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4 Things to Consider with Enterprise Vault Migration to Office 365

In this blog, we share with you four critical considerations for you to review before you undertake a data migration ...


In this blog, we share with you four critical considerations for you to review before you undertake a data migration project from Enterprise Vault to Office 365. Let’s start by seeing what’s involved in an Enterprise Vault migration.

What is an Enterprise Vault Migration?

Top view of businessman looking at question mark on floorOver the years, Enterprise Vault has massively extended its reach in terms of features and functionality. From the early days when it archived end-user emails from Microsoft Exchange mailboxes, it now covers a huge amount of additional data source targets, such as:

  • SharePoint
  • File Systems
  • Lotus Domino
  • Microsoft Exchange Public Folders

Those are the main ones. Additional sources are available through integration with third parties making the list of possible data sources inside Enterprise Vault a long one.

What this means is that any Enterprise Vault migration must consider all the data types that your organization has archived. Consider also that there might be some data sources that were archived many years ago that are no longer being archived – but they’re still stored in the Enterprise Vault environment.

Most popular amongst the archiving data source is, without a doubt, the Microsoft messaging-related data. Typically, this will be

  • End user email (calendar, contacts, notes, tasks, etc.)
  • Microsoft Exchange Journal email data

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How Do I Migrate Enterprise Vault data To a New Server?

Many enterprise-sized organizations will have gone through the process of moving Enterprise Vault data to a new server. This might be for many different reasons, such as replacing failing hardware, upgrading to newer (and faster) hardware or perhaps an element of consolidation.

Moving Enterprise Vault data between servers is not a quick and simple one. Modern versions of Enterprise Vault have a ‘Move Archive’ feature, which, with some limitations, can help if you want to migrate data from one Enterprise Vault server to another.

There are also third-party applications that can move Enterprise Vault data to a new server. Some of those allow you to migrate between Enterprise Vault servers that belong to different organizations. This helps with any efforts you may need to make in terms of consolidation. 

For many organizations, though, moving to a new Enterprise Vault server is not something they wish to undertake regularly. In the next section, you’ll see another reason why!

Why Migrate to the Cloud?

The most likely migration that a large enterprise-sized organization will undertake is to migrate Enterprise Vault to the cloud. Specifically, the most popular destination cloud is Microsoft Office 365.

There are many reasons to migrate to the cloud; these are just a few of them:

  • Save Money

Running a large Enterprise Vault environment spread out globally is very costly. Not only is your organization paying for the license costs of using Enterprise Vault, but they’re also paying for all the hardware associated with running the servers, employees to manage and maintain the environment, helpdesk personnel to support end-user questions, and license costs for associated software such as Microsoft SQL Server.

Moving to a cloud-based architecture has the promise of saving your organization a lot of money. Don’t be blindsided by the monthly figures shown by Microsoft; there are more costs associated with running Microsoft Office 365 than the numbers that Microsoft list. Your organization should take the time to review our other blog, where we describe ways to measure the return on investment.

  • Consolidation

Having multiple systems running around the globe can lead many companies to consider that approach a risk to the business. Multiple geographies have numerous legal issues and policies that need to be considered. The combination of having users in one location and data that they access in another can be difficult to manage.

Also, consider that the environment might not be running on one particular hardware platform but several different ones around the globe. This makes managing and maintaining it costly and challenging.

Consolidating all those different environments into a single cloud platform may eliminate many concerns that a risk management team might voice.

  • Better User Experience

End users have long since wanted a single pane of glass to view all their active and archived emails. That’s difficult to achieve with a legacy archiving platform like Enterprise Vault. Migrating all of that data to Microsoft Office 365 gives administrators the ability to finally provide a virtually unlimited mailbox size, which is something that has been promised for a long time.

Not only that but having all the data in one place makes it easier for end-users to search for information that they need, and it all be done easily in a simple browser interface, or the desktop Outlook client.

Let’s not forget some of those difficulties that have been experienced with forwarding Enterprise Vault shortcuts leading the end-user to simply receive a link that isn’t accessible. There are also those tricky sync issues which sometimes occur with offline access to your archived emails.

All those troubles and many other benefits can be delivered by migrating to Microsoft Office 365.

  • Simpler Backup Processes

Backing up a large environment like Enterprise Vault can be time-consuming and costly. Migrating to the cloud doesn’t mean that your organization no longer needs to back up the stored data. In fact, it’s the opposite; Microsoft explicitly states in its software agreement that it is your organization's responsibility to perform backups.

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4 Things to Consider with Enterprise Vault Migration to Office 365

If you and your organization have decided that it’s the right time to perform a digital transformation to the cloud, here are four things you should consider before performing a migration:

What to do with your active user data

Active users are those who are still employed and working in your organization. They actively access live email and archived data each day. Is all of their data going to be migrated? Perhaps just the last few years of data will be migrated? Perhaps just items which have a shortcut in the mailbox? Your organization needs to consider these sorts of questions before considering a migration to Office 365.

What to do with leaver data

Leaver data is data that belongs to people who no longer work for the company. Some companies might be able to delete this data, or rather, not migrate it to Office 365. However, many organizations may need to access that data for legal purposes in the near future, especially in industries with strict regulations. At Cloudficient, we have a simple tool that can share with you how much data belongs to this use classification. You and your organization must decide what to do with that data before completing a migration project and decommissioning the original Enterprise Vault environment.

What to do to tidy up the user mailbox after migration

It’s common for end-users to have shortcuts (sometimes called stubs) in their mailbox, which point to the archived data item in Enterprise Vault. Once the migration to Office 365 has been performed, what will happen to those shortcuts? We’ve discussed before that performing a data migration project is more than just copying the data to the target platform; there are many other steps to perform. The workflow engine in our ReMAD platform has workflow steps that can remove these shortcuts once the data migration project has finished.

What to do with Journal archive data

For many enterprise-sized organizations, what to do with journal data is a massive question which must be answered. It is doubtful that a large business will be able to leave this data behind as it contains the immutable copy of each, and every message sent through the system since the journaling feature was enabled. In most organizations, that is many years ago, so the journal archive size can be tens to hundreds of Terabytes.

There are many possibilities for this journal archive data; we’d be happy to discuss them with you and your team.

As you’ve seen in this blog, performing an Enterprise Vault migration to Office 365 involves many questions and answers. These are unique to your organization and your data transformation project. At Cloudficient, we’re here to assist you by bringing our migration experience and expertise to help you to choose the best path.

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With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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