By Susanne Kappler, Fort Jackson LeaderJuly 7, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- As part of a DoD-wide effort to consolidate email services for all users, Fort Jackson is scheduled to migrate its users’ email accounts starting in August. More than 5,000 email accounts that currently reside on the Fort Jackson servers will be migrated to servers hosted centrally by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
“One of the best things about this is that if you leave from here and you go to another post, you still have your account, regardless,” said Michele Harris, system administrator with Fort Jackson’s Network Enterprise Center. “There’s not going to be a new setup. You don’t have to ... get a new account and wait for that to be processed. It will constantly be with you.”
Although the users’ mailbox size will increase from 100 megabytes to four gigabytes after the move is completed, users should decrease their mailbox sizes to 50MB or fewer than 2,000 items in preparation for the migration, said Teresa White, system administrator with the NEC.
“That’s primarily because when you start talking about transferring data ..., the less you have to transfer, the easier it will be for everything to move from one location to the other successfully,” White explained. “The intent is for (all users) to minimize and scale down their mailbox as much as possible to ensure that all the stuff that they have will successfully migrate over.”
Harris said she recommends users should move items from their mailbox to a Personal Storage Table file starting immediately to get familiar with the process.
“That includes not just your inbox (items). That includes your deleted items, your calendar items " anything that is on the server,” White said. “If it is sitting on the server and not in a PST, it’s counted against your mailbox size.”
White said she also recommends saving backups of distribution lists and recurring calendar events.
“There should not be an issue with everything migrating over, but just in case, make sure that if you have created personal distribution lists that you know who those members are, because you may have to recreate them,” White said.
One of the biggest changes for users will be getting a new email address. The new email addresses will end with @mail.mil and will include an extension after the account holder’s name " “mil” for service members, “civ” for DoD civilians and “ctr” for contractors. (For example, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Harris said that users who have two roles, for example a Reservist who is also a DoD civilian, will receive two email accounts, one each with the appropriate extension. She said account holders who forward their Army Knowledge Online email (@us.army.mil) to their current email addresses, will have to change the forwarding address in AKO once their accounts are migrated.
Public email folders will also be affected by the migration. White said that organizations that use public folders should contact the NEC to validate that the folder is in use and in what capacity it is used. She said the folders will not be migrated to the DISA servers, but that individual solutions can be worked out with the organizations.
In preparation for the migration, the NEC has been disseminating information to Fort Jackson information management officers and other information technology specialists in quarterly meetings and via email, White said. She emphasized that users should contact their IMOs or the NEC with any questions or issues that arise before or after the migration.
“We will be available for hands-on (help),” she said. “We’re hoping that everything is seamless and (the customers) don’t have very much to worry about.”