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Sunday, April 12, 2009

True Inquiry Stories Part 2: "Which one is easier to migrate into?"

Most times people have decided where they're going on vacation before they get in the car and start driving.

What this has to do with calendaring migrations is that in the past month we've gotten questions from two separate sites: Which is easier to migrate calendar data into -- Exchange or Zimbra?

Short answer: Zimbra.

Hands down. No question about it. It is much, much simpler to completely migrate calendar data into Zimbra than it is to migrate into Exchange. Please remember I'm talking about the kind of migrations we do: keeping meetings and guest lists live, preserving recurrence patterns, and maintaining guest responses. If you are content to just do a Palm synch you're wasting your time reading this blog.

Exchange's bugaboos in permissions alone vault it to a different scale. Then we start adding things like BES servers, backup strategies, forest trust architecture, yadda yadda yadda.... The documentation we have on Exchange migrations is about 150 pages total. The documentation we have for a Zimbra migration is about 50.

However, we really do not think this should be your criteria for deciding which one to migrate to.

But why do we say that?

Because we should really be the last part of your decision - not anywhere near the first.

Your calendar migration will take either several hours or a possible weekend when you go into production. Your user community on the other hand is going to be living with the decision for years. Focus on what is going to work for your users, not on whether you're in the lab overnight watching a migration.

Let's go back to the vacation analogy. Say you're in New York. You could go to Paris in 6 hours or Hawaii in 12. BOTH are very desirable destinations. You should not make your decision based on how long the flight is -- you should make your decision based on what you want to do when you get there.

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