Archive Migration

Navigating the Complex Terrain of Enterprise Vault to Cloud Migrations: A Strategic Blueprint

The digital transformation journey from legacy Veritas Enterprise Vault (EV) on-premises environments to cloud ...

The digital transformation journey from legacy Veritas Enterprise Vault (EV) on-premises environments to cloud platforms such as Microsoft 365 is increasingly becoming a strategic imperative for organizations seeking scalability, efficiency, and innovation. However, this migration is riddled with complexities ranging from technical intricacies to compliance mandates, making it a daunting task for IT professionals.

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Understanding the Migration Imperative

Cloud platforms like Microsoft 365 revolutionize business operations with their flexibility, scalability, and the promise of enhanced collaboration. Yet, transitioning from Enterprise Vault to a cloud-based ecosystem presents unique challenges that necessitate a well-thought-out strategy, specifically when it comes to EV environments that contain both user and journal archives.

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Unpacking Migration Challenges

Here are a few of the challenges you’re likely to face:

  1. Data Integrity and Compliance: The integrity of data during migration is non-negotiable, especially for Legal data (often contained in Journal archives) or organizations governed by regulatory frameworks like SEC 17a-4. The migration must ensure data immutability and accessibility, adhering to compliance standards without fail.

For this reason, the very first step in the exploration of a migration to M365 should be to classify data and uncouple user-based data from legal-based data.

  1. Technical Intricacies: The depth of technical complexity in migrating from an Enterprise Vault environment, characterized by proprietary formats and elaborate configurations, requires sophisticated planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition. A few things that need to be explored are:
  • How can I convert proprietary EV data into a format that I can use to migrate into M365?
  • What is my process for migrating the user archives? There are a lot of steps required to ensure data is moved appropriately, what will my workflow look like for a process that may take anywhere from 7-15 manual steps?
  • How can I validate the completeness of the migration?
  • How do I handle license management on M365 (both permanent and temporary) for the migration?
  • What are the technical requirements for the legal team when it comes to journal-based data? How do I keep their workflows similar while guaranteeing capture and export of required items?

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  1. Cost Management: While migrating to the cloud incurs costs, these must be balanced against the savings from phasing out legacy systems. A strategic approach can significantly optimize the total cost of ownership (TCO) and leverage cloud operational efficiencies. One key consideration that should not be overlooked, is the concept of vendor lock-in, or “ransom” by holding your data in proprietary formats or requiring payment to get your own data back. Verify egress fees and professional services costs related to large exports, or a full export of data, if you decide to move to another platform in the future. These costs can often range from $3,000 to $10,000 or more per Terabyte (TB).

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Crafting a Strategic Migration Framework

Here are steps that you should consider to make a great migration framework:

  1. Thorough Assessment and Planning: A meticulous assessment of the existing EV environment lays the groundwork for a successful migration. Understanding the data, compliance needs, and operational dependencies is crucial for developing a detailed migration blueprint.

  2. Evaluation of M365 Capabilities: Familiarize yourself with M365's archiving, compliance, and security features to align them with your organization's requirements. This will help in mapping features from Enterprise Vault to M365, such as retention policies, legal hold capabilities, and eDiscovery​​. Key components to research should include eDiscovery workflows and potential shortcomings of eDiscovery search capabilities related to legal (Journal) data. These items are explored in more detail in the next section: Diving Deeper – User and Journal Data Migration.

  3. Data Optimization: Identifying and categorizing user-based and legal-based data prior to migration can streamline the process, enhancing efficiency and ensuring legal workflows remain efficient while giving end users access to an environment that provides ultimate productivity.

  4. Migration Strategy: Determine the best migration strategy for your organization, considering whether a phased, all-at-once, or hybrid approach works best. This decision will depend on factors such as the size of your archive, criticality of data, and business continuity requirements​​.

  5. Selecting the Right Migration Tools: Solutions like Cloudficient's EVComplete and Expireon are tailor-made for cloud migrations, offering automation, scalability, and compliance features designed to address the challenges of complex migrations.

  6. Ensuring Compliance: Tools such as Expireon are essential for maintaining eDiscovery workflows and regulatory compliance throughout the migration process, offering features like legal hold, audit trails, and WORM storage compliance.

  7. Migration Proof of Value (POV): A POV also provides the legal team with the ability to test workflows and ensure data is stored properly, preserved via legal hold if required, accessible for search or export, and defensibly deleted upon retention expiration. Always ask for a POV from the migration vendor of choice.

  8. Pilot Testing: A pilot migration phase is invaluable for uncovering potential issues, assessing user impact, and fine-tuning the migration strategy for both user archives into M365 and journal archives into a cloud archive that was specifically built for journal data.

