In our environment we presently have an older 2.X flavor of Unity running Exchange 5.5 with Windows NT 4.0. This box presently provides only voicemail service to the organization. We also have a separate Exchange 5.5 machine at our location that presently handles all of our user's email. The unity box and the other exchange server are not members of the same Exchange organization. We now want to start using Unified Messaging and we want to begin storing Voicemails for select users on the Exchange only machine.
Are there any ramifications to Unity if I use the Exchange Move Server Wizard to move the Unity box into the same Organization as our other Exchange server? I'm aware of the ramifications to Exchange itself, but as we are using it for voicemail storage only the Exchange impact is minimal.
Could an X400 connector between the organizations be used instead of having to change the organization of the Unity Box? The X400 connector was not chosen for install when this box was first setup, so choosing an X400 connector would require a reinstall of Exchange, another option I'm not entirely comfortable with.
No, this isn't a supported operation and will very likely bring you to grief - my experience with the move server wizard in the past as we tried such things out was very poor indeed. It did not handle the custom attributes on the objects Unity stores in our folder in Exchange 5.5 well at all and what comes through the other size is a mess and we lose our handler and other information.
short story is there's no clean way to do this type of cross site migration of User information in 2.x (in 3.1 and later you could use DiRT for this type of move but there's no corresponding tool in 2.x for this).
If it were me, I'd use ExMerge to get the user messages off the Unity Exchange server and merge them into the corporate email and do a fresh install of Unity into the corporate environement. Users will have to go through first time enrollment again but all their messages would be saved anyway...
Are you aware if using an X400 Connector if we would be able to link the two Exchange organizations in such a way as to be able to create new Unity accounts that were homed on the Exchange only box? Migration really isn't much of an issue as we aren't concerned with retaining saved messages. We are primarily looking for a way that we can have Unity start doing Unified Messaging for a small percentage (20%) of our company. The remaining 80% of the accounts would remain voicemail only and still reside in the Exchange store on the Unity server. The powers that be are willing to inconvenience the 20% of users that will be getting unified messaging by making them go through the re-enrollment process if necessary, but they are adamant that the other 80% of the organization see no impact from this project, therefore a fresh install of Unity is out of the question.
So, any thoughts or insights on the X400 connector?
No, the X400 connector isn't going to do anything for you here - We can't log into mailboxes across a site (MAPI security presents all kinds of fun problems here) - you can address messages across sites, of course, but logging into mailboxes requires authenitcation in the site itself. As such you need a Unity server in every Exchange 5.5 site that has subscribers.
Going across organizations isn't even remotely possible for the same reasons. You also can't easily address messages across organizations (across sites is not a problem). So if you have UM users in one organization and VM users in another organization allowing them to address messages to one another will be extremely difficult at best.
Having your users spread across organizations is simply not going to work for you.
Another thought - you can use the FUllDBExport/Import tool to migrate your user information into a 3.1(x) or later build in the corporate domain. This way you can do a new install of 3.x (reall, you want to be at something newer than 4 years old at this point), slurp in all the subscriber data into the new install (the old install can stay up and running during this process) and you can make your VM only users attach to hidden mailboxes (they can, in fact, be homed on an Exchange server you install with the VM license that's just added to the same site as your corporte). VM users wont show up in the Outlook address book, everyone can easily address messages to one another over the phone, your UM users will get what they need, just about all information except messages and phone passwords are preserved (the phone password encryption method was changed in 3.0(x) so we can't save the hashed password). Other than that the users shouldn't notice any changes - their voice names, greetings, notification devices etc... will all come across. If you want to get fancy you can also bring across the messages using Microsoft's EXMerge.
This is about as good as you're going to get. It's also reasonably low risk since you can install the 3.1(x) (or 4.x for that matter) and do the migration and test it out all without taking the 2.x server off line. If something goes haywire along the way you're not in hot water. Once the system is running the way you want it to you switch the voice mail pilot number over to the new box and you're done.
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