Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

We are really excited to announce that YippieMove now offers both volume discount and custom migrations. Let me explain how these two things works and how it affects you.

Volume Discount

In order to qualify for a volume discount, you obviously need to migrate more than one account. We’ve decided that five accounts is a reasonable number to start offering volume discounts at. However, if you’re interested in migrating a larger number of email accounts, we are willing to work with you to make your migration as easy as possible.

Custom Migration

First, let me explain what we mean by custom migration. Normally, YippieMove integrates seamlessly with Gmail / Google Apps. However, with our custom migration, we enable you to migrate your email between virtually any two email servers (assuming they both support IMAP).

Since this is a custom migration, we can unfortunately not offer this service for single account migrations. However, we do offer volume discounts on custom migrations too.

For questions regarding volume discount and custom migrations, please contact our sales team.

One more thing…

Since last post we’ve kept adding more providers. As of this very moment, the number of providers we now support has exceeded 90. That’s quite a few. You would imagine that we would be satisfied with that numbers, but you’d be wrong. We will keep on adding more providers.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

We know, we should post updates more frequently here at PWW about our work (and about technology in general). To our defense, we’ve been busy working on improving YippieMove. So what have we been up to?

Since our last post, we’ve added many more pre-configured profiles. At the time I’m writing this, the current number of pre-configured providers has reached 63! Keep in mind that this is only the number of pre-configured providers – any IMAP service may be used. We think that’s pretty impressive. To take a look at the list of supported providers, go to the About-page on YippieMove.

What’s even more exciting than the long list of supported providers is the improvements we’ve made under the hood. In order to improve the speed and flexibility of YippieMove, we have made significant changes to the back-end. With these changes, we have cut the transfer time in half (or even more in some cases). With the help of this new back-end, we were also able to improve the information passed on to the user about current jobs on the status-page.


The new status details.

In addition to more providers and an improved back-end, we’ve also worked hard on writing documentation related to our service and other problems related to e-mail migration. One of the problems that people who migrate their email is facing relates to how to migrate all their contacts. Because of this, we’ve compiled a guide on how to cope with this problem. Our guide includes a steps-by-step instructions on how to export and import the contacts for some of our most popular providers. Note that even if your particular provider is not listed, it’s quite likely that by reading though our instructions, you will be able to figure it out.

If you haven’t already checked out YippieMove, please go ahead and do so. A great place to start is to take a look on our screencast on how to use the service.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

Since we started writing here at Playing With Wire, we’ve managed to write two articles about Cacti. In January 2007 we introduced Cacti in the article “What’s Your Utilization, Kenneth?“. Six months later we wrote another article about how to monitor remote hosts with Cacti.

While the setup we described in these article worked out great, there were a few things that we didn’t really like about the setup:

  1. We connected with SSH from the Cacti server to the server we wanted to monitor (security issue).
  2. We were using regular SSH tunnels. While these are great, they do have a tendency to die (reliability issue).
  3. Due to security and portability, we wanted to isolate Cacti to a separate server (or VM).

1. Turning the tunneling around

The reason why we didn’t like to have the Cacti server connecting to the servers was simply that we needed one more user account on the remote servers. If these are production servers, it’s desirable to keep the publicly accessible user accounts to a minimum.

As it turned out, replacing the ‘-L’ with a ‘-R’ in the tunneling command turns the tunnel around. Instead of opening a port on the local machine, it opens a forwarded port on the remote server. By doing this, we can connect from the remote server to the Cacti server and still fulfilling the same purpose (but without creating an additional user on the remote server).

2. Creating more reliable tunnels

One of the major problems we were having with the setup was that the tunnels died for one reason or another. We initially solved this by writing a bash-loop that automatically reloaded the tunnel if that occurred. However, we were still experiencing some problems with dead tunnels.

The solution to the problem was autossh, a simple front-end to SSH that keeps the tunnel alive.

With autossh, we could simply launch the tunnels at boot-time on the remote server (in rc.local) without having to worrying about them dying. As we were implementing this on a number of servers, we wrote a small bash-script that launches autossh with the server-specific settings. The script looks like this:

/usr/bin/autossh -M $MONITORPORT -q -f -N -R$REMOTEPORT: [email protected]

This script creates a tunnel on port 2001 ($REMOTEPORT) on the Cacti host (cacti.server.tld) that goes to port 161 on the local machine (in this case, the server we want to monitor).

Isolate Cacti

In order to make our monitoring both more secure and portable, we felt that we wanted to isolate the monitoring to a separate Virtual Machine. This was easily done by creating a new VM under VMware Server. If you’re lazy, there are ready-to-use VMware images to download on the Cacti forum.

