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Hopper to DBSherpa

Moving from cloud to cloud

Yes, I sold my domain name — I wasn’t looking to sell, but an opportunity came along in which I couldn’t refuse. Thus, began my transition in the cloud. I needed to move this sold domain name ( to another domain name (, all of which was in the cloud with Google Apps.

My first step was to ask my colleague about his recommendations as well as look online at the various tools. I was hoping it was really simple. Something like this image:

So, I did learn it was not that easy. Although I was moving from one cloud to another, I was staying in the same cloud system (Google Apps). I was not moving to another online product, but rather staying with the one I already know. You might remember my previous post about the condo analogy. Basically, I was moving from one condo to another. I wasn’t changing anything at all. You would think I could pack up my data (luggage and furniture) and just move!

Well, it was kind of like that, but it is not as easy as that image portrays. It’s also not as difficult as it used to be either. Just so you know, it took me about 6 hours to complete the entire transition (condo move). Just to give you a sense of what I was moving, it was two email accounts & one document and calendar account.

Most of that time was waiting for files to move (maybe that’s the movers I hired!), let me explain my steps (this is not a how-to guide, there are lots of those out there, it’s more like what I did and what I found):

  • Downloaded Mozilla Thunderbird. Retrieved all the email from my account from Logged into the email account. Manually copied each folder (found in Thunderbird) from the to the email account. This ran overnight as the process was quite a bandwidth hog. All my folders copied over but I left the spam alone! This process took the longest and ran a few nights with a few restarts thrown in when my computer froze.
  • Exported my calendar from Google Calendar ( and imported into Google Calendar ( Easy and quick.
  • Downloaded my Google Docs to my hard drive (each category was exported separately to create unique folders). Expanded the zipped files into folders (the categories). Imported into my new Google Docs using the special import folder function which creates a category. Worked great except for those documents that were in multiple categories which were imported twice. Thus, I needed to clean up my newly imported data. Opened my account and account and compared manually. Took a bit of time, but it was do-able.

Some things that I learned after the import:

  • A feature that I like with Google Docs is the ability to see what I have worked on recently and what I worked on a couple days ago, etc. I didn’t realize how much I used that information when working with my document until I didn’t have it (isn’t it just like that?!). Well, when I imported the data, that information is no longer there. I’ll have to build that up again. Sigh!
  • When exporting the Google Docs, they came to my computer as docs, excel spreadsheets, etc. When re-imported, the formatting did change a bit. Not a perfect process, but close enough.
  • All my special markers and such with my email came across just fine in the new email account. Thunderbird did a great job of moving files back, it just took a long time!
  • It was helpful to move the Sent Mail from the old account to the new account. I often had emails in that folder that were important (as I realized when digging around for an email I sent out).
  • I used tasks and those did not import. There is currently no way to import tasks from Google calendar, so I just printed out all my current tasks and hand entered them into the new calendar tasks. Worked okay, but I lost all my completed tasks. I really don’t care about that though.

All in all, moving from cloud to cloud wasn’t bad at all! I must say, I don’t want to do it again anytime soon. Then again, I don’t think most people liking moving in general.

Until next time friend….

    Being in the Cloud.. You can take it with you!

    This post is really musings… ramblings… please bear with me on this, it might make sense in the end.

    Just the other day I had a wonderful conversation with a new client who left the workforce after her kids were born, just during the cusp of mainframe transitioning to the client server model (she’s a fellow techie. YAHOO, another female techie!!). Now, her kids have grown up (the youngest heading to college) and she looks across the IT vast land and sees something very similar to what she left.

    The reality is, the cloud technology embraces both the mainframe model (centralization) and the client server model (de-centralization). It reminds me of the harmony between the muscular energy and organic energy in yoga. The balance between them makes a pose feel wonderful! Just like I’ve fallen in love with yoga, I’m falling back in love with technology. In particular, databases. So much more than Access or FileMaker Pro. It’s just wonderful!

    So, as she and I were discussing the topic, an analogy came to me as we discussed the multi-tenant model of (she was quite concerned about her data being mixed up with others AND security, remember, she comes from a very centralized place) So, I had her visualize an empty condo. The rooms are all laid out: outlets, cable hook up, washer and dryer hook ups, water, etc. The layout is all there for you. Now, all you need to do is add your furniture (data) and maybe a little design (paint on the walls, rearrange things slightly), but the basic floor plans remains. The condo association maintains the building, all you do is live in your space and call when there are problems (help desk or forums). You have your own secure space with a key and lock (password and encryption). You’re able to rearrange as you want and you can even change some fundamentals if you get condo association approval (adding your own code to customize and build out Salesforce). Then, when you want to move, you pack up your furniture (keep in mind, the paint stays on the wall, it’s temporary anyway, as does any build out) and you find a new condo (like moving from to another cloud based or maybe internal database). It’s like that with Yes, you can take your data with you! You’re not stuck with them forever. Can you imagine? Changing software systems that simply? Yes, it takes time to get things in order, but hey, you are not beholden to any one company! What a wonderful and freeing feeling.

    So, what we have now, is the ability to do our work using the best of all worlds. The client server model (yes, I can download my data, work off my servers at the office, etc) AND the mainframe model (having access to super fast machines, centralizing the hardware maintenance for the heavy lifting, etc). And, the cherry on top is that we can MOVE SYSTEMS. I can take my data anywhere I want. This is just wonderful and feeds my yogic mentality.

    NOTE:  I have another post coming about moving from Google Apps to another Google Apps (different domain name) and the process that took. It was not easy, but it was do-able.