Next Generation (NexGen) Email Project

It's Done! The migration from GroupWise to Google has taken place

Feb. 8, 2012

The transition to Google Apps @ NC State from GroupWise sucessfully took place on November 30, 2011, and the GroupWise service has since been turned off.

Campus email and calendar services are now provided through google.ncsu.edu.

It's official! Final migration of GroupWise to Google to take place November 30

October 14, 2011

GroupWise account holders are receiving word today that their data will begin to be migrated to Google Apps and their new accounts will be available for use beginning Nov. 30. Additional information is going out to those who have both GroupWise and Google Apps accounts already and to those who have GroupWise archives stored other than on OIT's native GroupWise archive storage environment.

More than 300 GroupWise accounts have been successfully migrated to Google Apps during the testing period this fall. There will be one final move during the testing period that will include IT support personnel who need to transition early to be able to support their customers. 

A copy of the message sent to all GroupWise users today can be found at: https://sysnews.ncsu.edu/news/4e985612

To keep up with the news, stay tuned to google.ncsu.edu

 

Unity/WebMail employee migrations finished; some pre-alpha testers have moved from GW to Google

August 22, 2011

As we noted in June, it's been a while since we've provided an update, but rest assured, the Google Implementation team has been incredibly busy this summer! In late summer we finished the migration of employees off Unity/Webmail. Our focus now is on the migration from GW to Google. We had 2 pre-alpha groups move, Student Affairs technical staff and a small group of technical staff from Engineering. Each of these groups has provided the team with invaluable information and tips for mass move of all of our GW users!

To provide our GW users with an update on the migration, OIT has scheduled 2 campus-wide information sessions. OIT staff will provide an overview of the GroupWise/WolfWise to Google Apps @ NC State migration plan, followed by a question and answer session. Please come to the session that best suits your schedule; registration is not required.

  • Tuesday, August 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Carmichael Recreational Center Play Zone
  • Wednesday, September 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the D. H. Hill Library Erdahl-Cloyd Theater

Other news on the Google front includes the announcement from Google that the Google Apps @ NC State mailbox size increased from just over 7 GB of storage space to 25 GB! Now you have more space than ever before to store and manage the email that helps you collaborate, communicate and educate! 

On September 9, the message size limit (including attachments) for email sent from one WolfWise user to another will be changed from 100 MB to 25 MB. This matches the limit currently in place for all mail sent to or received from outside of WolfWise, including to and from Gmail. For more details, see the Sysnews post from August 5, 2011This link will open in a new window.

Wrapping up Unity/Webmail employee migrations
and moving forward with GroupWise testing

June 22, 2011

It’s been a while since we have provided an update about progress on the transition to Google Apps for faculty and staff.

From a project team perspective, there was a change a while back that some may not yet be aware of. We combined the NexGen Tech team with the Google Processes and Best Practices group to create the Google Apps Implementation Team. Stan North Martin is serving as the project lead and there are multiple team sub-groups working through the many different aspects of the migration project. A huge thanks to Dan Green and Chris King for having co-chaired the NexGen email process to this point. We wouldn’t be nearly as far as we are without the leadership they provided and they continue to be active members of the implementation team.

Unity/Webmail migration

On the Unity IMAP/Webmail (aka Cyrus) front, we have moved over half of the employee accounts to Google Apps and plan to have the remainder migrated by mid-July, and likely sooner. As the university moves away from the Unity webmail service, stay tuned for SysNews posts about changes to the webmail.ncsu.edu SSL key and eventual EOL of webmail.ncsu.edu.

GroupWise migration

The planning and testing for migration of GroupWise accounts continues to move ahead steadily. The goal is to begin the process of moving units as a whole this fall. Until we have completed more thorough testing, however, we won’t be able to provide estimates on how long the entire process will take. The goal continues to be to have everyone moved from GroupWise by summer 2012.

The team has been working to identify owners and use cases for GroupWise generic accounts to determine whether they need to be migrated to Google Apps. We are also working on the processes that will be used to set up resources within Google Apps and migrate GroupWise resources as needed. There are many other aspects of the migration being taken into consideration as part of the process.

Default Email accounts

New employees are now provisioned with a Google Apps account by default. OIT can still provide a GroupWise account to those who need one, but the implementation team encourages departments to think carefully before requesting one for new employees since all GroupWise users will be migrating to Google over the next 3-12 months. A new employee who is given a GroupWise account will need to forward their Google Apps mail to their GroupWise address. Detailed instructions for forwarding email from Google Apps to GroupWise will be provided in the email confirming the creation of a new GroupWise account.

Migration overview and training

Members of the implementation team have been meeting with many campus organizations to provide an overview of the migration plans and to field questions. A copy of the presentation used at most of these sessions is online as a PDF at: http://google.ncsu.edu/migration/migrations-employee-accounts. There you will also find additional migration details for both Unity email and GroupWise account holders. Let us know if you are interested in having team members meet with your unit for an overview. Starting in July, regular training classes for those with Google Apps accounts will be held at least monthly.

We are updating information regularly on the Google Apps @ NC State site. If you have questions not answered there, please send them to help@ncsu.edu so they can be addressed by the appropriate member of the implementation team.

Unity/Webmail (Cyrus) moves progressing

April 25, 2011

The planning for and migration of NC State employees to Google Apps @ NC State continues to move forward.

Over the past few months, the NexGen team has been working to test and improve our migration tools, improving upon the system used to move more than 100,000 student accounts. More recently we moved more than 200 Unity/Webmail ECE employee accounts and on April 4, we began migrating 850 Agricultural Extension users.

The next phase of implementation will be moving the remaining users off Unity/Webmail (Cyrus) to Google Apps. We will do this in several stages, with the first stage being the option for any faculty or staff member currently using Unity/Webmail to opt in for migration to Google Apps @ NC State. This opt in period is open now through May 20. 

