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Approaches to migrate Mailstore from Zimbra server
Zimbra stores mail using a proprietary format which essentially is as follows
- For each user, there is a folder, which has all the mail of the user, with one file as one mail
- There is a database which stores meta data about each mail e.g.which folder does it belong to, etc.
There is no direct way to simply copy these mail from the Zimbra server to the Mithi server in the open format.
Various options to migrate mailstore listed in the order of complexity and effort involved
Option 1: Do not Migrate server to server
Ask each user to download their mail using POP to their desktop client software (Outlook, Thunderbird etc) Switch to the new system, connect the clients to the new mail server and start using a fresh mail store.
Benefits: Avoid complexity of migration of mail from server to server
Option 2: Use IMAP Sync to migrate the mail
Since the Zimbra format is proprietary, the simple clean way is to use IMAP sync to migrate the mail for each user. The process will be as follows
1. Shift to the new system, on a blank,fresh mailstore (Users will not see their old mail, but can receive and send new mail)
2. Reset the password of all the users on the Zimbra server
3. Use IMAP Sync in the background to sync the mailboxes of all the users (this could take a few days)
4. As the mail are synced the users will see them in their clients (delayed)
Option 3: Backend server to server mail copy
You would need to invest in the development of a tool to migrate the mail from the Zimbra server to the open maildir format. This will require understanding the Zimbra format, writing conversion scripts, testing them and then doing the translation. <Not recommended>