Challenges of Migration from GroupWise to Exchange 2010: Co-Existence

This article will discuss a high level overview about the migration from GroupWise to Exchange 2010.


The following steps summarize the migration process from GroupWise to Exchange 2010:

1. Design Exchange 2010.

2. Implement and configure Exchange 2010.

3. Select the migration software (3rd party).

4. Setup Co-Existence between GroupWise and Exchange.

5. Migrate the users’ mailboxes.


In this article I will concentrate on Step 4. In my environment I will use Quest tools for the migration. Reading most of Quest guidance they covered the implementation of the tool and step 5 only, while the most important step (Step 4) is not covered.

Simply co-existence including mail flow is product configuration and not relevant to the migration software. In this article I will explain how to have mail flow between both systems and also will cover share SMTP namespace.


There are three options to for mail co-existence:

1. Single Namespace: in this scenario we will have one domain to cover both systems. As example domain will be used in both systems, each system will forward the emails to the other if there is no recipient locally as follows:

When users in GroupWise send email to one of Exchange users, GroupWise will not find a mailbox for the recipient locally and will forward the email to Exchange, same from Exchange side.

Problem: while this is easy to configure from Exchange side, I couldn’t find a way to do it from GroupWise side that will not result in loop. To avoid loops we must have one side responsible on sending NDR if it can’t find the user.

2. Different Domains: in this scenario we will have two different domains, one for each system:

a. for GroupWise users. Exchange users  will send to users in GroupWise using this address.

b. users in GroupWise will send emails to Exchange users using this address.

3. Hybrid: to mix both approaches as follow:

a. Exchange Side: will use single namespace, Exchange will have mail contacts for all users in GroupWise, when mailbox in Exchange is sending to one of the GroupWise users (contacts in Exchange), Exchange will forward the email to GroupWise server. This will maintain GroupWise as the owner of the domain, which means if the user is not exist in GroupWise, GroupWise will issue Non Delivery Report (NDR).

b. GroupWise Side: for users planned to be  migrated from GroupWise to Exchange, Quest tool will configure forwarding rule that will forward all emails sent to to which reside on Exchange servers.

I’ve selected option 3 in my environment and the following steps explain the steps of how to configure in both environments:


Step 1: Configure Exchange with as shared namespace:

In Exchange we will need to configure the following:

1. Internal Relay Domain: the internal relay simply means that Exchange is not Authoritative (owner) of this domain, which means if the recipient email is not exist on Exchange it may be exist on another system (so no NDR will be generated).

The following article contains more information about the accepted domain:


The following snapshot shows how to configure Internal Relay Domain:



2. Create and configure Send Connector:

Create custom send connector with domain, make sure that the source server is the HUB servers (not Edge) and select “Route mail through Smart Host” this is should be the IP of the GroupWise server, if you will use CMG (Quest Co-existence Manage for GroupWise) then the IP should be the CMG’s IP.

3. Make sure that you have mail contact created for all users on GroupWise side, this is a mandatory step for the migration later, and can be done using Quest CMG (Co-existence Manage for GroupWise) Directory Connector or by import users to Active Directory using CSV file.


Step 2: Configure GroupWise Side:

When migrating a user from GroupWise to Exchange, one of the steps when using Quest tool “GroupWise Migration for Exchange” is to forward emails to Exchange account which should be


So the steps to configure GroupWise as follow:

1. Configure Smart Host: this step will configure GroupWise to send all emails send to particular domain ( to a specific IP, again if you will use CMG then this is the IP of the CMG server.

This configuration should be done through route.cfg file on the GroupWise server, this file location is domain\qpgate\gwia, create the file if it’s not there.

Open the file in text editor and add the following line:

Where the IP is CMG IP or Exchange 2010 HUB. And restart the GWIA service (this is the service responsible of send/receive SMTP, similar to Exchange Transport Service)


2. Enable Flat Forwarding: in GroupWise the forward rule will send the email with from field from the user, example: user1 send email to user2, there is forward rule to forward all emails sent to to, all emails will go to Exchange side with from field from (very strange to Exchange guys like me :)). To present from field as the real sender of the message we will need to enable flat forwarding.

The following steps show how to do it:

a. Open ConsoleOne > Browse to GWIA > open properties.

b. Select SMTP tab > check to enable flat forwarding. As the following snapshot:



3. When migrating the user’s mailbox using Quest GME (GroupWise Migration for Exchange) you will select GroupWise Administrative functions > select set forwarding from GroupWise to Exchange.


4. Step 3: Testing:

Send emails from Exchange to GroupWise and vice versa.


This article explained the main challenge which is co-existence, in the next articles we will discuss some of the migration problems that may happen during Step 5: The migration.

Comments (25)

  1. albertporter says:

    Migrating from one platform to another is really very tedious and complex job. However, there are some third party applications available which have simplified the process of migration. Recently, we have migrated our 24500 mailboxes from GroupWise 8.0
    to MS Exchange 2010 Server successfully with the help of a tool that we found here:


  2. Ed (DareDevil57) says:

    we also plan on phasing out groupwise and this is great news.

  3. Max Martin says:

    Agree with Ravi, Kernel for GroupWise to Exchange Migration tool is such an effective application for the purpose.

