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Home » Kerio User Forums » Kerio Connect » Ex FirstClass Admins: Migration to Kerio comments? (Current FirstClass Admin seeks migration advice, comments, and gotchas from veterans)
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marketconnections

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I've been testing Kerio for a couple of weeks with the intention of migrating from FirstClass 9. There's lots of problems with FC that have been around for years, and OpenText is embarking on some half baked social media thing that's bloated and uselss to my company. We're small, 30 users, mostly Mac, but we need good groupware with proper calendaring and contact managment and mobile support, 3 things FC has had and bungled for years.

I like how Kerio integrates with iCal, AddressBook and Mail, and it has a much better webmail client. It seems to work very well for the most part. I thought I'd setup SnowLeopard Server's wiki to handle shared documents, and iChat for messaging.

But I can already see there's going to be some aspects of FC that I'll miss.

I wonder if any former FirstClass admins can comment on their migration experiences.

Number 1 thing will be Conferencing. I can mimic most aspects of Conferencing using Public Folders, Aliases and ACLs, but it's still not quite the same. For one thing, Server Side Rules can't be applied to Public Folders, so my CustomerService<_at_> address won't auto-reply a "Thanks for your message" email to public enquires. Also miss the ability for only certain conferences to appear on certain users' "desktops".

The other thing I'll miss is the ease of client setup and deployment. Where FC is a simple install, I will now be required to setup multiple apps, and tweak a multitude of settings on each system to get the user to see just the Public Folders and delegated Calendars they need to see.

Migrating user accounts seems pretty smooth via the IMAP migration tool. However, I won't be able to migrate the content of Conferences, or any FirstClass Documents, except manually it seems. (Since FC's Calendar and Contacts are so crappy, hardly anyone uses them, so that won't be much of a migration issue.)

Group emails also seems like another shortcoming. Kerio Groups can have an address that automatically sends to all group members, but if the sender is part of the group, they get their own email. Mailing Lists see to operate the same way, and must also be manually maintained for membership. Same with Distribution Lists in the GAL.

I'm also not crazy about backup recovery proceedure (not that FC's were any good). You can't restore individual messages, only a whole folder or user profile. Is Archiving the only way to deal with the dreaded "Can you get me that email I deleted 8 months ago?" scenario? How easy is it to search for individual emails buried in an archive subfolder?

Also, backing up the archive will massively increase the storage space required for offline backup over time. Any strategies to combat this?

Since I plan to use Mail.app as the primary client, there doesn't seem to be any method of setting up server-side rules from Mail.app. I'll have to get people to use the webmail client to turn on and off their Out-of-Office rules. Any workarounds here (besides leaving the client running)?

What's the best way to deal with Notes in Mail.app. Mail.app notes and Kerio Webmail Notes do not play well together. In fact, they seem to conflict in such a way that if you use both, Mail.app's Notes becomes quite flakey. What's the best way to set this up?

And, most important, are there any major gotcha's in store for me?
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marketconnections

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Silence seems to indicate nobody here is a former FirstClass admin. For future refugees, I have a couple of tips:

1. The biggest problem I ran into was FirstClass's lack of support for Sent Mail in IMAP. It meant initially, none of my users' sent mail was transferring out of FC. I stumbled onto a solution that works pretty well: when you migrate, UnSend all your user's Sent mail. Unsent Outbound mail is visible via an IMAP connection to FirstClass. It's a pain to do this for every user, especially if they have filed subfolders of mail, but it gets everything out pretty cleanly. Obviously, you don't want to unsend everything until you're ready to throw the switch for good. This has to be managed properly, otherwise messages will literally disappear from other people's mailboxes, even if the messages were read by the recipient. The way around this is to temporarily put all incoming internal Mailbox messages in a subfolder for each account. Then unsend all outbound messages from each account (you'll receive an unholy flood of Post Office error messages when you do this, which you'll have to delete). Then, for each account, you can move all inbound Mailbox messages back into the Mailbox and run kimt.

The move/unsend/move process can be done from the Administrator account. Seems to work, though I haven't tested extensively yet.

2. Mailbox subfolders do not migrate well. Only a few, sometimes none, of the messages in these folders make it through. You'll have to create (or get your users to create) Conferences inside their Mailbox for their filed messages, and move messages from the folders into those Conferences. Might be a good way to get people to purge out old stuff they really don't need any more before migration.

I'll post more stuff if I come across it, for future reference.
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