Home » IT Services News » IT Services News No. 176 (Aug 2015) » Upgrade of Central Email and Calendar Service for Staff (HKUCC1)

Upgrade of Central Email and Calendar Service for Staff (HKUCC1)

In an earlier issue of ITS News published in April 2015, we informed our users the readiness of the Microsoft Exchange 2013 infrastructure for upgrading the central email and calendar service for staff running on Microsoft Exchange 2007 (referred as “HKUCC1” thereafter).  In the past few months, a pilot test has been arranged among ITS colleagues to migrate their mailboxes from Microsoft Exchange 2007 to 2013.  This pilot test enables us to evaluate the service impact and estimate the time required in the migration process before conducting the large-scale migration exercise for over 13,000 HKUCC1 accounts. 

One of the key features of HKUCC1 email service is the email archive service.  Similar to Exchange 2007, Exchange 2013 is integrated with built-in message archive feature for storing emails beyond the allocated disk quota size.    Colleagues can use the archive service either through Outlook email client (called “online archive”) or webmail through MyEmail tab of HKU Portal (called “in-place archive”) without the need of any additional software plugin.  Those using Exchange 2013 Outlook email client (in Exchange mode configuration) or webmail will be invited to register for the archive service when their disk usage exceeds 80% of the allocated disk quota (the default disk quota allocation is 5GB).  Colleagues can refer to http://www.its.hku.hk/documentation/guide/email/archive-2013 for the user guide in using the Exchange 2013 archive service.

In the coming months, ITS is going to start the migration of user mailboxes in batches by departments.  Seamless migration could be achieved without any configuration change by users for most cases.  Nevertheless, we would like to highlight the following changes for colleagues’ attention:

  • The mailbox usage will grow after mailbox migration due to a change in the storage mechanism of Exchange 2013.  ITS system administrator will temporarily increase the disk quota of affected users in case their disk usage exceeds the allocated quota after migration.
  • The upgraded version of webmail comes with a new user interface.  The MyEmail tab of HKU Portal will be displayed in a pop-up window and users are recommended to disable “pop-up blocker” in case they don’t wish to see the browser alert every time when using MyEmail (see http://www.its.hku.hk/documentation/guide/email/webmail/exchange2013/staff/hkucc1/myemail-tab#ie-blocker).
  • Outlook users may see several times of alert in dialogue box requesting them to restart Outlook after migration if they are using Outlook email client (they are advised to follow the instruction to restart the Outlook service).  Users using POP/IMAP mail clients should not find any difference.
  • (For archived users only) Existing HKUCC1 users using archive service on Exchange 2007 platform (Symantec Enterprise Vault Email Archive service (EV)) will have Exchange 2013 archive service enabled one by one after their accounts are migrated to run on Exchange 2013.  After successful migration of their HKUCC1 accounts from Exchange 2007 to 2013, the new In-place archive service will be enabled under their accounts.  Their archived emails on the old Exchange 2007 platform will be imported to the new In-place archive folder and colleagues will be kept informed when the import is completed.   Depending on the volume of archived emails, it may take days to complete the import process when colleagues can continue accessing their archived emails using the shortcut link as before (see http://www.its.hku.hk/documentation/guide/email/archive/owa#view).   
  • (For archived users only) The Exchange archive policy is based on message age with a default policy to automatically move messages older than 2 years old to archive mailbox.  The archive policy can be changed per folder basis (recommended) or per message basis using Outlook email client or webmail.  Users may need to adjust the archive policy to fit their need to avoid disk quota full, or move the message manually to/from the archive mailbox.

Colleagues will be notified of the upgrade arrangement individually in due course.  We will also keep the Head and IT support colleagues informed of the email account upgrade arrangement in their department. 

If you have any question on the above or would participate as pilot users on Exchange 2013, please feel free to contact the undersigned or emailsupport@hku.hk.


K C Chang
Systems Team
Tel: 3917 7972
Email: kcchang@hku.hk