A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 2: Getting things warmer

Day summary

This day was all about the directory and password sync tools… We wanted to finalize their configuration to allow the support team the time for demonstrations and practices before going out to users and change their profiles…

We started out by working on GCDS, once we started working on the tool, we were faced with two critical problems:

  1. Turned out the current number of licenses on the G Suite Admin Console is less than the actual number of users and less than what the customer has approved.
  2. The OU that the customer wanted to sync was including disabled users, service accounts and a lot of user accounts with their ‘mail’ attribute value is wrong (it contained spaces in the beginning and end of the field).

We started out working on the second problem, since it is more visible to us and we knew what to do to fix … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 2: Getting things warmer”

A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 1: Starting up

Day summary

We started the project with a technical workshop with the customer IT teams. They had 2 teams working on this: infrastructure and hosting team, and the end-user support team. We divided ourselves into two teams as well, I went with the infrastructure team, and we sent 2 guys to help the support team making their plans, guides, and process to start working on users.

Our initial plan was to start users data migration as soon as possible, first we need to get an idea about the distribution of sizes, and then we will sort out the largest mailboxes and do the migration for them at first, our idea was since we have limited time and we have a risk of losing access to the old service once the subscription is over, we at least have the bulk of the data migrated… Among the group of the large mailboxes, … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 1: Starting up”

A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days!

So we recently won a really great project… 3600 users on Office 365 to G Suite, the IT team of the customer were very convinced and willing to change, however the time frame we got for the whole project was somehow ‘tight’…

I’ve done pre-sales part on this project, and we originally started with them on a POC where two of their IT members migrated their data and created forwarding from Office 365 to G Suite. Then the testing circle slowly expanded to include their CIO.

Once we got the IT’s satisfaction, the CIO submitted his report to the board. They needed one week to make the decision and we won the deal.

Turns out that after sitting with CIO after the approval that we have only 75 days 60 days to finish the whole project. Their subscription will expire and they will not renew, and they already sent the … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days!”

How I Think Teamwork Should Be

Disclaimer: The previous article has for some reason led to an awkward situation for me with someone I know, despite all the similarities and situations in that article, I by no way mean that person or anything about him, it was a recall of an experience I encountered, and I wanted to share it for myself first, and others to whatever possible benefits out of it. So I’m sorry I caused that situation to happen without my intention.

As a second part for previous article, I feel the need to list my own experience with team work and how I think it is great and where I felt I made mistakes and how I should have corrected them.

I’m working in a small team, we are 3 engineers in total, one of us is a network engineer, the other and I are systems engineers. Each one of course

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Senior team member, or Jack of all trades?

Working in a projects based company in a team is very hard, and to me it is the hardest job a person can ever have. Because it is a team work, you cannot complete a task or a project without the interaction or help form another team member… but sometimes a person can make a great mistake by taking a job in a team without researching on that team, or put an expectation to how that team might evolve with time while he is with that team.

A friend of mine who is working in an IT field, similar to my job is suffering like hell in his role… and it because of himself… HE as a whole is the reason of his issues…

He is the most senior in his team, he can do a lot of things, he is specialized in a special role, but he is talented … Read the rest “Senior team member, or Jack of all trades?”

Importance of proper communications in a project

It is well known that the communications plan is a critical part of any project plan. Failing to communicate between project team and between stakeholders of a project will bring the whole project down.

During my whole experience with projects, I always had to deal with major problems in every project because of lack of communications, or miscommunications. I will like below sample of the many problems I got through and explain how they almost caused the whole project to fail. Also I will attempt to list few points that will help making sure communications are well planned and channels are established and chain of communication is also cleared.

When the project plan is set and agreed on, it means that all involved sides have seen it and approved it. It also means that all sides must abide by its terms, schedules and scope. If any change on any part … Read the rest “Importance of proper communications in a project”

Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 2: System survey and data gathering 2/2

System survey and data gathering (2/2)

To complete the second part of this section, I am going to talk about the following points:

  1. Confirm the number of users to be migrated
  2. Get an estimated data size for all users and for each user
  3. Make an inventory of all groups that are mail enabled
  4. Make sure a password policy that match requirements by Google is active in the local network with no exceptions
  5. Check local DNS to confirm local domain name and relation with public domain name
  6. Confirm access to the Exchange server with an administrator user that has “Full-Access” permission and “Receive-As” permission on all the databases and all users
  7. Confirm access to Active Directory and local DNS services with an administrator user with proper permissions to create/edit/delete user objects and DNS records
  8. Confirm there are available PCs to be used for GAMME when needed for data migration
  9. Agree on
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Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 2: System survey and data gathering 1/2

So, after the introduction in part 1, I will start with this subject, which is the most critical of the whole project, because based on the output of this step or phase, your plan and your action and teams will be decided.

System survey and data gathering

For me, the most important tasks that always created issues and troubles in every project, can be resolved by making sure the following items are all known and documented before starting to make the plan:

  1. Make sure the domain to be migrated is not registered with Google Apps
  2. Confirm the customer has access to the public domain DNS zone, and get the access
  3. Internet connection: its stability and available bandwidth
  4. Find out if a mail security or anti-spam solution is in use, and email flow route
  5. Find out the most important workflows and processes that are related to the email system
  6. Check
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Random info: Arrested DevOps Podcasts (08 Managing your mental stack)

Out of the list I am interested in, comes DevOps, because to me, DevOps is a great way to share knowledge and making sure that the work environment is healthy all the time…

One of the great podcasts and resources about DevOps is Arrested DevOps (https://www.arresteddevops.com). Go and check the site and start with the podcasts as soon as you can, because you will learn a lot…

I am following on the series, and since I recently started with episode one, I found this great episode and I really enjoyed listening to it: managing your mental stack https://www.arresteddevops.com/managing-your-mental-stack/

It is talking about how do you acquire new knowledge, what are the best resources and the PRACTICAL ways to do that… The great thing about this episode that it is not related only to DevOps… you can take it and apply it to literally everything…

So I encourage you … Read the rest “Random info: Arrested DevOps Podcasts (08 Managing your mental stack)”

Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 1: Introduction

Introduction

This article is reflecting my own experience in planning and executing migration projects from an Exchange mail system to Google Apps for Work… I will try to make it as organized as possible while I make sure I include all the information and problems that I came across during my time working with these projects…

Why it is important to have a plan as close to 100% accuracy as possible?

First planning every project is the most important and critical phase. If you plan wrong, you will fail, if you plan well, your project will get through… But if you fail to plan, then you are making a plan to fail… whatever you do in the project planning phase/stage/time is considered a plan, whether a good one or a bad one… So doing that right is very important to everyone…

Second, when talking about an existing infrastructure of a … Read the rest “Planning a migration project to Google Apps the right way – Part 1: Introduction”