Migrating from Unity to Unity Connection

There may be compelling reasons for Enterprises to move to the Unity Connection product. The question to answer is: is there a sound way to move all the data from one system to another without losing any critical information like voice mails or subscriber recorded names or greetings?

The answer in this case would be COBRAS (Consolidated Object Backup and Restore Application Suite) which is a set of tools which makes the migration from Unity to Unity Connection as painless as possible. What is unique about the COBRAS tool is that it is very object-oriented and quite a bit different from normal back up and restore methods. With the COBRAS tool, all objects will be backed up when running the COBRAS Export for Unity tool. The tool will completely export all objects – including messages – except for:

  • Restriction tables
  • Class of Service
  • Contacts (includes all networking contacts such as SMTP/AMIS/Bridge/VPIM subscribers)
  • Holidays
  • System configuration data such as switch configuration, LDAP integration details, IMAP login data, RSA configuration, advanced settings etc.
  • Locations
  • Subscriber templates
  • Password policy information
  • Name Lookup Handlers (a.k.a. Directory Handlers)
  • Exporting from Unity 7.0 and importing into Connection 7.0 only, PINS will not be restored since Connection 7.0 does not support the same storage hashing algorithm. This was changed with Unity Connection release 7.1(3) and above.

Now with the conventional Backup and Restore process using DIRT, you can only restore to the same version of Unity or Unity Connection. Not so with COBRAS, I can back up all objects on one system and choose what I want to restore on a completely different system version. This makes this utility extremely powerful.

Now with the advent of Unity Connection 8.x, COBRAS has two backup modes. Briefcase mode, which is used most of the time, allows you to back up everything on Unity to a series of MDB files and then import desired objects into Unity Connection. This was the original method designed for migration of users from Unity to Unity Connection.

With Unity Connection 8, this version can do digital networking like Unity into the Active Directory tree structure which allows you to maximize the next backup mode called Hot Mode. In a Hot Mode design, COBRAS is being used to move subscriber accounts including voice mail from the Unity store to the Unity Connection store. So if both versions of Unity and Unity connection are at the 8.x level and above you can take advantage of this unique feature.

If you want to get a chance and take Cobras for a test drive, take the Global Knowledge course IUC – implementing Unity Connection 7.0

Author: Joe Parlas

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