a problem? Well, I’ll start with their current communication and collaboration system… They are using Office 365, having integrated it with multiple third-party solutions and applications. Among these third-party solutions are meeting room manager, and an SSO application.
When building the project plan and during the initial discussions, I made sure to stress that the long time co-existence scenario is a really bad idea. The customer initially wanted to have that long time setup because they have a semi-slow change process, which seemed little problematic at that time… In order to finalize the project plan and start with … Read the rest “How a G Suite coexistence scenario can become a project killer”
A little comparison introduction
I’m not giving a straight statement on what a G Suite administrator should have to be able to manage his domain… Instead I will do a comparison then go to the conclusion.
When we work with G Suite products, both on the sales side and the technical side, we tend not to compare G Suite to other competitor products (Aka. Office 365, Microsoft Exchange Server…), the reason is because G Suite is a totally different product with its own idea, features, work-flow, and thinking… So it is not right to compare two different things that has nothing in common other than some functionality. But for the sake of the title of this post, I’ll start it with a comparison.
Microsoft Exchange Server is a great thing.. It made our lives easier with the great features it has (some can argue this, but I’d say it is … Read the rest “What I think a G Suite administrator should have to effectively manage his domain”
On the first day of the week, we were met by the head of IT department in the customer site.. Suddenly he made a request that is awesome and bad at the same time.. He wanted to deliver 1500 users to the help-desk by the end of the week… So this was awesome because it means that we can deliver users faster, but it was bad at the same time because it meant that we need to setup more VM instances to be used for the migration work and we need to order more licenses for each user, and they have multiple domains, so it meant we needed to order multiple licenses for each domain to cover the amount of users…
We received the list of the 1500 users and I sorted them out based on the domain… This was a great opportunity also to show the customer … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 6: Going even faster with the migration”
This day is also a weekend, but things went very smooth and quiet in this day compared to the previous…
All I had to do is to run all the other remaining VMs and get the migration going. I also used DMS (Data Migration Services) from G Suite Admin Console to migrate number of IT users (all of IT actually) as we agreed during the migration planning. All work was completed relatively quick… However there was a little change that affected number of users I did not expect!
The customer had about 26 domains or more, they use them all for receiving email, but not all of them are used to send… All the users that were started on CloudMigrator were on a single domain (that’s why I finished quick!), but turned out they will not use that single domain for sending email… They were distributed on multiple … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 5: Going full speed on migration, Users change from domain to domain”
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!”
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!”
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:
- 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.
- 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”
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!”