Video: Expireon - Faster and Better Journal Migrations than Office 365 alone

In this video we explain some of the problems of migrating Microsoft Exchange journal data to Office 365, and how ...

In this video we explain some of the problems of migrating Microsoft Exchange journal data to Office 365, and how Expireon can help you.


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Below is a transcript of the video:

Hi and welcome,

I’m Steve and today I’d like to talk about the challenges of migrating email journal data from legacy systems into Office 365. We will look at the most common issues and how Cloudficient can help to overcome them.

Let’s have a look at how a journaled email is different from the ones you are familiar with in your mailbox.

Normal emails are pretty straightforward: They have a header with the sender and recipient information. They have a subject and body and then, if needed, the different attachments.

Unfortunately, some information is not stored in this kind of email:

  • BCC information
  • The members of a distribution list at the time of delivery
  • And whether the delivery was successful

A journal email contains all that extra information, because the email server creates an “envelope email” with these additional properties, while putting the email itself as an attachment.

Have a look at all these properties that you can find in the envelope:

  • Send on behalf,
  • BCC,
  • And all the members of a distribution list at the time of delivery.

With this it becomes completely transparent who received the information and who did not without any ambiguity.

Another important difference worth noting, is that only one journal email will be created, even if the mail itself is delivered to hundreds of recipients. This is very different from the compliance features inside Office 365.

Office 365 is based on a retention mechanism inside the user’s mailbox. You could think of it as a “hidden eternal trash can”. It keeps the email even if the user deletes it, albeit in an invisible state. Many people refer to this colloquially as “dumpster forever”.

It’s worth noting that this email is simply as-is. It doesn’t have any essential metadata as we described for a journal message.

Unfortunately, there is no single “dumpster” where one could place the journal email in a central location. Instead, it has to be put in all the user mailboxes and then marked as “deleted” so that it does not cause any confusion to the user.

One way to migrate the data from an on-premise Journal is to recreate all the emails to all the recipients as the data is migrated. This is sometimes called Journal Explosion.

But this not only multiplies the data volumes quite significantly, you also need much more time to create and transfer so many copies to the cloud than you normally anticipate.

That’s not the end of the issues though.

Consider what to do about mailboxes and recipients in a journal email that no longer exist?

Yes. Those have to be recreated, provided with a license and then deactivated after the process is complete.

Think about this.

To restore a single journal email, the migration software might need to recreate 100s of mailboxes in Exchange Online, assign licenses, open thousands of mailboxes, put a copy in each of them and then delete the email programmatically before that single journal email can be considered migrated.

With all these issues, you might ask yourself, if this is still a viable option for your organization.

Well, it depends.

But if your organization has more than a few hundred employees or data volumes larger than 10 Terabytes, there is a better option to get your legacy journals to the cloud.

Maybe you are thinking “Why not put all of this data in a few shared mailboxes” … and you are right, that could be an option.

This is what many companies are looking at, but there are three major caveats you should be aware of:

Firstly, thousands of Shared Mailboxes can create a messy Office 365 environment, with confusing Admin Dashboards & Reports, as these are mostly user centric.

Secondly, you need to license all shared mailboxes over 50 Gigabytes, which can quickly add up to hundreds of additional Office 365 licenses.

Thirdly, the eDiscovery of this data can become cumbersome and time consuming, as the data in those mailboxes cannot be targeted by custodian without creating a full-text index first. 

The shared mailboxes then need to be added to each eDiscovery case and indexed for every case separately, before custodians in the shared mailboxes can be targeted.

Depending on the number of mailboxes, this can take days to complete.

There are three major issues that only become apparent once the migration is complete.

The first challenge for the legal team is that after a journal import the duration of the “Advanced Indexing” functionality is dramatically longer, because of the sheer data volumes that get added to the organizations Office 365 tenant.

This can mean that the process finishes in days, not hours.

And this is not a one-time process but happens for every single legal case.

The second challenge is the potential loss of metadata.

While the journal keeps track of “send on behalf” and other important properties, Office 365 cannot reproduce this in the same way, which means some of the original metadata could potentially be lost.

And finally, there is a certain chance of messing up the resolution of email addresses when recreating the mailboxes.

People with multiple email addresses or who share the same name might not end up as a unique AD account or custodian and get overlooked during the investigation.

Expireon is very different from the classic approach to archiving and retention: It is modern, open, intelligent, and easy to use, especially in combination with legal tools you might already own.

Here are the most important things to know about Expireon:

It natively supports and understands Journal Emails and it has all the full featured migration capabilities of Cloudficient’s “EVComplete” solution already built into the platform.

That means that you can onboard the legacy journal directly at maximum speed without duplicating data or creating surplus AD Accounts.

Expireon can run in any Kubnernetes Infrastructure, be it in your data center or in your public cloud tenant or in Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure.

All Metadata gets preserved, and it does not just keep Office 365 clean & tidy, it also keeps compliance search times manageable and protects all metadata.

This comes at an unbelievable price point, that will almost certainly be the most economical option given that the migration will just be a fraction of the time and without the mentioned caveats.

So if you are tasked with migrating legacy journals to Office 365, you now know what to look out for. And if you are looking at an Enterprise-class migration with thousands of users and dozens or hundreds of terabytes of journal data, you probably want to check out what Expireon can do for you on the Cloudficient website.

By combining next generation migration technology, with a unique, open & intelligent Information governance platform, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on servicing client needs and creating solution offerings that match them.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, please visit our website:

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