State of North Carolina Moves to Office 365

Project Summary

The State of North Carolina was one of Mimosa System’s (NearPoint) largest installations. Installed in 2010, NearPoint archived a total of 94,621 mailboxes over its lifespan with 330 TB of data. NearPoint provided personal archives of all Exchange mailboxes including email, calendars,contacts, notes and tasks. In addition, NearPoint provided tools for legal discovery and data protection.

The State of North Carolina made the decision to move its on-premise Exchange Servers to Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based email. Along with the active email migration, help was needed to migrate their NearPoint archive to Microsoft Office 365 Personal Archives.

The Challenge – Office 365 Move

The challenge facing the State of North Carolina is how to migrate a large 330 TB NearPoint archive data system safely and quickly to Microsoft Office 365. In addition, the State of North Carolina needs to retain all inactive user mailboxes belonging to non-employees for compliance and legal discovery.

NearPoint is unlike other email archive products that rely on Exchange Journaling to capture email from the Exchange Server for compliance. The journal is a single stream of email per Exchange Storage Group. As such, email from each mailbox in the Storage Group is streamed into a single inbox which results in loss of mailbox fidelity. Journal archives are used solely for eDiscovery by legal staff and not by end users.

NearPoint’s architecture does not use journaling; rather it extracts email from the Exchange Log Files. In this manner, NearPoint extracts full message content and context (e.g. folder organization), capturing all mailbox items including email, calendars, contacts, notes and tasks. The NearPoint archive stores all archive content, per user, with single-instance across the entire archive.

The Solution

The State of North Carolina was referred to Archive360 by Microsoft and Bishop Technologies, Inc. to perform the NearPoint migration. Archive360, a migration software development company, was founded by ex-Mimosa engineers who understood the underlying architecture of the NearPoint archive system. Archive360’s Archive 2-Anywhere Mimosa NearPoint edition is migrating all of Nearpoint’s archive data. In total, the legacy NearPoint archive contains 94,621 archive mailboxes (Figure 1 )and 2.2B total messages (Figure 2) – 330 TB of archive content.

Upon installation and tuning by the Archive360 engineers, Archive 2-Anywhere is performing at an exceptional rate.

On average, over a terabyte of email data is migrating per day to Office 365, with a peak performance of 1.8 terabytes per day

This translates into 6M messages per day moving into Office 365 with a peak performance of 8M messages per day. Archive 2-Anywhere tracks and measures the migration time for each individual message. Archive 2-Anywhere is migrating the entire NearPoint Archive to Office 365 Personal Archives.

One of the concerns Archive 2-Anywhere is solving is the handling of inactive mailboxes. Inactive mailboxes belong to employees that no longer work for the State of North Carolina, but need to be retained for compliance and legal discovery. Archive 2-Anywhere is able to handle this problem in a three-step process.

First, Archive 2-anywhere identifies the inactive archive mailboxes in NearPoint by reconciling the mailbox ownership with Active Directory and Exchange. Second, Archive 2-Anywhere organizes all inactive mailboxes in a separate group and moves it to Office 365 Personal Archives in a single batch. Lastly, once all archive contents are in Office 365, the State of North Carolina will place the mailboxes on legal hold, which releases the mailbox license so it is available for active users.

Upon completion, end users can access their email archive in Office 365 Personal Archives. End users will enjoy full access to their old email which will remain in its original mailbox folder just as it was originally in Exchange. They can also access their calendars, contacts, notes and tasks.

In the Office 365 cloud-based environment, the State of North Carolina will have access to all mailboxes for compliance and legal discovery. For Compliance, new retention policies will be set in Office 365 to retain all active and Personal Archive mailbox contents for the mandated retention period. For legal discovery, the State of North Carolina legal staff, using Office 365 search tools, will be able to perform full text search of all active and Personal Archive mailboxes and save search results by item, or place the entire mailbox on legal hold.

Summary

Despite the unique design of the legacy Mimosa NearPoint archive system and the amount of archive data (330 Terabytes), Archive360, using Archive 2-Anywhere, expects to successfully complete a challenging email archive migration project from NearPoint to Microsoft Office 365 Personal Archives for the State of North Carolina.

Key benefits

• High performance migration – Over 1 TB per day average; 1.8 TB peak performance
• Message-level tracking and confirmation for compliance
• Active mailbox migration into Personal Archives for end users
• Inactive mailbox migration into Personal Archives for eDiscovery
• Full preservation of mailbox content and context (e.g. folders)