Unity 7.x - COBRAS Migration - VM to UM using CSV

Unanswered Question
Apr 30th, 2010

I am running Unity 7.0(2) configured as Unified Messaging with Windows 2003/Exchange 2003 backend.  I have a large number of users that are in a voicemail-only configuration in this domain as well...Unity alias does not match their Exchange/Outlook alias.  Now we need to migrate the Unity properties over to their actual domain account and get rid of their old voicemail-only accounts.

It looks like I can do a COBRAS backup of these users and then do a restore and individually select their new destination alias.  I would assume that we would need to delete the users (bulk subscriber delete) before the restore process since Unity cannot restore the same extension to 2 different aliases.  I used the Migrate Subscriber Data tool in the past to do this sequence of tasks, but I have thousands of users to migrate and COBRAS seems to be the better tool for this.

Is COBRAS the right tool?  Is there a way to do this with a CSV file on the restore instead of manually selecting each user and pointing them to their new destination alias?

Any other gotchas that I missed here?


- Tony

I have this problem too.
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lindborg Fri, 04/30/2010 - 08:53

Couple things here.

COBRAS has a Data Viewer utility that lets you reamp your aliases in bulk via CSV - so you can change the aliases in the backup to match the new UM users you've created:


Second, so you're doing this all on one box or you're moving to a new server in the same directory?  If you're moving boxes then COBRAS is really your only option here and you wont have to worry about extension conflicts if you create it in its own dialing domain when you install it.

Yes - if you're doing this on a single box you'd have to delete those users and/or change extensions first - Unity has no provision for search spaces and partitions like Connection does which would handle this easily (i.e. you'd restore new users into a seperate partition and then just "switch" over to that when your done).

If you're trying to do this en mass on the same server then COBRAS is not ideal for this - that's pretty heavy stuff - deleting, synching, creating, synching, updating.  Some data is also lost (see the COBRAS help file).  Migrate subscriber data just repoints a standing user object to have its mailbox moved to a new exchange back end mailbox.  No data lost, no massive (multiple) directory syncs required.  This is ideal for what you want to do but yes - it is one user at a time (DB sync issues are at play) - It wasn't one of my tools and it's been a while since looking at it but I suspect retooling it to be asyncronous and run in batch mode via CSV is a rather large amount of dev and test work - so that's not likely to happen at this point.

Personally I'd use that mechansim since you will lose noting and wont have massive directory sync issues and potential disaster if something goes wrong (i.e. you've just deleted all your users and something goes horribly wrong - you're in trouble now) - you'd want to have a DiRT backup in your hip pocket to restore from in that case.

All things considered I'd stick with MSD for rehoming users on a single box even though the process is tedious.

tmaurello_2 Sun, 05/02/2010 - 18:47


Thank you very much for the response.  This is definitely a same box migration.  I was going down the MSD path and ran into technical issues with the tool.  The right-side pane was not populating from AD.  I had opened up a TAC case on this and they pointed me down the COBRAS path.  They said it was easier and a better tool to work with for what I was trying to accomplish, and that was how I got to this support post.

I'm pretty sure MSD can handle CSV migrations already, so no retooling should be necessary.  I just couldn't get the tool to actually run in the client's environment...in production or in their lab (exact same AD as production).  They have a very large environment and I think the number of objects in AD was too much for MSD to handle.

- Tony


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