REVIEWER: Eric Vervoort, IT specialist, IBM Certified IBM Software Services for Lotus.

BACKGROUND: I work for IBM as an IT specialist in the IBM Lotus portfolio in a Software Services role, which includes helping our customers implement, upgrade, and/or migrate to a Lotus Collaboration platform. In this specific case, the merger of two companies brought the need for a single email and calendaring environment, and we are migrating 14,000 Microsoft Exchange users toward an existing Lotus Domino infrastructure.

PLATFORMS: We are using Transend Migrator in a virtualized MS Windows 2008 environment. Windows 2008 server is used as a virtualized operating system in a VMware ESX environment.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Transend Migrator converted all MS Exchange data into a Lotus Domino mail environment, thus enabling us to decommission the Microsoft Exchange environment as part of a larger transitioning project. The goal of this project is to deliver the customer a uniform collaboration platform. With Transend Migrator, we are able to deliver a single mail environment to all users without any loss of data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The ability to convert MS Exchange mail and calendaring data into Lotus Domino using predefined text-based scripts allow us to set up automated migration engines. These engines use automatically generated script-files from a custom migration planning and management application.

STRENGTHS: The main strength of Transend Migrator is its flexibility and scalability, as well as the broad spectrum of messaging systems it supports. Essentially, Transend Migrator will support the migration of anything to anything. It can be used for a single, one-time only migration in addition to major enterprise migrations using batch mode. The approach of using script files (*.TMD) that hold self-defined variables makes it possible to have a custom migration approach based on the specific needs or requirements of the customer’s environment. The ability to customize the tool on the fly is a major asset.

WEAKNESSES: We stumbled on some issues on migrating Exchange (display) names into Lotus Domino canonical names. However, Transend’s support team quickly provided patches that easily resolved this issue. Transend Migrator lacks a planning and management shell. It would be beneficial to have shell to list all users to be migrated, plan them, handle communication, actually perform data migration and produce progress and status reporting on the migration. Right now, Transend Migrator only provides the data migration and reporting functionality. In our project, this was considered a plus, since the customers required a custom application, which Transend was able to deliver on. An optional management shell to provide additional functionality would make the product more complete. In smaller environments of less than 100 users, there is no need for a management shell. In large enterprise migrations, it’s more important, but complexity often requires a customized tool, which Transend is great at providing.

SELECTION CRITERIA: A licensing model that has no limitation on the amount of data per mailbox was our primary criterion. Transend charges a per-mailbox pricing model, regardless of how much data needs to be migrated. We also sought quality in the performed migrations (content-wise), flexibility and good references.

DELIVERABLES: Migration result reports deliver sufficient information after migration batches. Both high-level management information and detailed troubleshooting data are provided.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Transend stood out in the area of support. Immediately after contract signing, a single point of contact was assigned where all technical issues and/or questions could be addressed. Responses were very fast, pragmatic and helpful. If needed, software patches were quickly made available and project progress was never brought in jeopardy because of issues. Transend demonstrated a lot of involvement and customer care.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is relatively complete and written in an understandable way. The addition of examples while describing the list of parameters would be nice.

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