Migrating Local Mail Server to Google Apps
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BY webmaster
10 years ago
System-Administration
0
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We had a query from one of our customers to help them migrate their local mail server to Google Apps. They wanted to do this because they did not have the sufficient in-house capability nor have the funds to get paid external capability to support an internal mail server. One hurdle that they were facing was that they had around 40GB of mail left on the local mail server that they wanted to migrate to the new mail accounts they created on Google Apps.

One of the problems was that the local IMAP server kept on crashing whenever they tried the bulk import and then there were frequent authentication errors. We took up the project and completed the migration process within a week. The migration took that long because the complete 40GB(not quite because Google rejects huge attachments) had to be uploaded to Google over an unfavorably biased upstream channel.

The local mail server was dovecot and it was a pretty old version of dovecot too - pre 1.0. The IMAP server used to crash erratically during the bulk migration process but we worked around this by running a small script to restart the IMAP server if it went down after checking every minute. One good thing about the migration process with Google was that the bot was very patient and would retry on accounts that fail. So this 1 min interval ensured that the mail in the accounts from which import was happening at the time of crash always reached the Google server once the IMAP came back on.

Another problem was that there were quite a lot of authentication failures. It seemed that the mailserver was restored from a backup after some recent crash and this messed up the users and their uids leaving lot of mboxes orphans without valid users associated. Since the mboxes were named username we simply ran a script to move ownership back to the user with the same name. To add to the mess the local server was already compromised and was running a full scale spam relay service. We did not fix this issue as the server was going to be put to sleep after the migration. We worked around this issue by stopping all the unnecessary processes on the server other than the IMAP server.

Once the initial hiccups were sorted out the migration went smoothly and Google neatly imported the complete set of accounts and their mails from the local server. Google recognized the IMAP folders and labeled the emails accordingly while being imported into Google Apps. Other than the small concern that Google is going to have complete access to all your organizations mails there are no other reason that I could think off that should prevent small educational institutions in moving to Google Apps.

Google Apps offers free services for educational institutions. For commercial establishments a lite edition is free for use but the full and heavier version requires you to pay Google subscription charges. If you are a small user it might be better for you to avail the Free Services from Google and as you grow you can decide between the Free vs Paid services from Google or alternatively start looking at getting support externally initially and the finally hiring internal capability to manage your local servers.

Our Server Support Services and Migration Services

We however are happy to offer to any interested customers our services in remote administration of existing servers, i.e. if you are planning to get external help or if you are finding that paying for internal capability for the same is not entirely worth the money. For those who are looking to migrate to Google Apps, you can avail our services to have a hassle-free migration experience.


