Migrating mailboxes from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003

15 pts.
Exchange 2003 mailbox management
Exchange 2003 Migration
Microsoft Exchange 2000
Microsoft Exchange 2003
Microsoft Exchange migration
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2000
We have been tasked to migrate mailboxes from a Windows/Exchange 2000 server to a Windows/Exchange 2003 server. One of the questions that was ask of me was is there a formula that can be used to determine that amount of mailboxes/data that can be migrated within a certain window of time, such as an eight hour period. Additionally, is there some sort of limit to the amount of data that can be migrated at one time without "breaking " your network? Any assistance with those questions would be greatly appreciated.

Software/Hardware used:
Windows 2000 server, Exchange 2000, Windows 2003 server, Exchange 2003

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This is a tough one to answer because there so many variables involved. You need to think of the speed of the machine that is the source, slow disk drives will be a definite hindrance to a quick migration. There is the number of mailboxes to be moved. The size of each mailbox is a factor. The actual speed of the network comes into play as well. If you are doing the migration during the business day, the speed you get can be quite variable, while at night, it can be more predictable.

The best you can probably give them is a rough guess which would be based on the move of a number of test mailboxes of various sizes, number of folders and number of attachments to reflect a real life mailbox in that organization. Time how long it takes to move those mailboxes, then you can work out a rough guess. Stress to your customer that is all it is, a guess, citing at least some of the considerations involved. If you come in under your guess, you will look like a genius. If you come in at over, you will not be fit to eat supper with the dog, but this is probably the best you can do for an estimate.

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  • Stevesz
    Hmmm, I thought that perhaps others might jump in and help you here, but, it appears not to have happened yet. If there is something out there that can help estimate the time it will take to do a mailbox migration, I'd also like to know about it. The reason I am back is that I realized that I did not mention anything about the Deleted Items folder. If you have a retention period set that will automatically delete messages from this folder after a period of time, you may wish to reduce that period to a minimum during your migration, thus you will have less to move. If there is no policy set, you can try to send out a memo that will be followed by all the users (yeah, right, what have I been smoking) to empty Deleted Items, or you can force it. There may be a problem with this scenario, though. I have seen users use deleted items just as any other folder--to store messages they may need at a later time. I'll never know where they come up with this idea. It's like, "OK, I have some fresh fruit here. I think I'll store it in the kitchen trash until I eat it." Yuck, what a concept. Anyway, empty or nearly empty Deleted Items folders can help speed a migration. Some though should also be given to reducing the size of the Sent Items folder also.This can be a very large folder as well. Reducing the size of it can help speed the migration. I haven't been able to find a good way to make this happen. You just need to cooperation of the users on this one.
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