Going Google: Migration to Google Mail

Over the last 2 days (this weekend) I have migrated all my email from an Exchange 2007 server to Google Mail. We are currently using a dual-delivery setup where I work and I was trying to “test” using exclusively Google for my mail. I quickly realized “testing” was not an option as I live in my inbox and cannot live without my synced contacts and calendar either. (who can?) So I am making the switch to Google Mail. Now let me give you some background information. We have run Exchange 2007 for a few years and last year set up a Google Apps for Education account for all 2000 users. By dual-delivery I am referring to the fact that our mail was/is sent to the Exchange server as well as to Google (it hits Google first). I used to use Exchange exclusively but 2 days back have moved to the Google “version” of our email. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Logged into Google Mail for our school and deleted everything (remember there was a copy on the Exchange server)
  2. Logged into the admin console for Google Apps and went to the IMAP migration tool (https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/your.domain/ServerConnections)
  3. Using the migration “setup wizard” you set up a new server connection. I had to choose “Exchange 2003” as 2007 was not on the list, but it works fine. Remember to open the appropriate ports for IMAP (143 or 993 for SSL IMAP) so that Google can access your Exchange server. Oh yea, and turn on IMAP on your Exchange server if it is off.
  4. You then choose which accounts to migrate. You can add a few manually or you can upload a CSV with the list of accounts to migrate. I have not done the CSV method yet but will update my post if I try it. I just entered my account info here.

That is pretty much it. From there your email will get migrated to Google Mail. Folders come through as labels since there are not folders in Google Mail. I have a TON of folders as I am an organized guy 🙂 and so we’ll see if those labels get too crazy. Also I am using the Google Labs “Signature Tweaks” because I really like my signature to appear just below my text, not at the bottom of all the quoted text. I cannot imagine why anyone would want their signature there, but hey we cannot all be the same or life would be boring. BTW it takes a long time for the migration to complete; your mileage may vary depending on your mailbox size. Oh yea, and it is better to consolidate folders on the Exchange side first and clean up your mailbox as there is no point in transferring junk to Google. Also folders with the “/” in their names will be skipped. Learned that one from personal experience.

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