Before employees were able to opt in, we provided a mechanism for IT support staff to request a specific time frame to begin the move process for their Unity/Webmail users. Please see the full announcement about this process on the google.ncsu.edu site at go.ncsu.edu/google-migrate-all-unity.

What’s the status of the GroupWise/WolfWise migration?

Work continues on implementing a commercial tool to migrate GroupWise accounts to Google Apps @ NC State and prepare other aspects of the transition for GroupWise users. We anticipate beginning this summer a staged migration of GroupWise user accounts that will continue into the next academic year. We expect the bulk of Unity/Webmail moves to be completed before we begin the major GroupWise migration process. Some IT staff on GroupWise may find themselves with end users migrating before they do and, while we had hoped to avoid that situation, please know that the Help Desk is committed to supporting our Google Apps customers. In addition, while a Google Apps @ NC State account is distinct from a personal Gmail account, the end user experience is almost identical, so if IT support staff believe this will be helpful, they can utilize their experience with a personal Gmail account to answer questions from end users.

NexGen2 -- Support Wiki Created

In an effort to take advantage of the wide breadth of campus IT knowledge, the NexGen2 project has begun a support wiki at http://techies.ncsu.edu/wiki/NexGen. Here we hope to capture all support information needed for faculty and staff moving to Google Apps: client configurations, first steps, best practices, etc. 

There's a lot of information we need to provide to our endusers. Come help produce it. Even if you don't know the answers, you know what your endusers' questions will be. Providing that is just as important as it'll help us focus on what information we need to provide for you. 

Everyone is encouraged to login and support this effort. 

As appropriate, a good portion of this information will be merged into the customer-facing google.ncsu.edu site. 

NexGen2 - Email Info Session for IT Staff on Feb. 17, 2011

OIT hosted members of the NC State IT community for an information session surrounding our email services on Thursday, Feb. 17.

Updates were provided in three major areas:

  • The transition to Google's Postini service for antivirus, anti-spam and message archiving
  • The WolfWise upgrade to GW 8
  • The status of moving faculty and staff to Google Apps

Slides from the meeting are available as a Google Docs Presentation.

The notes from this meeting will be stored on the Meetings page.

NexGen2 -- Google Implementation Task Force Announced

To take the next steps to provide the NC State community with a much sought after unified email and calendaring environment, the NexGen Email Implementation Team will begin a four-phase process to test and verify that Google Apps Education Edition will meet the diverse needs of  faculty and staff.  For information about the next stages of this process, please review the NexGen Implementation Charter


The team working on this project will be co-chaired by Chris King, OIT assistant director in Technology Support Services, and Dan Green, director of Information Technology in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  You can follow progress on the project as it gets underway on the NexGen Email Project web site.

NexGen Task Force Update

The NexGen Task Force has published its report on the suitability of Google Apps Education Edition to function as the NC State email and calendaring system for faculty and staff. (The report can also be accessed by the link below.)

On Friday, August 6, 2010, this recommendation was presented to the Messaging Technical Oversight Committee for approval.

NexGen Task force to recommend next generation email systems
for NC State faculty and staff

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has formed a task force to investigate the next generation of email systems for NC State faculty and staff, with a planned deployment in 2011.

The Next Generation (NexGen) Email Task Force will review the campus email requirements and evaluate the suitability of Google Apps Education Edition to function as the NC State email and calendaring  system for faculty and staff. Existing IT governance committees will make recommendations about any deficiencies that may be significant enough to require the implementation of the Microsoft Exchange groupware solution to meet those needs.

Background

As needs change on campus, the technology supporting those needs must change as well. For years, NC State has had multiple solutions on campus for email, calendaring, and collaborative work. With the move of students to the Google Apps Education Edition, which should be finished during the early summer of 2010, the need for the email services that supported them (primarily the Cyrus mail system) dwindles. As OIT looks to phase out the Cyrus infrastructure, attention shifts to the other similar services on campus. Dr. Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology & CIO, has asked this task force to look at a system that could replace both Cyrus and the GroupWise groupware product. It is important for the task force to understand that both Cyrus and GroupWise are going to be decommissioned, and the task force's charge is to find a suitable successor to both systems.

Goals and objectives

The NexGen Email Task Force will work with existing IT governance committees to evaluate the suitability of Google Apps Education Edition for faculty and staff.  If it is decided that Google Apps is a suitable solution, OIT will proceed with a transition plan for the campus.  Should the committees determine that Google Apps will not serve the needs of the entire NC State community, they will quantify which features are inadequate and determine if Microsoft’s Exchange groupware product will satisfy those requirements. Microsoft's Exchange is the current market leader in groupware and is the most viable alternative.

First Steps

The task force should start by gathering some preliminary data:

  • Current needs for email/calendaring by the task force members
  • Representative groups on campus to approach for needs analysis
  • Analysis of other educational institutions who moved employees to Google for needs expressed there

Once a list of needs has been gathered (and published), those needs will be compared to the Google feature set, both currently and in development. (Several members of NC State staff, including the task force chairs, are bound by Google non-disclosure agreements, and have access to future Google implementation information, which they can share in limited form for the purposes of this discussion.)

Governance

The NexGen Email Task Force was formed under the authority of NC State University CIO, Dr. Marc Hoit.  Chaired by Dan Green of the College of Engineering and Chris King of OIT, the task force will consist of representatives from the WolfWise Customer Advisory Team (CAT), plus email users representing additional administrative groups. They will evaluate Google Apps Education Edition as the campus email system and present their recommendations to the university’s Messaging Technical Operations Committee within 60 days of the first task force meeting.

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NexGenFinalReport.pdf5.87 MB