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The Unique Demands of Email Archive Migrations

Anyone responsible for performing any type of data migration knows that they can be complex and time consuming. Yet even in the world of data migrations, there are data migrations and then there are Data Migrations.

Migrating email archives definitely falls into this latter category as organizations encounter unique challenges as they consolidate and restructure email archives, even as they seek to preserve their data integrity. Achieving these objectives demands that organizations adopt next generation email archiving migration software that possesses five specific traits to meet these new data migration requirements.

All data migrations share some aspects of commonality. They are driven by various product lifecycles relating to cost reduction, depreciation, technology refreshes, vendor forklifts and software updates, just to name a few. They often involve moving from one type of storage media to another and sometimes even from one software product to another. Yet among these various data migration types, perhaps none is more challenging to perform than migrating email archives.

Email archive migrations bring into play considerations that are unique when compared to other types of data migrations. For example, organizations typically need to:

  • Consolidate and centralize disparate email archives into one central data store. Large and small enterprises alike may use multiple email archiving platforms that are situated both locally and on the cloud. Consolidation and centralization of these disparate email archives into one will provide benefits on multiple levels.
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify. A significant requirement for email archive migrations is to keep them as simple as possible by leaving little to no room for mistakes, either human or machine. This poses a substantial challenge when migrating millions upon millions – potentially even billions – of possible email messages. A further aspect to simplicity is aligning the right technical ability to meet the demands for this sort of migration, both in terms of infrastructure and people.
  • Adapt the software to their specific needs. Depending on organizational requirements, some email archive migration projects may look to migrate the entire archive; others may only look to migrate certain archives or users, while other companies may only want to migrate very granular components of their archive. To achieve these various objectives, organizations must have the flexibility to configure the migration software according to their specific needs.
  • Verify and control. Preserving chain of custody and audit trails are major hurdles to overcome in some email archive migration efforts. The Quality Assurance and/or Legal Department team will directly impact the process, as they will want a complete verification of messages and metadata that were migrated using the proper controls.

In part 2 of this 3-part blog series, I will examine the five traits that next generation email archiving migration software needs to possess.


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