How a GSMME migration works

G Suite Migration for Microsoft Exchange

You can migrate your users' mail, contacts, and calendar data from a Microsoft® Exchange server using G Suite Migration for Microsoft Exchange (GSMME). If you use an IMAP server, such as Novell® GroupWise® to route mail, you can also use GSMME to migrate email from the server to your G Suite account.  

Exchange migrations

Overview of an Exchange migration

GSMME connects to Exchange and uploads the data to G Suite using the Gmail API.

How does GSMME retrieve the data from the Exchange server?

When you set up GSMME, you enter the Exchange administrator credentials. You also provide a CSV file that specifies the Exchange username and the corresponding G Suite username. During a migration, GSMME connects to Exchange and transfers the data to G Suite using the information in the CSV file.

GSMME translates the email message from MAPI to MIME (another email protocol) using Microsoft® Outlook®. Any machine running an Exchange migration must have Outlook installed to enable this process.

Note: You can use GSMME if you're using a hosted Exchange environment. However, the way you set up your administrator profile is a little different. For details, see Does GSMME work in a hosted Exchange environment? 

What happens when I run a migration again?

The first time GSMME migrates a message or PST file, it writes a custom property at the root of the message store. After a message is migrated, the same custom property is also written on the message object. If you run another migration, GSMME compares the properties. If they match, GSMME bypasses that message because it’s already been migrated.

If instead you choose to migrate all data, a new property is generated and written to the root of the message store. Because the new property doesn't match the value on an existing message, all messages are migrated, including those previously migrated. 

IMAP migrations

What's migrated? 

You can only migrate email from IMAP servers. 

Overview of an IMAP migration

GSMME connects to the IMAP server and accesses email using the IMAP protocol. Then, GSMME uploads mail to the G Suite mailbox using the Gmail API.

How does GSMME retrieve mail from the IMAP server?

When you configure GSMME, you specify the host name and IP address of your IMAP server. You also provide a CSV file that specifies the usernames that you want to migrate. During a migration, GSMME connects to the IMAP server and signs in to the user accounts using the information from the CSV file.

When a message is retrieved, GSMME uses the Gmail API to upload the message to the G Suite mailbox. 

What happens if I run a migration again?

When data is migrated, its migration status is stored locally in a SQLite database. If you run a migration again on the same machine, the database helps GSMME bypass any data that was previously migrated. 

Exchange versus IMAP migrations

If you use GSMME to migrate from an IMAP server, only email messages are migrated. The other main difference between IMAP and Exchange migrations is the way the servers retrieve data:

  • IMAP migrations connect to source servers and retrieve email data through IMAP.
  • Exchange migrations connect to Exchange servers and use local Outlook functions to retrieve email, contacts, and calendar data.

Although IMAP and Exchange migrations retrieve data using different processes, they both upload the data using the Gmail API.


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