News about our Email and Calendar migration to Google Apps and MS Office365

A Zimbra rep responded and suggested that the HMC team use the free, open source version to re-enable access to email accounts.  This work is underway. 
In the meantime,  progress is being made with migrations from Thuban.

The Zimbra email server license expired on June 30,  which disables access to email accounts.  Therefore,  the project team worked through July and into August trying to obtain a 25-pack of Zimbra licenses,  but Zimbra reps were not very motivated with responding to our $38.00 order for a very old version of Zimbra.

In the first week of July the project team learned that two users needed access to old emails, which were not migrated.  Unfortunately,  the users missed the shutdown announcements and the project team missed their mailboxes.

June 28: the Zimbra services on mailbox-01 were disabled.

Big gap in updates:  All staff departments were migrated to Office365, wrapping up the final users from those departments in early June.

04/26/12: The Office of The President and College Advancement has been migration to MS Office365.  On May 2nd F&M will be migrated to MS Office365. (18) Faculty department members remain on the Zimbra mailbox-01 server,  and 7 of these 18 members are scheduled for migration after commencement. 

03/20/12: (49) Faculty department members migrated to Google Apps.  The project team begins to focus on faculty department members who use the Zimbra mailbox-01 server,  where 44 of 76 faculty members have been migrated, and 32 are still pending migration before June 30.

03/13/12:  The CIS department migrated to MS Office365 in a one day group migration process.

02/27/12: (38) Faculty migrated to Google Apps.   Also four (4) CIS users migrated to Office365,  where email and calendar synchronization is being tested.

02/13/12:  (28) Faculty migrated to Google Apps and (5) migrations planned for this week.  Also Office365 accounts will be created this week.

02/02/12:  The Google Team Edition domain has been shutdown.  The live@edu domain will be shutdown on Monday Feb. 6.  Both decommissioned domains will be combined as sub-domains to the production HMC Google Apps for Education domain and MS Office365 domain.

01/31/12: HSA and Biology are confirmed for Google Apps creation.  User Support will contact department members to learn their email configurations and preferences, use of calendaring, and availability for migration of email.  Many department members forward and store email to personal email account already,  which will remain intact,  and they will also be give a Google Apps account ID and password for Google Docs sharing and use of other Google Apps within the HMC domain.

01/06/12: Microsoft Online tenancy created,  the first step in establishing email and cloud services on MS Office365 for Education

01/04/12: Google Team Edition users notified of shutdown date planned for Jan. 25.  USG provided instructions to users for migrating content.

12/20/11: User Account Provisioning Policy drafted to address account creation for both cloud services, includes faculty, staff, student accounts.

11/29/11: Microsoft Team continues to work through internal processes that would allow HMC to create an Office 365 tenancy. 

11/28/11:  Eleven (11) faculty migrated to Google Apps in October and November.

11/20/11: Email and Cal Team will shutdown mail services on mailbox-02 next week,  but the server will remain up while SMTP services are reconfigured.

11/09/11: Email and Cal Team ran the Microsoft Office 365 Deployment Readiness Tool and it found two items to address.
    1) an account (%s) that has unsupported characters
    2) there are a number of accounts that contain non-routable UserPrinicipalName domain suffixes (ie, they are missing

10/27/11: Email and Cal Team met with Microsoft to complete the Technical Review of Office365.  This review included introductions to the
Office 365 Deployment Readiness Tool, Exchange traffic bandwidth estimator. MS Service Descriptions, MS Trust Center, and the TechNet Blog for educloud.

10/18/11:  The Email and Cal project team has an MS Office365 technical review session planned with the Microsoft team for October 27.  There has been no recent updates from MS regarding the status of processing Office365 licenses.

10/13/11:  The Email and Cal team has started working with Physics to collect information about their clients and provide information about the migration process.  There is one migration planned so far for Oct. 19.

10/06/11:  FAQs regarding email migration to Google Apps gmail

What does it mean to migrate?

If your email is migrated to Google Apps (gmail), this means that your existing mail messages on whatever server and email system will be copied (not moved) to a newly created gmail account (


How long does it take to migrate?

The length of time to migrate is largely determined by how many mail messages are being copied.  The Google transfer rate is one message, per user, per second.  

CIS representatives must also coordinate and complete a few tasks, which can add 1-3 hours depending upon schedules.  In total,  the migration process for a user migrating from Zimbra has averaged 1.5 business days.


Who does the migration?

A team of people who carry out different tasks does the migration process.  The User Support Group will first contact you to discuss a time-frame for your migration and learn what type of mail client and server you use and if you have mail stored locally that you would like relocated.  They will  provide you with a UserID and password for accessing Google Apps, which is where you find the link to your gmail.


What should I do to prepare for the migration?  

