Tonight I get to transfer our email system and files from an old server to a powerful new one. The process is actually pretty simple –at least that's the way it looks– but very time consuming. After installing the email server software on the new machine, I had to wait until we closed for the day so that I could stop the old server and copy all of the system and user files. The best way I have to do that is a two gigabyte USB drive. I had forgotten, however, that the old server is USB 1.x which can be very s-l-o-w. So here I am blogging while the files get copied. I check in now and again for progress and problems. It hasn't been an hour yet (it's 10 PM) but I actually thought I might be done by now. Silly me! Fortunately the new server is USB 2.x so putting the files in their new home should go quickly. And so I wait. Once this is all done the system should be exceptionally fast and much more reliable — the old server had been crashing on a regular basis.
The USB filled up at about 10:45 PM … just slightly shy of completing the copy job! I was pretty sure I'd have space left over in that 2 GB. So now I'm emptying the USB on to the new server and I'll have to figure out what did not get copied. That can be a real trick! We'll see how I do tonight or wait for screams and hollers tomorrow!
Well the files copied across just fine and very fast. I couldn't figure out what was missing. But after a couple of hours working though file permission problems –the software did not configure things the way it should have– I think I have everything working and most things in place. It's 1:34 AM. Ugh. A broadcast email to all users and then home for a couple of hours of sleep. Then back in by 9 AM to see how things really are going!
FINALLY (Friday): The project turned out just fine. Very tired Thursday at work and, after an 8.5-hour day, at home but fairly happy about the outcome. It seems the data that didn't get copied were the database for our individual address books. Went to the old server, copied the database, deposited it on the new server, and the address books were restored! Only one glitchy thing to fix regarding my administrative access –more permissions issues– but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Most users didn't notice that there had been a major move except that the server performs better and (so far) more reliably. That's the outcome I had hoped for and about as good as this business gets.