The Water Fountain vs. the Fire Hose: An Examination and Comparison of Two Large Enterprise Mail Service Migrations
|Title||The Water Fountain vs. the Fire Hose: An Examination and Comparison of Two Large Enterprise Mail Service Migrations|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Stacey, C, Trefonides, M, Kendall, T, Finley, B|
Mail administrators will inevitably face a situation where they will need to migrate their users from one server to another, not infrequently migrating to a different service altogether. In 2008, two divisions of Argonne National Laboratory found themselves needing to migrate their users from disparate divisional mail servers to a central, institutional Zimbra Collaboration Server. Each group approached the situation from a different direction, driven by different motivations, timelines, and external forces; each ultimately achieved its goal, one more smoothly than the other. The first migration was driven by a high sense of urgency resulting in a \"fire hose\" approach, an en masse move followed by a grand switchover; the second migration was a more measured \"water fountain\" approach, taking in lessons learned during the first migration. Examining the processes, decisions, and tools used in each conversion yields a roadmap of successes and pitfalls that should prove useful to any systems administrators facing a similar task, regardless of the timeline within which they must work.