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Thread: Migration Scenario Advice Please

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Migration Scenario Advice Please

    My organization is planning to move from Mercury Mail (POP3) to Zimbra Network Edition. Being the lone wolf sys admin in a small company with about 30 employees, I wanted to pitch my thoughts for a migration scenario plays out in my mind to see if my thoughts are correct and if there is anything I am missing, gotcha’s, etc.

    The Mercury mail server sits behind a firewall with a private address 10.xx.xx.xx. There is a public IP 200.xx.xx.xx which ties to our email domain externally There is an existing internal dns Alias (CName) tied to the fqdn for the domain, an MX for tied to the internal 10.xx.xx.xx address with a priority of 10. There is also a static A record tying the internal IP to the hostname of the Mercury mail server.

    Mercury being POP3 really is a good thing as far as migration is concerned since there is no data on the server. I guess I am just trying to play out in my mind how to transition as seamlessly as possible. I would like to set the Zimbra server up the same way as Mercury in the sense that the Private/Public setup will be the similar, using the next available addresses in each IP range both internally and externally.

    Here is what I am struggling with. I want Zimbra up and fully functional using the same domain name (at least internally) before the migration, even if it can only respond by public IP address externally and private IP address internally rather than domain name since it is already in use by Mercury. This is because we need to be able to test mobile phone access and webmail before the migration.

    Now of course I want Mercury to be the primary mail server up until the point I flip the switch. Should I simply utilize the same 200.xx.xx.xx external address (existing Mercury mail) as it will still be tied to for external use. Is this even an option to consider? And about flipping the switch, will that consist solely of altering the MX record to reflect the new internal address? What am I missing here. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Vannes, France
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    See the Split Domain article.

    BTW, you should never use a CNAME record for a mail server you run the risk of losing email - it should onlt be an MX & A record.


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Thanks for the link. I believe the split domain scenario may work for us, but a do have a few questions on how to achieve Scenario A from the split domain article where the Zimbra server is configured as primary and forwards mail to our existing system.

    In this scenario, how could I build the Zimbra server and be able to fully test all functionality before placing it as primary (by modifying the MX) as the article mentions? Our current POP3 email server has as external IP address as mentioned above which has a hardware firewall NAT to the internal private IP which is tied to our MX record. So when I set up the new Zimbra server assuming we want to keep the same domain name, which is tied to the external IP, what would be the most graceful way to do this?

    When initially building/configuring the Zimbra server, should I specify the same external IP address as our existing email server? I am assuming I will need to set it up initially on a unique internal IP which is tied to a separate MX with a lower priority. The night I make the move I would just simply make the MX for the Zimbra server making it a higher priority (I know to lower ttl beforehand) and all mail will route to Zimbra primarily, then forwarding would work as the split domain article describes.

    Assuming everything I have stated above would work, my only other wish would be to somehow test all functionality (mainly mobile devices and webmail) before we move everyone to Zimbra. In the above scenario, using the same external IP and hostname, I would not be able to do this until I alter the MX and make Zimbra the primary. I suppose we could do testing after me make Zimbra primary, but it would be nice to be able to do so beforehand.

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