Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 1 (SP1) included many bug fixes and patches that Exchange administrators have been waiting for. Exchange 2000 SP1 also added a great new feature to the Exchange Migration Wizard—something that many of you might not be aware of.

The Exchange Migration Wizard has been around for a while, but its main purpose has been migrating non-Exchange (e.g., Lotus Notes/Domino and GroupWise) mailboxes into an Exchange environment. With Exchange 2000 SP1, Microsoft pays more attention to the Exchange environment: The enhanced Migration Wizard now offers the option to migrate Exchange Server 5.5 mailboxes to Exchange 2000. However, this migration feature works only for interorganizational mailbox moves. If you want to move Exchange 5.5 mailboxes to Exchange 2000 servers within the same organization, the Migration Wizard can't help you.

Suppose you're migrating your Exchange 5.5 environment to Exchange 2000. If you install an Exchange 2000 server in your Exchange 5.5 organization, you can move the Exchange 5.5 mailboxes using the Move Mailbox option in Microsoft Exchange Administrator or the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Exchange System Manager snap-in. However, if you deploy your Exchange 2000 environment as a separate organization from your existing Exchange 5.5 organization, the Migration Wizard's enhanced functionality will be particularly useful. The Migration Wizard will especially benefit ISPs, application service providers (ASPs), and other organizations that have business reasons to deploy separate Exchange organizations in separate Windows 2000 forests. If your organization is in this situation, then the Migration Wizard is a must-have tool. You simply use the wizard to select the mailbox on the Exchange 5.5 side and choose the Exchange 2000 server, storage group (SG), and mailbox store to which you want to move the mailbox data. The Migration Wizard then moves the mailbox data to the new Exchange 2000 environment, providing a quick and easy migration path.

The Migration Wizard also has a command-line mode. The command-line interface is a bit basic (look for improvements over time) and provides only rudimentary error control. Still, the command-line mode is useful in scripts for performing automated migration operations.

Microsoft will provide the interorganizational ability to move Exchange 2000 mailboxes to Exchange 2000 servers in the next version of the Migration Wizard, making the tool even more useful. If you haven't investigated the Migration Wizard, take some time to learn how it can benefit you and your organization.