So you finally got the deal of a new G Suite project and you are preparing to star the work! You are in the middle of making the plans and time tables… As well as well getting the details that you need from the customer. This phase is one of the most critical phases in your project. Because once the preparations are complete, the project implementation will begin.
When to start the G Suite project?
Well, you can start it any time you want! Except not in the following times:
When the customer’s IT team are going into their holidays…
Trust me this is the worst time to have such a project initiated. Even if the customer IT team are handing over the tasks to each other. You don’t want to start the project with someone, and then struggle with a new face in the middle of the work. You … Read the rest “Don’t Start a G Suite Project in the Wrong Time”
We have come to the point where we are completely ready to change the MX records for all the domains. The process involved a lot of manual work but we split up the domains and managed to do it in a short amount of time. When we finished we ended up with all domains pointed to G Suite.
Once we completed the MX records change, we moved then to fixing all SPF records. Started with the primary domain there was not a lot to do. We just added the Google part of the SPF record to the existing one and we were all set.
After changing the MX records we found out about some issues in group permissions and other issues about bad forwarding settings between G Suite and Office 365 and managed to fix them all.
We also took a quick look about the progress of the … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 8: Changing MX records”
After getting the migration going, we moved to the next objective which is to complete the setup of the coexistence scenario between G Suite and Office 365. All what’s left was to setup the MX records and activate the forwarding from G Suite to Office 365.
I started with preparing a table for all the customer’s domains and then put all the required MX records in that table for each domain. And to be honest.. That was the most annoying thing I ever did! Once I completed the table, we agreed to do a change for one domain to test the delivery.
Prior to changing the MX records as we agreed, I had to enable the domain wide forwarding rule which was created earlier on the Admin Console. Then we were able to change the MX records.
I made sure we get all the old MX records documented … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 7: Completing the coexistence setup”
The balance between pre-sales and sales
It is well known the importance of a pre-sales team in a technology and IT services business… Through the pre-sales the solution is generally shaped and the main high-level requirements are set and identified. But at the same time, it is through sales team the projects are opened! The sales cannot do the job of a pre-sales, while the pre-sales has to be with the sales team to be able to do his job. It is an important state of balance in a team… If this balance is disrupted, problems will happen.
When the pre-sales design the solution and the technical team then takes the initiative, they have to be aware of what to do. In some organizations, the team is small to a point where a technical engineer can do pre-sales job. With this situation, it becomes even harder to maintain the state … Read the rest “When the Sales Team Acts as Pre-Sales”
On the first day of the week, we were met by the head of IT department in the customer site.. Suddenly he made a request that is awesome and bad at the same time.. He wanted to deliver 1500 users to the help-desk by the end of the week… So this was awesome because it means that we can deliver users faster, but it was bad at the same time because it meant that we need to setup more VM instances to be used for the migration work and we need to order more licenses for each user, and they have multiple domains, so it meant we needed to order multiple licenses for each domain to cover the amount of users…
We received the list of the 1500 users and I sorted them out based on the domain… This was a great opportunity also to show the customer … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 6: Going even faster with the migration”
This day is also a weekend, but things went very smooth and quiet in this day compared to the previous…
All I had to do is to run all the other remaining VMs and get the migration going. I also used DMS (Data Migration Services) from G Suite Admin Console to migrate number of IT users (all of IT actually) as we agreed during the migration planning. All work was completed relatively quick… However there was a little change that affected number of users I did not expect!
The customer had about 26 domains or more, they use them all for receiving email, but not all of them are used to send… All the users that were started on CloudMigrator were on a single domain (that’s why I finished quick!), but turned out they will not use that single domain for sending email… They were distributed on multiple … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 5: Going full speed on migration, Users change from domain to domain”
This day is a weekend.. Although I put it clear to everyone around me that I never work in weekends.. this was no ordinary time to apply this rule, so we did work on this day!
The main tasks that we needed to accomplish this day was to prepare the migration computers (VMs on GCP), and sorting out the user groups to be migrated (based on domains)..
I started out the work by creating the virtual machines on Google Cloud Platform, and I installed CloudMigrator on each one, having already requested the licenses, I made sure they were available easily on each migration machine, as I was trying to make things simple and getting to anything related to the project easy from every machine.. because I was expecting a big mess to come later on when we start the migrations (and it did indeed come!).. I ended up … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 4: Starting up migration, the NDRs mishap!”
So we ended the previous day with a lot of things done, in fact the day ended while we still had a lot on our list of unfinished work, so we were all eager to start the next day to finish the pending work.
In this day, we had to complete the user sync setup between active directory and Google. Before going into the details about this, I need to explain how we ended up dividing users to groups and the criteria we categorized users on.
Looking at the customer’s total data sizes, it was about 31TB of email messages. Of this 31TB there were 14TB used by about 450 users only. Those users started from 20GB per-mailbox up to 50GB… The remaining 17TB was distributed among the remaining 3000 users.
Because we had very little time, we thought that 45% of data can be done easy enough … Read the rest “A story of a project: 3600 users to G Suite in 60 days! – Day 3: More manual work!”
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:
- 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.
- 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”
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”