  9. User Training and Support: Preparing users for the transition through training and providing robust support mechanisms is key to a smooth migration and adoption of the new cloud platform.

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Diving Deeper: User and Journal Data Migration

Most of our customers and prospects desire to move all existing EV data to M365. We understand this, and completely support it as M365 is a great solution for most archived data. These enterprises want to use an investment they are already paying for. They want one solution for eDiscovery and a simple workflow. There are, however, some things that must be understood before simply moving everything into that platform.

  • Migrating User Data to M365 via EVComplete:

EVComplete simplifies the migration of user data to Microsoft 365, automating the process and ensuring data fidelity. This user-centric approach focuses on minimizing disruption and maintaining seamless access to data.

  • Migrating Journal (Legal) Data to Expireon:

Legal and journal data migration poses unique challenges, especially in maintaining compliance and data integrity. Expireon offers a specialized environment for these datasets, ensuring compliance with legal holds, auditability, and the immutable storage of sensitive information.

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The Pitfalls of Journal Explosion and Splitting

When researching the migration of email into M365, you may find that there are two popular options for getting data into M365. Each one of these introduces complexities into Legal workflows. Let’s look at each one of these:

  • Journal Explosion:

Journal explosion, a method where journal data is expanded into individual mailboxes, is fraught with drawbacks. This approach can lead to significant increases in mailbox sizes, duplication of data, and inflated costs due to the unnecessary expansion of user accounts. Moreover, the duplication complicates legal reviews and escalates external review costs, as most legal service providers charge based on the volume of data.

  • Journal Splitting:

Journal splitting, the division of journal data into manageable chunks for migration into shared mailboxes, while somewhat more manageable, still introduces challenges. This method complicates searches for eDiscovery due to the fragmented nature of the data, loss of custodian-based management and search, risks incomplete archiving if ongoing journaling is required, may introduce over-collection and over-retention of irrelevant data, and may run afoul of compliance requirements due to potential oversights in data management.

Both methods significantly complicate the maintenance of data integrity and the legal discovery processes, and potentially increase the risk of non-compliance with regulatory standards.

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Ensuring a Seamless Migration

The transition from Enterprise Vault to cloud platforms necessitates a multifaceted strategy that considers technical, operational, and compliance aspects. By leveraging advanced migration tools like EVComplete for user data and Expireon for journal and legal data, organizations can navigate these complexities effectively.

This strategic approach not only ensures data integrity and compliance but also unlocks the myriad benefits of cloud platforms. As organizations embark on this migration journey, the focus should be on meticulous planning, leveraging the right tools, and preparing the organization for a seamless transition.

In the realm of digital transformation, migrating to the cloud is not just about moving data; it's about reimagining how an organization operates in the digital age. With the right strategy and tools, businesses can successfully navigate the complexities of migration, paving the way for a future of innovation, efficiency, and growth.

Why Use a Third-Party Migration Vendor?

The decision to engage a third-party migration vendor such as Cloudficient isn't one to take lightly. These vendors bring a wealth of experience and specialized tools that can make the transition smoother, faster, and more secure, all while lowering project and eDiscovery risk​​​​​​.

For example, a case study from a North American hospital network highlights the necessity of third-party expertise in handling complex migrations within tight deadlines and budget constraints. Cloudficient's scalable, cloud-native technology ensures minimal disruption, adhering to stringent security requirements, a critical factor for any organization, especially those in sensitive sectors like healthcare.

Ensure your migration addresses journal data shortcomings within M365 without disrupting eDiscovery workflows. Solutions like Cloudficient EVComplete and Expireon allow for a seamless migration of both user and journal archives. End users will have access to their data via the tools that they want to use (M365).  Legal teams will have access to the data they need via Expireon without fear of missing key metadata.

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Migrating from Veritas Enterprise Vault to Microsoft 365 for user archives and Expireon for journal archives represents a strategic move towards more secure, cost-effective, and flexible data management. By carefully planning and leveraging the right tools, organizations can ensure a smooth transition, safeguarding their data for the future.

  1. Migrating User Archives to Microsoft 365: Utilize Cloudficient's EVComplete, a cloud-native solution that provides a fully managed migration service. This tool ensures that user archives are securely and efficiently transferred to Microsoft 365​​.

  2. Migrating Journal Archives to Expireon: Cloudficient Expireon offers a next-generation cloud archive solution that excels in managing large volumes of journal archives. Its targeted indexing, data autonomy, and right-sized eDiscovery features make it an ideal platform for storing journal data​​​​.

Call to Action

To learn more about how Cloudficient can assist in your migration project, visit our website. Download our comprehensive guides and white papers for in-depth insights into making your migration journey a success.

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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