  4. JoshCastro says:

    All GroupWise user who need to transfer emails, journals, contacts, task, folder etc entire email database into Outlook, now done this conversion with third party tool at free of cost. Demonstration version is available for free:

  5. ronny4desouza says:

    Novell GroupWise to Exchange converter tool is just migration of Exchange server records. When you want to migrate Novell mailing server to Exchange server you required third party GroupWise to Exchange server. To know more about GroupWise to Exchange
    tool visit here:

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very useful article, much better than CMG user guide.

  7. Scott Parisi says:

    Recommandation for migrating GroupWise to Exchange is Stellar Tools which David mention above.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Based on my conversation with Dell, to use Quest Coexistence Manager, one has to engage Dell/Quest Services ($), or an authorized partner ($).

  9. Barry Clay says:

    I suggest to use Alen’s tool.

  10. Chad Lindley, Senior Product Manager, Quest Software - now part of Dell says:

    Great outline of the routing configuration between GroupWise and Exchange.

    It may also be helpful to note that a more robust experience is possible using Coexistence Manager for GroupWise ( including dirsync, bi-directional free/busy queries, and enhance calendar interoperability including custom recurring meetings and meeting reschedules.

  11. johndavismark says:

    Groupwise to exchange migration software

    A third party tool to convert GroupWise to Exchange server quickly in single click. Software support migration of different mailboxes to Exchange server which converts it into single PST file. Software provide two option to convert/migrate single or multiple


    Migrate GroupWise to MS Exchange Server Mailboxes.

    Software convert multiple and single GroupWise mailboxes.

    Software able to migrate emails, contacts, sent items, calendars, orphan folders, documents, trash, email, properties, images, and attachments etc.

    Software support MS Exchange Server: 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

    Software support outlook All version.

    Free demo available to check functions.

    You can try Free Demo version to see preview of Converted Mailboxes.

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  12. Sunudhi Shom says:

    The post is really helpful to you try this forum post

  13. Ravi Kant says:

    The post is so help full for each and every Exchange and Novell GroupWise users, but now I am using this Novell GroupWise to Exchange migration software its really good for me. Please try and tell about the great things of this tool

  14. James Brown says:

    Thanks for putting up the useful information here. We recently migrated from GroupWise 12.0 to MS Exchange 2010 server with the help of this advanced and globally used migration tool:

    It is really very simple, fast, and secure application for the migration purpose. We are happy with the smooth functioning of all mailboxes on MS Exchange server without any problem.

    Hope it will also help to those who are willing to move from Novell GroupWise to MS Exchange Server.


  15. David Watson says:

    ! month ago only, we migrated from Groupwise 2010 to Exchange 2010 with the help of Stellar Groupwise to Exchange Migrator. This tools completed the task in quick time without causing any data loss. You can find more info about the migration tool at

  16. bigger says:

    Try GroupWise to Exchange software and convert GroupWise user mailbox to MS Outlook PST file in few simple steps. For more information and free download this software click here

  17. Peter Coltrane says:

    @James Brown !

    Thank you so much for recommending this product ( ) . We have successfully migrated our data to MS Exchange 2013 server from GW 2012 with the help of this application. It was really very challenging and complicated task without taking help from a
    third party application.

    System Administrator

  18. Jam Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing such a nice post regarding Challenges of Migration from GroupWise to Exchange .I would like to suggest you Kernel for GroupWise to Exchange tool which is very helpful to take this challenge .It is a third party email migration tool which
    convert GroupWise server into exchange server very efficiently .Visit to download the tool

  19. Mohd. Hakim says:

    Post is informative. http:// Thanks team

  20. Alen says:

    Tried some manual methods but didn’t work, even made the things more complex. I just rollback my all steps, and bought this tool after reading few suggestions from some MVP’s blog.

  21. Jon Miller says:

    I have to migrate a GW 6.5 system to Exchange 2010. A major issue is that some of the mailboxes are Japanese and others are English. Any ideas on how to accomplish this? Does Exchange need the Japanese language installed or is this strictly on the users


  22. Frank Norris says:

    The Novell GroupWise converter to work very fast on your files converting which have to be used as Outlook format. This software is extremely works on your advance Novell GroupWise server to Outlook. Novell GroupWise to Outlook PST software is integrated
    with advanced GroupWise Server access modes, export options, and various other features that make this software unique from others. – See more at:

  23. Dorie Granados says:

    I would suggest this tool that helped us in moving from GW 12.0 to Exchange Server 2013 with ZERO data loss:

    It successfully managed and automatically mounted all databases to MS Exchange server.

  24. Rob Walton says:

    Migrating off GroupWise to Exchange can be done with various different migration tools and methods. The requirements for each project are different. Here at we offer independent specialist email migration consulting, and ensure the correct combination of migration strategy. method, and tools to achieve a successful email migration, on time, and
    on budget.

  25. taaylor1 says:

    Try third party GroupWise to Exchange software and converts GroupWise mailboxes to MS exchange server in almost every condition. This software support the latest versions of MS Exchange Server, i.e. Exchange Server 5.0, 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013.
    Free download click here

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