Texas City ISD

Texas City ISD loves Netmail

Challenge

Texas City ISD had many aging technologies that needed replacing, so the school district decided to stardardize IT operations on Windows, then look for a solution to enable Texas City ISD to migrate to Exchange cost-effectively and meet email retention, eDiscovery and compliance mandates at no additional cost.

Solution

By using Netmail as the “middleman” between the GroupWise and the Exchange systems, the IT staff archived the messages in the GroupWise system to a centralized Netmail Archive repository. Next they set up the Exchange system, and pointed it to the Netmail Archive repository to continue the archiving process in the new environment.

Results

The school district immediately saw the advantages of Netmail over other migration tools. Netmail both solved the problem of migrating data from GroupWise to Exchange and provided an interoperable archiving solution to meet email retention and eDiscovery requirements post-migration.

Overview

Netmail Archive provided Texas City ISD with a single cost-effective platform to migrate and archive. When researching how to approach the email migration, Steve Shield, the School District’s Director of Technology immediately saw the advantages of Netmail Archive over other migration tools. Netmail Archive both solved the problem of migrating data from GroupWise to Exchange and provided an interoperable archiving solution to meet email retention and eDiscovery requirements.

Background

Located halfway between Houston and Galveston, Texas City Independent School District provides services to approximately 6000 students. Texas City ISD had many aging technologies that needed replacing.

Business Challenge

Switching from Novell to Microsoft quickly, painlessly, and seamlessly Texas City ISD decided to replace its Novell eDirectory environment with Microsoft Active Directory. Part of the project involved migrating from the Novell Groupwise collaboration system to Microsoft Exchange. The Director of Technology, Steve Shields and the IT staff felt that a Windows environment was better suited for the multitude of diverse applications used by teachers in the educational process. "The decision to move away from GroupWise was a consequence of the decision to move away from Novell; it was a natural move for our department towards standardizing IT operations on Windows,” explains Steve Shields.

The Groupwise to Exchange migration took 3 or 4 days of prep-work installing servers and collecting storage information. It was essential not to interrupt the daily operations of the district. After discussing it with the IT staff and Netmail Archive Texas City ISD felt that the email migration could be done as a first step. "The Netmail Pro Services Team was critical in the planning stages. They really helped us build a blueprint for the migration to Microsoft Exchange using Netmail Archive. Everything happened in the background and did not disrupt day-to-day operations; then we were able to flip the switch on the weekend,” said Shields.

The Benefits of Netmail Archive

When Shields was researching how to approach the email migration, he immediately saw the advantages of Netmail Archive over other migration tools. Netmail Archive solved not only the problem of migrating data from one email platform to another, but it alsoprovided an interoperable archiving solution to meet email retention requirements. According to Shields, the email migration from GroupWise to Exchange was the easiest part of the entire migration due to the functionality provided by Netmail Archive. Essentially, Netmail Archive was the “middleman” between the GroupWise and the Exchange systems. First, the IT staff archived the messages in the GroupWise system to a centralized Netmail Archive repository. Next they set up the Exchange system, and pointed it to the Netmail Archive repository to continue the archiving process in the new environment.

Critical Requirements

A solution to enable Texas City ISD to migrate to Exchange cost-effectively and meet email retention, eDiscovery and compliance mandates at no additional cost.

Results with Netmail Archive

  • Migration occurred within allotted time frame with no end-user impact
  • Email archives remained accessible to end users throughout the migration
  • Email Archiving and eDiscovery mandates have been proactively addressed

Depending on the needs of the respective users, Shield’s team injected different amounts of email data from the GroupWise to the live Exchange system. In some cases, the entire contents of the GroupWise account were injected into Exchange, in other cases, only 2-3 months’ worth of data were brought back into the live production system. Netmail Archive creates a repository folder with the archived Groupwise data which is accessible via the Outlook Web Access client. “The users were able to access their entire Groupwise in the repository using OWA.” The transition was virtually seamless for the end users: even though they changed email clients, they were in no way hindered in accessing their archives, regardless of whether they were in GroupWise or Exchange.

“The users didn’t lose anything and I was really, really impressed. We approached the email migration as a two-step process which was executed very smoothly. We also took the opportunity to deploy an email archiving system to address the requirements for proper email retention. I felt that moving the email from one environment to another would be the most difficult step however, Netmail Archive made it a simple process providing better functionality and return for my investment.”

Texas City ISD will continue to benefit from this project. Netmail Archive not only provided an easy migration path for email but added email retention for electronic records preservation and retrieval.

The Bottom Line

The Netmail Archive implementation has been a good solution for Texas City ISD. The School District IT staff was impressed with the level of technical support they received from the Netmail's engineers throughout the process.

The Bottom Line

Steve Shields Director of Technology, Texas City ISD