Think about email and calendar functions or features that have not been working for you.  Share these issues with the User Support representative who contacts you to plan for the migration.  As part of this process, we may need to talk through some of the specific options for functions and features or the pros and cons of certain mail clients to identify options for improvement or simplification of your email management.

09/29/11:  The team sent out a notice to faculty-l informing them of plans for October, which are to develop plans for migrating accounts off mailbox-01 and to begin migrating those who are already asking to be migrated.

09/29/11:  The Email and Cal Team is currently awaiting Microsoft license processing of Office365 email and calendar services,  expected to complete in approximately 3 weeks.  In the meantime,  the team will focus on a strategy for migrating faculty by department in the first week of October,  with the goal of migrating 4 of 7 departments within the month of October.

09/21/11:  Email and Cal Team will increase the frequency of meetings and activity back to the pace prior to the start of the school year. 
There are currently four areas of focus for the Email and Calendar Migration Project:
1) Migration to MS Office365
2) Collection and Presentation of Information to the Community for Calendaring
3) Migration of User and Mailboxes from Thuban
4) Creation of Self-Service Google Apps Migration Instructions

09/14/11:  The team is focused next on Thuban's 51 user accounts.  The >130 users account on Odin will be assessed soon.  There is an increase in Google Apps accounts, therefore the team will work to document an account creation and migration processes,  which may be self-service.

09/13/11:  Email and Cal team has completed mail migration for all Zimbra mailbox-02 users.

08/30/11: Email and Cal team continues with additional clean-up work for the Zimbra mailbox-02 server, which includes tagging 31 student accounts that have never been accessed and 10 inactive CIS accounts.

08/17/11: Email and Cal team has made significant progress with the clean-up of the "left-over" 106 users accounts,  only 5 of the 106 accounts remain for configuration on Google Apps and migration of email.

08/12/11: Email and Calendar team has started the Google Apps migration for 106 users excluded from previous migration groups.  (22) users will  have accounts created and receive an email communication with their username and password,  while the remaining (84)  users will have accounts created and mail migrated,  but they will receive no email communications as the account will be immediately disabled.

08/10/11: Research completed for 106 users who have not received Google Apps accounts and mail forwarding settings completed for class year 2014. (22) are current students  (84) are withdrawn or no shows

08/08/11: This week of Aug 8th,  the team will focus on clean-up from mail migrations,  which includes 1) researching the 106 users across all class years, who did not have mail migrated 2) class year 2014 who did not have mail02 accounts and need forwarding created 3) support for import of calendar & contacts 4) support and resolution of Help Desk tickets tied to email migration.

08/05/11: Mail migration for class of 2012-2014 has completed.

08/03/11: Email and Calendar Migration team has started migrating 427 mailboxes for the class of 2012-2014 from Zimbra/mailbox-02 to Google Apps for Education.

08/02/11: The most common CIS Help Desk Request received: If people email me at or or will I receive their email in my new HMC gmail account
                Answer: Yes, all users will keep all of their email aliases, and these aliases will continue to send mail to the Google Apps email Inbox or forward in the same manner as previously configured in the user's Zimbra mail.

07/30/11: Mail migration for class of 2011 has completed.

07/29/11: Mail migration for class of 2010 has completed.

07/28/11: Email and Calendar Migration team has started migrating 182 mailboxes for the class of 2011 from Zimbra/mailbox-02 to Google Apps for Education.

07/28/11: Mail migration for class of 2009 has completed.

07/28/11: Mail migration for class of 2008 has completed.

07/27/11: Email and Calendar Migration team has started migrating 166 mailboxes for the class of 2010 from Zimbra/mailbox-02 to Google Apps for Education.

07/26/11: Email and Calendar Migration team has started migrating 168 mailboxes for the class of 2009 from Zimbra/mailbox-02 to Google Apps for Education.

07/25/11: Email and Calendar Migration team has started migrating 164 mailboxes for the class of 2008 from Zimbra/mailbox-02 to Google Apps for Education.

07/19/11: Email and Cal Migration team met with MS LiveEdUS Specialist Team to collect roadmap information for live@edu and MS 365.

07/12/11: HMC CIS took administrative control of the Google Apps Team Edition created in February 2008 by an unknown administrator for 139 users.  This step was necessary to simplify support of domains and sub-domains,  which is very important to email sending options.

07/06/11: Email and Cal Migration team has run a successful test of bulk migration of 100 accounts (more than 800,000 messages) from Zimbra to our test instance on Google Apps. Mailbox-02 reacted very well to this test as did our test instance on Google Apps for Education.

06/22/11: Incoming students were sent information about their new accounts on Google Apps for Education (see IT news at

Cindy Abercrombie
Director, Projects and Planning
Computing and Information Services
Harvey Mudd College
909 607 0228

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