Upgrading SmarterMail (Domain Conversion)

When performing a Major Upgrade of SmarterMail from 16.x or prior to the latest supported version, SmarterMail will go through a significant domain conversion process on first load. During this time, XML files will be converted to JSON format, mailboxes will be switched to use the new indexing system, and system files will be modified to help increase SmarterMail speed, reduce disk/CPU and, overall, make for a smoother experience. 

The conversion process make take some time to complete, especially if you have a large amount of data in GRP files, stat files, etc. However, as domains and mailboxes finish the conversion process, they will be available for use. No additional restarts will be necessary. To speed up the upgrade and conversion process, you can do the following:

  • Set up a test environment with your existing configuration files only, leaving GRP files and non-configuration files alone.
  • To assist with this, we have a handy robocopy command you can use for backing up and restoring just the essentials (ignoring .grp and .stat3 files): robocopy Source Destination /e /xf *.grp. For example:
    robocopy C:\SmarterMail\Domains C:\SmarterMail_new\Domains /e /xf *.grp *.stat3 

You can access the conversion status page at any time by going to https://your_mail_domain/interface/convert-status. You'll need to log in with a system admin username and password. As the domain conversion runs, you'll see a screen similar to the following:

Once the domain conversion has completed, you'll see something like this: 

If you run into errors at any point during the conversion process, please contact the SmarterTools Support Department. You can submit a ticket at the Technical Support page of the website by logging in with your account. Be sure to provide a screenshot of the errors you're seeing in the SmarterMail interface. The support team will also need the conversion.log file from your SmarterMail Logs folder. (The default path is c:\SmarterMail\Logs. However, you can find the log path for your specific installation by logging in as the Administrator and going to the Manage icon > Troubleshooting section > Options tab > Log Path setting.) Please send the full log file or copy and paste the snippet of text containing the domains showing an error.

Important Note Regarding New Indexing System

In the latest release, we've updated the indexing format. After your initial upgrade to the current supported version from version 16.x or prior, user mailboxes will be reindexed in order to utilize this new format. The reindexing will occur as users log into webmail, connect to email clients, or send/receive mail. As the reindexing occurs, you will see a temporary spike in CPU. However, please note that a user's experience and the overall server performance should not be negatively impacted, as the indexing thread is prioritized lower than all other threads. In addition, users will still be able to search while this one-time bulk reindex occurs. This is because a user's account will use the old indexing format for searches if the reindexing has not yet been performed for their account. As soon as their account has finished reindexing, it will simply switch to the updated format. 

Because the indexing update is performed in batches and prioritzed lower than all other threads, it's possible that the reindexing process will take a few days to complete. There are two ways to know whether you're still processing the bulk reindex: 
  1. Log in to SmarterMail as a Domain Admin and head to Domain Settings > Accounts > Users tab. Click through your users to view the Search Language Indexer setting. If their account has finished reindexing, 'Generic Indexer' will be selected. If they haven't been reindexed yet, 'Old' will be selected instead. (As soon as a user is reindexed, their Search Language Indexer setting will switch to Generic Indexer.) 
  2. Log in as a System Admin and head to the Manage icon > Troubleshooting > Mailbox Indexing tab. You'll find a list of users that are currently being indexed.

Please also feel free to turn your Indexing logging to Detailed so you can find any related errors. You'll find this log setting at the Manage icon > Troubleshooting > Options tab.