Krome Complete Cross Forest Migration Project for Lorica

Client Case Study – Lorica Employee Benefits work with Krome to deliver a seamless cross forest migration project; moving their mailboxes and data to a new domain and upgrading to Microsoft Exchange 2010.

When Lorica Employee Benefits decided to move their network to a new domain, and to simultaneously upgrade their Microsoft Exchange platform, they called upon trusted consultancy partner Krome Technologies to work with them to establish and execute a comprehensive migration strategy.

Lorica Employee Benefits are a market leading consultancy, providing their clients with bespoke services, giving independent advice on employee benefits such as insurance, healthcare, pensions and financial solutions.

Following an operational divide in 2011, where two autonomous organisations were formed from the Lorica brand: Lorica Consulting, now known as Lorica Employee Benefits and Lorica General Insurance, a decision was made to move the Lorica Employee Benefits network to a new independent domain.

The project involved dividing Lorica’s existing active directory, and creating a new active directory forest. This was combined with a system upgrade from Exchange 2007 to 2010, in order to bring Lorica fully up to date. Across the business Lorica were running 2007 in one location, but 2003 in another, they wanted to implement a single platform for all products across the business, moving to Exchange 2010, Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010, with plans to move to a Windows 7 desktop following the migration.

Undertaking the complex task of a cross forest migration of users, moving their mailboxes and data to a new domain, combined with the simultaneous upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 2010, was further complicated by Lorica General Insurance operating Exchange 2003 on a number of their servers.

Working in partnership with the Lorica team, Krome’s objective was to plan and orchestrate a seamless migration that minimised disruption and downtime, by researching the process and extensively testing the migration path, to ensure a smooth transition.

Krome established a test environment, which proved to be the most time consuming and challenging aspect of the project. Before any work could begin, extensive tests were conducted to establish a robust and effective cross forest migration path, using existing native MS utilities, with the ability to roll-back, while also creating Database Access Groups that replicated automatically.

Once the comprehensive tests were complete, a strategy devised, and everything put in place in preparation for the migration and simultaneous upgrade to Exchange 2010, it was agreed that in order to minimise the disruption and impact on business operations, that the changes should take place over the course of a weekend.

Krome initiated the full live cross-forest migration after working hours ona Friday; the most time-consuming element proved to be the migration of user mailboxes, due to their size and the volume of data transferred. The migration from the old forest and upgrade from the Exchange 2003 and 2007 mixed environment, to the new forest and Microsoft Server Exchange 2010, was completed by the Saturday evening. The exhaustive testing stages had ensured that any possible issues had been identified, and contingencies put in place to make sure the process was as quick and efficient in practice as possible.

“Krome are incredibly good at what they do, I’ve worked with other organisations in the past, and I can say with confidence that Krome are head and shoulders above them,” Group IT Manager, Lorica Employeee Benefits.

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