Using the Admin Account Pool in Notes Migrator for Exchange 4.6 (Part 1)

I am currently working on a migration from Lotus Notes to Microsoft’s Office 365.  As many of you know, Migrating data to Office 365 can be time consuming.  Many people are not aware of why this process is time consuming and they are not aware of methods for working through the migration speeds.  We recently inherited a client where the engineer setting up the software was not aware of how to resolve the throttles.

When we first inherited the project, the client had Quest’s Notes Migrator for Exchange (commonly called NME or QNME) version 4.5.4 installed.  On version 4.5.4 migrating a 1GB mailbox direct to the cloud took 10 hours.  Yes, you read that correctly, 10 hours for one mailbox and just 1GB.  It was not an internet speed issue -  the client has a 100Mb/s connection to the Internet and they have Riverbed accelerators for Office 365 in place.  The client was quite confused on the abysmal performance and they wanted to know how is this possible?

To explain this, I think it is important to point out a key fact on how access to Office 365 works – throttles are in place to protect the service’s usability for all users.  When a user account tries to perform too many actions against the Office 365 service, that user account is forbidden from executing any additional actions until that user’s “allowance” has been replenished. Put that in the context of a migration and as you can imagine the account migrating data is frequently spending its allowance.

There are several steps we can take to resolve this problem. First and foremost, you want to use a dedicated account for migrations!  If you use a multi-purpose admin account for your migrations, you will see performance drastically drop each time that admin account is used elsewhere.  The reason is simple – each account can perform only so many transactions under the throttling engine.  As you use that account elsewhere, those transactions are not available for QNME to use.  Even worse, QNME does not understand that the account is being used elsewhere.  In testing, even using the admin account for a few seconds caused NME to slow down for an extended period of time in the migration.  The second method to bypass the throttling issues is to use an Admin Account Pool under NME.  At this particular client, Quest Notes Migrator for Exchange was running version 4.5.4.  4.5.x does not have the capability to use an admin account pool.

We promptly upgraded the software to version 4.6 which gave us the ability to use an admin account pool.  An admin account pool has the following benefits:

  • Up to 100 administrative level accounts can be used simultaneously to migrate user data direct to Office 365.
  • These user accounts are automatically spread across all QNME servers that you have operating.
  • Only 1 Office 365 license is taken to operate the pool

In this environment, data migration speeds improved from a single 1GB mailbox taking 10 hours, to the average mailbox migration taking 3 hours.  Even better, we are able to operate 24 threads (concurrent migrations) on each of our NME servers.  The end result is 24 users being migrated in 3 hours per server instead of 1 user in 10 hours.  That’s an improvement of about 8000%.

In part 2 of this post we’ll review how to setup the admin account pool when your company uses federated/directory sync’ed users and single sign-on (SSO) with ADFS.  In my experience federated SSO user accounts are more complex with tools like Quest and some creative configuration is necessary.

This entry was posted in Lotus Notes Migrations, Notes Migrator for Exchange, Office 365, Quest Notes Migrator for Exchange and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.