The requirement for a Novell GroupWise to Exchange 2010 migration is still valid. A number of organisations still run Novell GroupWise (typically government or education sectors).
Novell GroupWise runs on Netware NDS and provides its own email client, which is similar to Microsoft Outlook in its operation. To make the change to Microsoft Exchange/Outlook is straight-forward for most users as many features are similar.
Microsoft offer a supported method to migrate from GroupWise to Exchange 2003 via the Microsoft Exchange 2003 Connector for GroupWise. This Connector supports mail flow, directory synchronisation, and partner Calendar Connector supports Calendar free/busy look-ups between the two environments. The Exchange Migration Wizard then allows for a basic mailbox conversion service.
However, for Exchange 2007 the Microsoft Transporter Suite collaboration toolkit will not connect to a GroupWise email system.
The standard approach here would be build your new Exchange email system, connect it to GroupWise, then cutover the internet email to route via Exchange. Then migrate the mailboxes. This is a simplistic view, and the internet provides detailed documentation on how to perform the migration, and is outside the scope of this website.
However, a few points of interest are valid here:
Support for GroupWise to Exchange 2007/2010:
Microsoft do not support a method to migrate from GroupWise directly to Microsoft Exchange 2007. If you wish to use the Microsoft tools for this, then you need to ensure you can include a Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server in your Microsoft Exchange Organisation, alongside the Microsoft Exchange 2007 Servers. This is a mixed-mode Organisation. Care is needed here, as if you are building a new Exchange environment, you need to ensure that the first Exchange Server in the Organisation is an Exchange 2003 Server. You can further extend this model for a Novell GroupWise to Exchange 2010 migration.
You cannot introduce an Exchange 2003 Server once you have installed an Exchange 2007 Server.
Once you have Exchange 2003 in your Organisation, you can plan to deploy the Microsoft Exchange 2003 tools for the migration, ensuring the mailboxes end up on the correct Exchange 2007 Server.
GroupWise to Exchange Mail Flow:
The Microsoft Exchange 2003 Connector provides Directory Synchronisation to ensure both the Global Address Books in each environment are complete with all mailboxes addresses, irrespective of which email system they reside in. The mail flow part of the connector is not very reliable in my experience, and you would be best to deploy a standard SMTP connector between GroupWise and Exchange to handle mail flow. You may have to do some configuration with the mail domains to ensure routing will work, but this very achievable, and provides a more robust mail flow during the migration phase.
Applications may be configured to utilise a “sendmail” type function that send out emails to internal and/or external people or groups. These could be alert emails, reports or invoices — all critical to the business. You need to be aware of these functions and have a plan to migrate them off GroupWise to Exchange. In my experience it is easier to allow these instances to use GroupWise until after the user mailbox migration is complete, as you can then interrogate log files to gain an accurate picture of the scale of the work. From the projects I have worked on it is rare to be able to obtain a detailed report of these instances, and their business owners. Can your IT department provide such a report ?
If your business utilises a dedicated GroupWise Administrator to manage your GroupWise system, then you need to ensure that person is available during the project. The reality is that there is not much incentive to remain if GroupWise is due to be replaced by Microsoft Exchange. Can the person be trained on Microsoft Exchange ? You need to mitigate against a GroupWise problem during the migration.
Check out my related blog posts on this site to get more information how to migrate from GroupWise to Exchange.