PST Import Questions
When I first started evaluating Zimbra about a year ago I looked at the pst import utility, but didn't have much luck with it. Most of our users have Outlook 2000, so there are at least a couple of extra steps to get this going, and it just didn't seem to be worth the effort. Our plan leading up to migration had been to use IMAP to copy email items, csv importing for Contacts, and ics importing for Calendar items. Now that we've done several migrations our plan seems to be working for the most part, but we've run into a couple of things that are making me reconsider the pst import utility. So, based on what we have seen so far here are my questions about the utility:
1) How well does it handle large .pst files? Some of our people use Outlook like a filing cabinet, and have say between 500 MB and 2 GB pst files.
2) How does the import utility handle special characters within folders? Keeping on the "filing cabinet" theme, many of our users have sub-folders, within sub-folders, within sub-folders, etc. Some of these sub-folders have special characters in the name, most specifically folders named for dates, using the "/" character.
3) How does resource utilization (local PC, server, and network) compare between the copying we are doing now, and the import utility? We are in a WAN environment and finding the copying of email items over the network to be kind of slow.
1. PST file size shouldn't matter. Of course, import duration will be proportional to file size.
2. The structure of the folder hierarchy doesn't matter; it will get replicated to the zimbra server. Folders with special characters get the special characters mapped to something zimbra can handle. At worst, the special characters get removed and a guid gets appended to the folder name.
3. The import utility goes as fast as your local machine, target server, and network allow it to. You could try it on one mailbox and see how it does.
Well, I tried two Outlook 2000 pst's today by simply copying them over to a PC that had Outlook 2003 and ran the import tool. No import/export or scanpst first. Right now I'm two for two; so far so good. I guess some improvements have been made to this tool since I tried it last.
The only thing I'm unsure of is the speed of running the import at a remote site as opposed to copying via IMAP folders, since I am working at the same site as the server.