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In his Exchange Unwashed Blog, Tony Redmond makes some great points and identifies scenarios we are seeing play out more and more, especially with mature customers now migrating to Exchange On-line / O365.
In many cases these customers have come full circle;
- Deploying onsite 3rd Party Archive platforms from Symantec, HP, EMC & others roughly 10 years ago, then;
- Deploying Archive and security in the cloud with vendors like Symantec, Mimecast, ProofPoint etc.
To make matters worse, several of these customers migrated the legacy onsite archive data to the new cloud archive vendor at vast expense, time and effort. Now these customers are looking to deploy Office 365 which, more often than not, makes the cloud archive and security vendor superfluous as these services form part of the enterprise licensing. (In Place Hold, eDiscovery and the EOP platform in O365.)
At this point customers who didn’t read the commercials with the Cloud Archive Vendor properly from the onset, find out that they can only get the data back via another drawn out and expensive process. Some Vendors (not all) also return the data in unstructured unsupported format that requires further tooling (and costs) for ingestion into Office 365. (like Unstructured EML files that need to be re-hydrated on a per mailbox level.)
What you have now is a situation where you need to get the data archived in the new “cloud” archive vendor’s platform while you were on it, plus the 10 years or more of legacy data that you ingested into the new vendor’s platform. Hopefully you still have a copy of the data from the first migration on tape somewhere and this will reduce the amount of data you will need returned.
In fact customers who chose to “legacy out” the old onsite archive are often better off than those who moved everything and now face the same prospect again!
Looking at the scenario described above and the nightmare around the “chain of custody” and “immutability” of the information through all these migrations, I really do like the EDRM standard Tony talks about for these eventualities. Sadly though, I’m not holding my breath as I think the fast “land-grab” and Vendor Lock-in principles deployed by some cloud archive vendors was very much by design and they always knew their days were numbered as they don’t offer a complete end to end service that includes the mailbox itself.