Undertaking any type of migration can be a daunting and possibly costly venture for your business. Follow these five steps to help you on the way to a smooth journey.
1. Know where you’re coming from, and where you’re going
It’s crucial to have an in-depth understanding of your legacy archive environment. How far does the archive go back? What types of data did it capture (i.e. emails, calendar appointments, attachments etc.)? What types of metadata did it capture? How much of this data do you need to transfer?
This information will provide insight into what data you will be migrating and whether your archive infrastructure will be able to accommodate the extraction process. Understand also your target environment. Will it be cloud, or on-premises? What types of data formats will it accept and what is its maximum rate of ingestion.
2. Assessing the particulars
Conducting an adequate pre-project assessment isn’t just a good idea, it’s a must if you want to effect a successful migration. It should provide you with a detailed picture of how much data exists in your archive, whether there is data – junk, perhaps – that can be discarded rather than migrated, and whether there are PSTs to include.
Crucially, a pre-project assessment will provide insight into any legal and compliance risks that may present including whether chain-of- custody needs to be maintained (see box-out). Other questions it should resolve is the overall approach – i.e, manual or automated migration, project costs and timeframes.
3. Choosing your migration pathway
There are a number of different options when considering an archive migration, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Parallel Systems and No Migration: A parallel process that keeps both old and new systems running concurrently allowing the old archived data to be expired over time and not migrated.
Benefits: the new archive is available as soon as possible at minimum expense and the legacy archive is accessible and can be quickly reverted to in the event of problems.
Downsides: End-users have two systems to search for content, existing shortcuts will not always work, and ongoing support and maintenance costs with maintaining the legacy system.
Selective Migration: Also known as a partial migration. A smaller group or subset of data is migrated rather than the entire archive.
Benefits: The ability to minimise the volume of data being migrated, reducing costs and enabling end users to access their data from a single location.
Downsides: To access ALL the data, two locations will still need to be referenced.
Full Migration: All legacy data is migrated using a phased approach and the old system is decommissioned following verification of the migration.
Benefits: Old platform can be decommissioned and all data is located in a single place.
Downsides: Change for the organisation, upfront costs.
4. Plan the work, work the plan
Once there is a basic understanding of the task ahead, it’s time to formulate an overview of what should happen, when, and who is responsible for its implementation. It should also feature a realistic breakdown of the estimated resources needed and a clear statement of purpose around why the migration is being undertaken.
Solicit advice from your compliance department and integrate their recommendations into your plan. Additionally, ensure that you communicate that plan to all parties likely to be affected to ensure everyone has a clear picture of what to expect, when to expect it and who to contact should the unexpected occur.
5. Cover your bases with a recovery plan
Finally, have a robust contingency plan, should a problem emerge that cannot be readily addressed. Not having an option to roll-back to a reliable ‘known state’ could prove costly and incredibly disruptive for your end-users.
Get in touch with Insentra today for more info on how to complete a smooth migration!