No ranting today. Although I do feel the rant brings out the more interesting and humorous article to read on a Tuesday afternoon.
Today was spent prising a small office’s email from their on-premises Exchange to the great singularity in the sky. All fairly straight forward stuff to be honest, depending on your package, the service comes with an arsenal of tools to help you get everything into virtual land as smoothly and painlessly as possible. The main feature I focussed on is email, as previously mentioned, and the tool for slurping up all of your emails, contacts, settings, rules and autocomplete entries is pretty much perfect, once you’ve given your server a verified digital certificate, run exchange management shell commands giving appropriate permissions and then prayed to the technical gods that the migration tool doesn’t find something wrong, and throws up an undecipherable error that means starting all over again. If you do all that correctly, it actually works really well.
Although this isn’t my first email migration to the cloud, this particular client posed a minor spanner for the works that gave me something to think about before cutover date. They subscribe to a cloud-based security service formerly known as messagelabs. Basically, a fantastic email washing machine that sits as an online barrier between your exchange and the internet, carefully filtering out all those 419 scam emails from your long lost relative and those ads for cheap performance/girth enhancement meds. Yes, you know the emails I’m referring to. Anyway, rather anticlimactically, the setup turned out to be relatively simple once I’d tricked the cloud service into believing all DNS records for the domain were present and correct, found the name of the host server and set that server as the default route for inbound messages.
Sounds simple right? Well wrong. All of the above was a walk in the park until I managed to lock myself out of the messagelabs portal. My own fault natch. The forgotten password feature merely delivered an email with a link to the very same login screen. And like my exclaiming’s of the call to the backend team in my previous post, I know the messagelabs support desk has a phone, I’ve spoken with them, they’re lovely helpful people and have never let me down but could I find the number? NOT A CHANCE. As the company was purchased by Symantec, the only number I could find takes you to an answering system that mentions nothing about the department I needed. I feel like there’s been a deliberate scouring of the internet to remove all traces of the elusive phone number. Why make it so difficult to find? Are they hiding something? Does calling the number awaken an angry deity, that threatens to wipe out all bank accounts with fake forgotten password emails? Probably not, but why hide it so.
Again, rather anticlimactically, the issue was resolved simply by contacting the reseller of the service and have them manually reset the password. Thank you, Jason, I was very happy to once again be able to access my account. I don’t think this entirely invalidates my argument as its always nice to get a resolve out of a situation on your shoulders and the pressure is on, but even helpful Jason, a faithful reseller of the service, withheld the support number when I requested it. What is it with this number!
So once again, here I am, mentally entering a room where the walls are white and go on for infinity. I close the door, then scream as loud as I can.