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on 14th August 2007 / by webmaster
One of the most common support requests we receive from our customers is for clearing their computers of viruses. Most of the infections that we see are by viruses that spread by capitalizing on the ignorance of the users. A few smart steps, if taken by the users, could easily prevent infection from some of the more common viruses that float around in the cyber-universe. USB drives(also called Thumb Drives and Flash Drives) have long replaced floppies and cds as the preferred medium to transfer files from one computer to another. Lot of virus infections happen when using USB drives infected with viruses. One common way in which they spread is by exploiting the 'autorun' feature in Microsoft Windows XP. When a USB drive is connected to an infected computer the virus copies itself on to the USB drive and creates an autorun.inf file in the drive pointing to the copy of the virus on the USB drive. When the drive is then plugged on to a clean system with Windows XP the autorun gets triggered and the virus gets executed and the system gets infected. You can very easily prevent this from happening by setting the "Take no Action" as the default action on inserting a USB drive. If you have the guts you could also disable autorun for all removable media by setting the key 'NoDriveTypeAutorun' at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer with the value 255. You can read more about disabling autorun at Annoyances.org Even after disabling autorun you could trigger the virus execution if you double click on the "Removable Media" drive from "My Computer" as autorun would be the default action when autorun.inf is present in the media. The safest way to browse the contents in a USB drive is to right click on the drive icon and then using the "Explore" option. Another common set of viruses use an innocuous setting in the Explorer to trick the user into executing the virus and infecting the system with the virus. The default settings in Windows XP sets the options "Hide extensions for known file types" and "Do not show Hidden Files and Folders". When a USB drive is connected to a PC infected with the virus, the virus hides all the folders in the USB drive, copies itself as many times to the drive as there were folders in the drive and renames the copies to the names of the original folders. A feature of the virus is that the file icon for the virus is exactly identical to the default folder icon in windows. So if you view the contents of the USB drive with the above options set, you will see icons of as many 'folders' as you would have expected. However each of these folder icons represents a file and not a folder and this file would be the virus file. The first of the above options ensures that you will not see the ".exe" part in the name and the second of the options ensures that you will not see the original folders that are now hidden. Additionally some of the strains of these viruses does the same processes in the subfolders in the drive too. When an unsuspecting user connects this infected Thumb Drive to his system and opens the drive he would see the folder icon he was looking for and once double clicked he would inadvertently infect his system with the virus. You can unset the above options by going to My Computer >> Tools >> Folder options >> View >> Advanced settings and then selecting the appropriate radio buttons. Once that is done you will be able to identify infected Thumb Drives and prevent infection very easily. Also if you are using the explore option while opening the Thumb Drive you will very easily see that, though the folder icons are listed as icons in the explorer, they will not come up as folders in the folder bar. So Important things to remember are Never autorun from a Thumb Drive Always use the explore option when opening Thumb Drives Unset the option "Hide extensions for known file types" Set the option "Show Hidden files and folders" Keep your antivirus software updated and running all the time Finally, as a closing word, we urge you to take a look at the virus free world of Linux. Instead of trying to plug all loopholes in Windows and living under a constant threat of ever-evolving viruses, you could take a break and relax under the safe canopy of a secure Linux installation. If you would like to try out linux take a look at this irresistible offer from us - Free Linux Installation assistance System Administration Virus Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Vishvesh Nayak (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 I'm immensely thankful to the article posted on your site. I would like to promote your site to my friends. I would like to use this link http://www.zyxware.com/articles/2007/08/14/system-administration/prevent-virus-infection/ to tell about the implications involved in using a pendrive to all my friends. At the same time, address the issues involving usage of Windows Operating System. Devashish (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 nice Micheal (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 Widespread problems and a failure to genuinely protect the public represent tacit encouragment of the spread of spyware and malware by government and industry. The public's ignorance is their misbegotten gain, and any genuine response is muted and rare. This page, for example, touches on only part of the issue, leaving out critical weaknesses. How, for example, do you protect thumbdrives from the most likely source of infection when plugging into a public internet cafe computer (most of which lack good firewalls)? Holding down the shift key is a method already obsolete perhaps, since activating the shift key when loading a thumbdrive simply locks the host computer. Best response to this problem is to buy a WRITE PROTECT thumbdrive so only you can write on it and no one else. Everything else, including most of what's written, is simply a marketing ploy to assuage consumers and keep them sinking millions of dollars into firewalls and spyware protection (most of which is spyware anyway and therefore ethically repugnant...like most industry today. This ubiquitious problem reflects just how unhealthy our culture has become in many ways. I say, leave the public alone and let them have their privacy if they need it. You don't have to pull people's teeth just to see what's underneath them. Add new comment
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on 15th August 2007 / by webmaster
Ubuntu installation on a system which already has other operating systems is simple. Ubuntu will automatically detect other operating systems already installed on the computer and enable booting into them from the grub boot menu. However if you install Windows on a system which already has Ubuntu installed on a partition other than the partition on to which you install windows then you will inevitably lose the option to boot into the Ubuntu installation. There is a simple way to rectify this issue. Boot into Ubuntu using the Ubuntu Live CD Open Gedit and copy the following code into it sudo bash mkdir /mnt/hdd mount /dev/<hda6> /mnt/hdd grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/hdd /dev/<hda> Change <hda6> to whichever partition your /boot resides Change <hda> to whichever harddisk you want to install grub to Open a terminal, copy the code from GEdit and paste into the terminal Presto! You are done If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us. You can also call us at +91-471-4063818 to get further assistance. If you can bring your PC to our office we will fix this for free else call us we will come over to your place and fix this issue for a nominal service charge. Linux System Administration Ubuntu Windows Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * abey (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 What is the benifit of ubuntu Is this is good as fedora? How to install other software in ubuntu? Is it eazy to install linux software in ubuntu? How to get ubuntu in kerala Are there any solution providers in kerala webmaster access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 In reply to ubuntu by abey (not verified) Ubuntu - Linux for the common man Get Ubuntu CDs Delivered to your doorstep Ubuntu Pre-installed Systems Prasad.S.R (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 Obtain a bootable Windows XP CD, and use it to boot. Wait through all the Bill-messages until you get the first prompt. Choose R to repair an existing installation. It will search and prompt the Windows installation, showing : 1) C:\WINDOWS choose 1, and it will ask for the Admin password. If you have one enter it or just press Enter. C:\WINDOWS> Now, type C:\WINDOWS> CD .. C:\> FIXBOOT C: C:\> FIXMBR C:\> BOOTCFG /rebuild After the BOOTCFG, it will ask if you want to add the Installation it found, and to be safe answer "Y". Prasad.S.R (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 What to do: Put the Linux liveCD or boot disk you created while the installation; on the floppy drive, boot the system and run grub command Remember that for grub (hd0,1) means hda (primary controller master), second partition. Now we need to tell grub where are the grub files: If you know where they are, type something like: root (hd0,1) else if you have no idea, type: find /boot/grub/stage1 and then the root command with the correct parameters: setup (hd0) to install it on hd0, that is MBR of the first HD. type quit and reboot. The menu will appear again. If you want to make some changes to the boot menu, you must edit the file: /boot/grub/menu.lst $ gksu gedit media/disk/boot/grub/menu.lst sagar raythatha (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 Hey all you can find best solution of this problem over here:http://goo.gl/HXsZv Add new comment
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on 03rd October 2007 / by webmaster
Ubuntu 6.10 had complete multimedia support including mp3, video cds, dvds. This was taken out in 7.10 because of license restrictions on the decoders and their incompatibility with the GNU GPL under which Ubuntu is being released. Enabling multimedia support for formats requiring non-GPL codecs in Ubuntu 7.04 was a pain. This is now child's play in Ubuntu 7.10 Once you install or uprade to Ubuntu 7.10 all you have to do is double click on an mp3 file from the file manager. The mp3 will be opened in the default player (being totem) and it will prompt you to download the necessary codecs. The download and installation happens automatically and you can sit back and relax. Once the codecs are installed your system is ready to play any mp3 file. Happy mp3-ing in Ubuntu Linux System Administration Ubuntu Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * music (not verified) access_time 23 May 2019 - 10:14 Thank you for good information Add new comment
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