Migrating from Exchange 2007 to Live@Edu – 2

Last time I posted about some of the early steps of getting mailboxes across to Live@Edu. As of this moment I have not had a response to my query raised with Outlook Live as to the Import-Mailbox functionality. We have migrated all mailboxes manually by setting up Outlook to connect to the account and then using the Import and Export command on the File menu to import the PST file that was exported as described in the previous post. Once the import is completed there is an indeterminate period of waiting for Outlook to fully synchronise the offline cache with the remote server. Generally for some users this would take hours and could be left running overnight.

I am also experimenting with calendar sharing. In our testing we had determined that calendar changes were not being synchronised back to the server in “real time”. This would make it hard to share a calendar practically. The Outlook 2007 Group Policy template allows the various settings to be configured. I have set all these to 60 seconds. The default supposedly is 5-60 seconds but this might only apply for a server in the premises and be overridden for a remote server.

One thing that will become apparent when you set up distribution groups for your domain is that there is not yet a means of generating and maintaining dynamic distribution groups in Outlook Web App or the Outlook Live Control Panel. This is one of a number of areas where you will have to learn Exchange PowerShell commands. It will be a few more releases before the OLCP will approach the Exchange Management Console in functionality. When you create a dynamic distribution group you will need to specify an OU for your domain, the easiest way to get one is to query some other distribution group or user account to see the OU path that Exchange Labs has defined for your domain. DDGs will show up instantly in the GAL but of course, not in OLCP. Also while Outlook Web App can show you the membership of static groups in the GAL, it can’t give any information on how a DDG is defined.

An important consideration in setting up any new domain to be managed is the assignation of administrator roles. In particular, Exchange 2010 has the RBAC system implemented for managing these roles. One of these roles is Discovery Management, which gives the assigned user the power to search mailboxes. Obviously this is one role you’d want to think very carefully about before implementing.

I am also testing the difference in functionality between Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, it looks like Outlook 2010 will let the user save their Outlook Live connection password and of course there are many interface improvements in 2010 which is where a great deal of work has gone, but that is out of the scope of this article at present.