Information Technology Navigator

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On-Premises Exchange to Office 365 – What about the Archives?

Posted by Joe Correia

Tue, Jan 16, 2018


Planning a move to Office 365? You’re not alone. Given the compelling benefits of the cloud, many of our customers are planning for, or are in the process of, migrating from on-premises Exchange to Office 365.

At Daymark, we’ve mapped out and implemented Office 365 migrations, making it a smooth experience for many our clients. But without proper planning, problems can arise, particularly around large data archives stored on-premises.

These on-premises archives are likely being used to perform both journal and mailbox archiving from Exchange and typically there’s a large amount of archive data to manage with a myriad of retention and compliance policies. This creates some challenges around migrating the archive data to Office 365 or to another archive solution.

Migration Challenges and Key Considerations

Challenges include:

  • The investment required to migrate the archive data to cloud
  • Preserving the chain of custody
  • Maintaining retention policies
  • What to do with your journal archive
  • Impact to E-discovery capabilities

Some other things to keep in mind related to the migration of your archive data:

  • Will the data need to be re-hydrated?
  • Are their limits in the target platform?
  • Will data format need to be addressed?

What about the Archives?

 The good news is that a variety of tools and services have emerged to help deal with these challenges. These solutions can provide some level of automation for the migration process as well as auditing, guarantee of chain of custody, culling or selective data migration, and scheduling. Where these tools fall short is the journal archiving redesign, retention policy mapping, and E-discovery implementation. Microsoft currently does not allow journaling of any kind within the confines of the Office 365 environment so if you plan to put your journal archive data there then some re-configuration will be required. Additionally if you will be implementing ‘archiving’ within Office 365 and need E-discovery capabilities this will mean changing to a new solution and implementing new procedures to handle these requests. However, this is not all that bleak when you consider the elimination of administering the on-prem archive plus having access to newer features for managing archiving and E-discovery.

A Smooth and Streamlined Migration

Guidance from someone who has been through this before is invaluable. And we’ve been through countless Office 365 migrations. We are able to help our clients successfully migrate legacy on-premises archives to Office 365 and:

  • Eliminate management and maintenance of software in the data center
  • Improve ability to scale storage to meet retention requirements
  • Improve E-discovery readiness
  • Ensure regulatory compliance
  • Mitigate migration risks and avoid surprise costs
  • Ensure optimal performance for all users
  • Raise the bar on productivity

If you’re thinking about an Office 365 migration, we can help. Daymark is a Microsoft Tier 1 Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), offering technical support and 24/7 managed services for Microsoft Azure and Office 365. We have also achieved Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform competency. Contact us if you want to learn how we can help you make a smooth transition to Office 365.