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eDiscovery in Flight in the clouds

eDiscovery in Flight

As you know, we love a challenge and this recent eDiscovery request was a challenge combined with a tight deadline:

A client was given two weeks to produce email evidence in court. In some respects, it should have been straightforward:  They just needed to search across a defined historic 2-year time-frame, digging out all emails sent between specific domains for further investigation.

The timing of this request, however, threw a spanner into the works: The client was mid-way through a migration of its email records into the cloud.

It turned out that 16 million out of the 34 million messages that needed to be extracted belonged to people that had since left the company.

This content had already been migrated out of their legacy Enterprise Vault archive into Microsoft Azure blob storage for long-term, low-cost storage.  Using the HubStor for Azure software service, the client was able to perform a quick and easy search and extract the results from this data set.

The remaining emails 16m+ messages, however, were still sitting in Enterprise Vault, waiting to be migrated into ‘live’ Office 365 mailboxes.  This mailbox migration stage was going to take some time to complete – far longer than the 2 week-time-frame needed to prepare for the court case.

One option might have been to use the Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator (DA) add-on to perform a search, but DA had not previously been licenced and there was no point in buying it at this stage in the game.

The solution:

We used the TransVault email archive migration solution to select and migrate just the relevant data set from Enterprise Vault and upload it into Azure for eDiscovery.

TransVault is quite handy in this respect as it allows you to select data for migration based on a range of meta-data such as date-range and recipient email address – i.e. you don’t have to migrate the ‘whole shooting match’.

The upshot (although not without some sweating and weekend work to move what equated to 7TBs of data out of Enterprise Vault and into Azure) was that our client was able to search all the relevant emails (16.3 million items) in one place and produce the results (36,000 items) as PST files on a USB drive ready for review.  Phew!

Hopefully all of their mailboxes will be migrated before the next request comes out of the legal department!

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