November 20, 2015

Migrating Email Systems

Migrating your complete email system to a new provider can be tricky. To ensure that everything runs smoothly for both your administrators and your users, here’s a list of things you should consider.


Before starting any migration process, it is essential that you discuss your expectations and requirements with your future email provider. For example, some messages can be lost during the process if mail isn’t queued on the sender’s servers. It is also possible to lose data and experience downtime if you do not prepare adequately. Clearly communicating your expectations and your requirements, and having an action plan for each of these points, will help mitigate possible migration issues.


Depending on your feature set, migration can be straightforward or complicated. If you are only looking at migrating your mail service, everything should be fairly easy. However, some features like storage, contacts/address books, calendars and events will require more thought and careful planning. Once again, discussing this with both your current and future providers is essential.


Whether you’re doing the migration yourself or using a third party, you’ll have to weigh the pro’s and con’s.

Going with a third party site such as YippieMove or MigrationWiz makes the process fairly simple but the cost per user can get quite high. While you can save money doing it yourself, you will have to consider options such as copying and pasting mail across mail clients versus using a tool like IMAP Sync to migrate many accounts at a time. It also depends on how confident you feel about the process. Regardless, your new email provider should be able to help you.


Depending on the number of users and services you want to migrate, the size of the mailboxes and the bandwidth on both ends, the migration can take a few minutes or up to a few days. Ideally, you should pick a time and date where a service interruption won’t be a problem for your business and your users.


Once the migration is done for a domain, the DNS records need to be updated. If your customer’s domains are pointing to your internal DNS, this might be a quick change for you. However, if your customers need to change  their DNS records at the domain level there might be a delay of over 24 hours while DNS servers around the world replicate the changes. This can result in some end users have longer outages than others, depending on which DNS server they are hitting.

If you are considering migrating to atmail, our sales and support team can help you through the whole process. For more information please contact us directly.

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