Bonus: Monitor several hosts with one tunnel

While reading the Cacti forum the other day, I ran across this article that talks about SNMP Proxies. By adding an extra entry in the SNMP config file, it’s possible for a single host to relay SNMP information about the other hosts on the network. This is very useful if you’re trying to monitor more than one host on the same network, as you don’t need one tunnel per server (beware that this creates a single-point-of-failure though).


After implementing these changes, we feel much more comfortable with our Cacti setup. Not only is it more reliable with more robust tunnels, but it’s also more secure.

The next Cacti-related task we will be looking at is to design custom plug-ins to monitor our own apps.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

A few days ago I received a question from a friend of mine at UC San Diego if it was possible to use YippieMove to save the content of his UCSD account when it expires. The answer is yes, and below are the instructions to get you started.

Go to YippieMove. Fill in your UCSD username and your password in Step 1 and select “Other…” as provider. As Host enter your ACS Server as listed below:


Check the check SSL and click next


Here jsmith is using YippieMove transfer his account that resides on

That’s it, Step 2 and Step 3 will be as normal.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

Yesterday we (WireLoad) launched a new service named YippieMove. The idea of the product is to ease the pain of leaving an email account behind. Most of us have probably been in that situation at least once. For most users, the options are limited to:

  1. Forwarding all emails, one by one. This is not a very appealing solution because it’s very time consuming, but also because it ruins the integrity of the emails by inserting a forwarding tag.
  2. Just forget about the messages and let them be deleted when the account expires. This is obviously not a very appealing solution either.
  3. Setting up the account in a desktop email client and drag and drop the messages. Not only is this very slow, but it’s also too complicated and error prone for the greater majority of the users.

If you’re really tech-savvy, you know that there are a few different tools you can use for this. However, as I recently was in this situation myself I realized that none of them worked out very well. After some research I discovered that there were only a few Open Source tools that could do the task. Out of these, Imapsync and imapcp seemed to be the most realistic tools. However after playing with these tools for a while, I realized that imapcp was to immature, and Imapsync was just too slow and too memory consuming (also, I was looking for a tool that copied the messages, hence the ‘sync’ part was just plain overkill). Because if this, we developed our own solution and turned it into a web app.

Even for tech-savvy users, YippieMove is a reasonable option, as it does what the Open Source tools mentioned above does (but without the hassle of figuring out how to use them). However, if you’re migrating hundreds or thousands of accounts, YippieMove might not be the best option….yet.

When we designed YippieMove, we tried to make it easy enough to use for even the most novice users, but at the same time provide the option that tech-savvy users are looking for. So far, judging by the feedback we’ve received, we have succeeded.

So how does YippieMove work? Well, we decided that everything more than three steps makes the service too complicated. Thus we created a simple three-step-process.

Step 1

In Step 1 we ask you for the account details for the source account. You can either choose to use one of the pre-configured settings, or ‘other,’ where you can fill in the server settings yourself.

Step 1 - SCU - thumb
Here’s an example of how Step 1 looks using the pre-configured settings for Santa Clara University.

Step 1 - Other - Thumb
Here’s an example of how Step 1 looks with the ‘Other’ option. As you can see, you can enter the host yourself as well as selecting if you want to use SSL or not. For tech-savvy users, we also allow you to specify a non-default port.

Step 2

In Step 2 we ask you to fill out the account details for the destination account. At this point we only support Gmail as the destination. However, we will be adding more types of destinations shortly. The argument for initially using Gmail as a destination was that Gmail both supports IMAP and that it has generous storage quotas. Unfortunately the IMAP setting in Gmail is disabled by default. To solve this, we provide a simple guide below the input-boxes where we explain how the user can enable IMAP.

Step 2 - Thumb
As you can see above, this step is very straight forward.

Step 3

Here we ask you to select what folders to transfer. This is very simple for the more tech-savvy user, but might be a bit confusing for the most novice users. To cope with this problem, we’ve tried to make an educated guess of what folders the user may want to transfer. To be safe, we worked out a list of folders to exclude (ie. Junk, Spam, Trash), rather than a list of folders to include. For most users, the default selection should be sufficient.

Step 3 - Thumb

In this screenshot you can see that we’ve selected ‘Apple Mail To Do,’ ‘Drafts’ and ‘INBOX.’ We decided to not include ‘Cabinet,’ ‘Calendar’ and ‘Checklist’ as these are Novell GroupWise specific folders.

And You’re Done…

In three easy steps, you’ve successfully managed to migrate your email. I hope we’ve shown in this article that YippieMove is designed for the entire spectrum of users, from the most novice to most tech-savvy. If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know.

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