There are many things in life that we dread but which must be done from time to time and it’s just how it is. If you work for some company then if you stay there long enough experiencing Active Directory migration is somewhat of an inevitability for you. Most people who have done it before agree that it’s a pretty massive undertaking and most of the time quite a pain in the neck for the team that will be doing most of the work, but also for the users being migrated sometimes which can lead to some amount of friction within the company no matter how well the email migration service goes. That’s why we’ll share some of our tips for making it less painful.
What is Active Directory migration?
Let’s just quickly go over what Active Directory migration is for the readers who may not know of the concept already. Active Directory migration or AD migration is a process where users, groups, systems, and various other things are cloned from one Windows domain into another different one, with possible changes made to them during the transfer process.
While it may sound like a simple copy and paste at first, in reality, it’s a very complex process as each of those groups and users within the original domain were carefully tuned by the company and they each have many characteristics which need to be cloned 1 for 1. This is a big process and can often lead to a lot of downtime which is painful for everyone involved. This is why these practices are good to follow so you can reduce that pain down to a minimum and save the mental health of everyone involved as much as possible.
1. Make a good plan
AD migration is of course nigh impossible to do without some sort of planning, but you’ll need a very detailed plan if you want to avoid most of the pain involved. It’s important that you lay out in great detail exactly how everything should be set up once everything is done. This way you can compare what you planned and how it is to see if anything still needs some fine-tuning and thus you have a clearly defined goal that can be presented to higher-ups more easily.
Planning at this level can take quite a bit of effort, but the more energy you invest before the migration actually starts, the less will be required of you during the whole process and it will of course go by faster as well. Spend a few hours before the process to save a dozen during it.
2. Strive for maximum flexibility
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll run into some kind of issues during the whole moving process, which is why you need to make sure that you’re being as flexible as possible. Leave yourself room for making changes and adjustments. Remember that even the best of plans will need to be changed if something unexpected occurs so don’t be afraid to do so. Remember that users may inform you of new needs after you’ve already created your plan so that may require adjusting too.
The key to success is to expect the unexpected and be able to deal with things that were impossible to foresee. A sign of a good migration is not the lack of problems but rather the fact that the problems were dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. Don’t be ashamed that something went wrong, be able to fix it quickly so that you can be proud of that.
3. Considering doing it in increments
A very common option is doing the migration in multiple steps and transferring systems in chunks rather than doing it all at once. This makes it so that the downtime doesn’t affect everyone at once and allows the migration team to focus more on each individual segment so that they can be handled better and modified exactly to the needs of the users in question.
If you’re using good migration tools then it will also allow the migrated groups to communicate with the ones that weren’t migrated yet despite not being in the same domains so that business can run (mostly) as usual and the users will be affected far less than they would have been otherwise.