Planning an Email Archive Migration

Migrating your email archives to Cloud platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 can be a complex task. It requires a clear strategy and plan if your migration is going to be a success. In this blog we’ll look at the main aspects you should consider in planning your migration.

What data are you going to migrate?

Early in the planning stage you need to consider all the data that you will need to migrate. This could include email archives, journals, PST files and once defined will start to give you a rough outline of the potential timelines for your migration. This is because the length of your migration is often influenced by what you need to migrate and the size of those migrations. Once you’ve decided what to move, this opens up a raft of other decisions that need to be made.

Organisational readiness

Before starting your migration, there are some logistical aspects that need addressing first. For example, is your data all stored in one place? Is the migration taking place across multiple geographical locations? If yes, how much data is in these respective environments? How is the engineer going to access your environment? VPN or virtual desktop and is there now a greater security impact or concern that needs addressing now that the data is being accessed from multiple locations.

Source environment

Other factors that will help you prepare for your Office 365 migration is the current state of your source environment. Ensuring your source environment is in the best possible state pre-migration, removes any potential complications that are caused by environmental factors to come to light during the migration process.

Migration filters

A key question before any migration is are you going to apply any filters to the data. For example, are you going to filter by date? Essentially ‘drawing a line in the sand’ by migrating everything up to a certain point in time and leave the rest to ‘age-off’. What about filtering by users? If you’re just moving active users to Office 365, what’s the plan for the data involving your inactive users? Could there be legal drivers for the inactive users?

Journals & PSTs

Have you thought about what to do with your journal/compliance data or any PST files you may have? Do you know how many you’ve got to move, if any? – Is it possible that users have placed archive stubs into PST files? Will incomplete data within PSTs be a problem if only stubs rather than the original email is migrated?

There are many questions to consider when deciding what to do with your Journals and PST files and so it’s key this forms part of your migration plan.

Help from the experts

Precise planning of your email archive migration is critical to the overall outcome. This is where working with an experienced migration partner such as bluesource really show’s it’s benefits.

Here at bluesource, we’ve completed over 350 migrations and have 42 years of combined experienced. We’ve managed some of the most complex migrations in the world and so if there are challenges with your migration, chances are we’ve seen it before and will be able to quickly get your migration back on track.

By working with bluesource we’ll also be able to help you with other key elements of your migration, such as communicating with your users to manage their expectations during the migration. We’ll also look to perform a pilot once we’ve designed and configured the migration before we action your full production migration. And finally, we deliver post migration analysis and reporting so you can be confident all your data has been moved securely and safely into its new location.

We hope that gives you a little insight into what’s involved in an email archive migration and why it’s important to use a globally recognised migration expert with the first-hand experience in a wide range of data migration scenarios such as bluesource. To summarise here are the key steps you should follow:

Office 365 email archive migration steps

  • Develop your migration plan
  • Determine all the data you need to migrate
  • Engage with a migration Partner
  • Prepare your organisation for the migration & communicate with users
  • Ensure your source environment is in a good place
  • Perform pilot migration
  • Action production migration
  • Post migration analysis and reporting