Our Onboarding tool allows you to easily bring a new customer to your company with the full transparency of the whole process. The tool is located at https://cp.serverdata.net/tools and includes three possible scenarios: onboarding  from in-house Exchange server, 3rd party Exchange server and IMAP server. You can use one scenario per one onboarding process.

Each onboarding scenario in general includes the following steps:

  1. Create a new Exchange account in your Partner Portal at https://cp.serverdata.net/asp/administrator.
  2. Export and import account objects. Account objects such as Users, Company contacts, Distribution lists are exported from the old server to be created on a new one.
  3. Adjust the mail flow and DNS records. MX records are to be changed in the process of migration. To avoid delivery issues, we provide you Redirection option on our end.
  4. Export and import the data. The mailboxes data will be copied and placed onto new servers.
  5. Cut over to new servers. When you cut over, you start sending and receiving mail with your new servers.
  6. Export and import differential data. The data that was delivered to mailboxes during migration is copied on this step.
  7. Set up additional features.

All these steps are presented in the tool described in this guide. Each step allows having variations and custom changes in the process.

There are two things we need from you to start Onboarding process:

  • Brand-new Exchange sub-account.
  • Settings to connect to the customer's current server.

Onboarding a customer from their in-house Exchange server

  1. In your web-browser, navigate to https://cp.serverdata.net/tools and log in with your Partner Account Contact credentials.
  2. Click Start a new onboarding case:

    Start onboarding case
  3. Select 3rd Party Exchange scenario:

    3rd party Exchange
  4. Highlight an Exchange account from the list of your sub-accounts and click Next:

    Exchange account
  5. Type in the number of mailboxes that are going to be migrated to this account:

    Number of mailboxes

    In this scenario it is necessary to select Create new case, but you can also continue working on a previous one.

  6. Confirm Start Onboarding:

    Start onboarding

    You can leave the checkbox empty if you do not want to receive mass notifications.

  7. Now the Onboarding ticket is created and the process starts. The first step is called Objects Export. During this step, the objects are not created, but all the preparations are done. Select one of the two options:
    • Address Book Export: Export will be made by the tool connecting to the remote server and exporting GAL (Global Address List). You will be presented with the Connection Settings page if you choose this option and click Start Export.
      Address book export
    • Manual Address Book Upload: Upload the CSV file you already have. For the import to be successfull you may check out our CSV template to see if the fields match. After selecting the file from your hard drive, click Start Export:
      Manual address book upload
  1. You may click Connection Settings and enter the settings even if you use Manual address book upload option because these settings will be needed further for data pull. 
    • Direct MAPI connection:
      • Mailbox: Mailbox name.
      • User Name: Mailbox login. We are asking for a user that has full access rights to all other mailboxes in organization. Read the Knowledge Base article How To Create An ExMerge User for more information.
      • Password: This mailbox password.
      • Exchange Server Name: FQDN of the back-end Exchange server.
      • Exchange server IP address: A public IP address that NATs to the back-end server.

        Direct MAPI
    • RPC over HTTP connection:  You may enter the settings manually or use Find Autodiscover Settings option.
      • Mailbox: Mailbox name.
      • User Name: Mailbox login. We are asking for a user that has full access rights to all other mailboxes in organization. Read the Knowledge Base article How To Create An ExMerge User for more information.
      • Password: This mailbox password.
      • Exchange Server Name: FQDN of the back-end Exchange server.
      • RPC/HTTP Proxy Server: Exchange proxy server name.
      • Connect using SSL only: Check it off if supported by the remote server.
      • Only connect to proxy servers that have this principal name in their certificate: Enter the server name if supported.
      • Proxy Authentication Type: Select Basic or NTLM.

        RPC over HTTP

        Tip: If you are not sure what the settings are you may look them up in one of the user's Outlook profile. Onboarding tool is connecting to an Exchange server in a way similar to Outlook profile connection:
        • Exchange Server: File (Tools) > Account Settings > double-click the account > spot Exchange server.
        • Exchange Proxy Server: File (Tools) > Account Settings > double-click the account > More Settings > Connection tab > Exchange Proxy Settings > spot Exchange proxy server name and other settings.
  1. Our tool will start testing the settings.
    • You can close the Connection Settings window during the test:

      Test connection
    • If the connection fails double-check or edit the settings by clicking Connection Settings:

      Connection failed
    • You will see when the connection settings are successfully tested:

      Successful connection
  1. When the settings are verified the tool starts Objects Export:

    Address book export

    Address book export completed
  2. When the objects are exported the tool displayes the list of users, contacts and distribution lists that it found on the remote server. By default, all objects are selected to be created with the data transfer where applicable. You may uncheck the objects that you do not need or want. This is the preview; the objects will be created later.

