Cloudy With a Chance of Mailboxes

Posted 05/22/2018 by Sabrinath Rao

Commvault Microsoft Office 365TM Protection for Service Providers – enabling the cloud enterprise

Even by enterprise application standards, email has always been first among equals. Given that most of us use email for communications, file sharing, archival of old conversations and much more, it's not surprising that email servers, especially Microsoft Exchange, is not only the most protected enterprise end user application, but is also among the last to move to the cloud.

With Exchange Online, the centerpiece of Office 365, Microsoft has truly facilitated the rapid migration to the Cloud Enabled Enterprise. However, with the move to the Cloud comes all the responsibilities, such as Single Item Recovery, Retention Policy enforcement, Long Term Retention, Archival and so on. This exemplifies the need to offer a continued service offering to support the capabilities currently taken as the "norm" provided by Microsoft Exchange.

The migration itself requires meticulous planning including: which mailboxes to move first; how much storage to allocate; migrating the retention policies; migrating users sorting policies; any Threat and Recovery Management System (TRMS) enabled on specific messages; mapping credentials; and an endless list. Not to mention the required testing and re-testing to ensure a seamless cut over. Add to that the continual backup, archive and eCompliance capabilities customers are used to can only exasperate the migration.

Often during these projects, years of tribal knowledge and tools implemented to support the Exchange environment get overlooked:

  1. Data Protection: Of all data types, customers lose emails the most, and require item level restores most frequently. Often, they request messages more than 30 days old.
  2. Retention policies: Enterprises have user configurable retention tags often ranging from one to three years. Storing this on Office 365 can add to the cost per mailbox/user.
  3. Long-term compliance archive: In regulated industries and most enterprises, regulated job functions require retention of up to 7 years or more. Most often, the emails are archived on a secondary system and not immediately accessible to the user.
  4. Managing the existing archive footprint: The current footprint of archive is usually extremely expensive to move to the primary Office 365 storage and is ideal to be managed separately or in a lower cost storage.
  5. eDiscovery and Search: Compliance driven long-term archives implies responding to eDiscovery requests. This requires a robust indexing and search engine that integrates with the email and information sharing system. Migrating to a cloud based equivalent does not absolve the enterprise of these obligations.

Commvault has a rich history of innovation in data protection and information governance that started with protecting on-premises Exchange Servers.

With the latest announcements for Office 365 migration and protection, Commvault is again leading the industry. We have not only thought about, but designed for all the tasks you will need to perform for a successful Office 365 migration and data protection project. We have extended the protection, management and governance tools that you have relied on for the on-premises footprint to the Office 365 instance, including Exchange and Windows 10. These include:

  1. Management of backup/item level recovery and policy management, integrated into your existing Commvault management infrastructure.
  2. Native protection of Exchange and Windows 10 files into Office 365 for any customizable period.
  3. Maintenance of your current archive in its existing systems.
  4. Creating long-term retention policies and storage of the archive in the most optimal location – including Azure, on-premises, among others.
  5. Integrated eDiscovery and Search across both your existing archive, as well as the Office 365 archive.

Migration and Data Protection are not two separate tasks but need to be considered as one. Migration is only successful and complete when all the supporting infrastructure moves with it. Apart from those outlined above, there are many more considerations, including security, ransomware protection and so on. Many customers work with their preferred and often solution-certified partner to plan and facilitate the move. We are working with a number of such partners to bring solutions to you. DSM, CompuGen and CURAIt are a couple out of our extensive worldwide service provider network that are ready to offer extended Office 365 data protection services powered by Commvault. Many more will follow. 

Learn how you can benefit from these latest Office 365 data management solutions in the Commvault portfolio.