When using the Migration Wizard to upgrade from Exchange 5.5 to 2000 or 2003 across a network, there are several things you can do to speed the process.
—Use gigabit Ethernet hardware on both ends during the migration.
Gigabit Ethernet is now shipped as standard hardware on many servers, and it makes sense in the long run to make it part of any newly commissioned server. An older server can also get a speed boost from a gigabit Ethernet card. Firewire / 1394 networking is also possible and is in theory faster than 100-megabit Ethernet, but only Windows 2003 Server natively supports 1394 as a networking protocol.
—Network the two machines together as closely as possible.
If the two computers are near each other physically, it may be fastest to do away with a switch or any other connectivity device and simply link the two via crossover cable. This will involve resetting each machine's IP address manually for the duration of the move, but this is easy enough.
—Turn off Exchange-aware antivirus scanning on both the original and target servers.
Antivirus scanning will slow down the transfer enormously and is not worth doing at this stage.
—Allot an appropriate amount of time for the migration.
For 100 megabit network speeds, the Migration Wizard can move about a gigabyte's worth of mailboxes per hour. This probably makes gigabit networking that much more attractive, especially if you have a great many mailboxes to be migrated and are planning on upgrading the switches to gigabit speed s anyway.
—Don't defragment the drive or Information Store.
Defragmenting either the drive or the Information Store on the source server is probably not worth it. The time taken to do the defragmentation will simply detract from the total time available to do the move, and will not make things happen appreciably faster anyway.
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.
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