    Preview AD objects

    Click Start Migration after managing account objects.
  3. The next step is adjusting the mail flow. This is where you are presented with the new MX records. On this stage, you can change current MX records for the customer's domain name.  Read the Knowledge Base article on What Is An MX Record? What Is The Correct Syntax For MX Records? What Is Priority? and on What Is DNS Propagation? for more information. Before changing MX, you need to select one of the two options available:
    • Mail Filter Redirection Disabled: You may not need Mail Filter Redirection (MFR) in the Onboarding process if the MX records for the customer's domain name point to a 3rd party filtering, archiving or a POP server, i.e. the MX do not point directly to the Exchange mail server and they plan on using 3rd party services in the future. With such kind of mail flow setup, there is usually redirection or forwarding from the 3rd party server to an Exchange server. In this case, this forwarding or redirection settings are changed later at the time of cutover on the 3rd party server.

      Configure mail flow
    • Mail Filter Redirection Enabled: You may need MFR if the MX records for the customer's domain name point directly to the mailing server and thus need to be changed as the mailing server changes. With the MFR enabled, we redirect all incoming mail for this account to their current server at the mailfilters. The purpose of such setup is to have all mail received at one server (the old one) while the new MX propagates. This way the users will not get confused at mail going to different servers (for the old MX (cached) and the new MX (propagating)) as all mail will be delivered to the old server only.
      Your customer may also need redirection enabled if they use currently 3rd party filtering, archiving or a POP server, but do not plan on using it any more after cutover.
      If you enable MFR you need to enter the following settings:
      • SMTP server: Your current MX server name.
      • Port: 25.

        Set MFR

        Important note: The server that is used for redirection must respond via the port specified. To check if the server responds via this port, go to Start > Cmd, type in "telnet servername port#" without the quotes where "servername" is one of their current MX records and "port#" is the port number and press Enter. You should not encounter any errors.
  1. Change MX records if necessary. The server names for MX destination are presented on this step. You may need to contact their DNS provider to change the records or change them yourself if you have admin access to the name servers. After making necessary changes to the DNS records click Start Migration.
  2. Migration stage starts where the previously selected account objects are created and the data transfer takes place. When you click Start Migration you are propmted to confirm the start. On the same page you can filter the content to copy, using Enable Data Start Date option, and schedule data migration, enabling Schedule Export/Import Content, if needed:

    Start migration
    When ready, click Start Migration.
  3. All stages of this step can be extended or minimized. There are four stages: Account Objects Creation, Set Password, Export Content, Import Content, Send Out SSO Email. Until a stage is completed, the next one will not start. Next to each stage you may find a status icon showing if it is completed successfully or there are failures and it has to be restarted.
    The mailbox data is first exported from the remote server and then imported into our system. You can track the progress of all stages here: 
    Migration progress
    • The Onboarding tool will start creating Account objects as a first part of Migration step and present you statictics when finished:

      Account objects created
    • Set Password. On this step you can generate random passwords for all  mailboxes created in the wizard and get the list of the passwords in encrypted file.
      Set Password
    • Then the mailbox content is exported from the current Exchange server. If it fails you can view the details and make necessary changes to the Connection Settings or server configuration. The Event Log is also available. Use Restart button if things if export fails after adjusting settings.

      Export content
      • You can click Details any time to review the mailboxes and their status:

        Export details
    • Import Content is the next stage. The progress here is also presented in detail and restarted, if needed

      Import content
    • The last stage is Send Out SSO Email. It is a suggestion of sending a Welcome email to the users that contains the application called Single Sign-On. Read the Knowledge Base on Single Sign-On for more information. You may select some of the users, or all, or Skip SSO:

  1. After data migration comes Cutover step. The first stage is Preparation for cutover where we remind you of the changes made to the DNS records and MFR being in place or not.

    "Cutover" means disabling Mail Filter Redirection to allow mail go directly to our servers. For the users it is going to mean that they start using their new Outlook profiles that are connected to new servers. You need to review the information presented above and proceed to Cutover.
    Note: Before finishing the migration you can modify the notifications options. If you want to enable notifications after the cutover contact support.
    Modify Notifications options

  2. You will be prompted to confirm Cutover.
    • The list of important things to check before cutting over to the new servers:
      • MX records. Make sure they point to the new SMTP servers and have fully propagated.
      • Mailbox Data. Log in to Webmail for a couple mailboxes and make sure the mailbox data is present there as expected.
    • Recommended features:
      • Outlook profiles are pre-configured to connect to new servers.

  1. After cutover the new servers are used to send and receive mail. Now you can proceed to starting Differential data pull. After initial data pull, during MX records propagation, with the MFR enabled, some new mail has been delivered to the old server. We will copy this data on this stage, Copy Remaining Exchange Mailbox Content:

    Differential data pull
  2. When the differential data pull is finished, the Onboarding process comes to an end. You can mark the process finished and close the ticket by clicking Mark Onboarding as Completed:

    Mark Onboarding as completed
  3. However, you can undo Mark as Completed step if you discover an issue and re-open the ticket:

    Mark Onboarding as not completed
  4. The Onboarding process is now over and the users are fully set up on Exchange. You can now enable and configure any additional services for users, such as ActiveSync, SecuriSync, etc.