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Email Management in Hybrid Cloud Environments – The Best of Both Worlds

Imagine, your organization has signed up for Office 365 and now you’re going to migrate your email into Office 365.  Now the real “fun” begins. If you’re a smaller company with a handful employees, the move into the cloud isn’t much of an issue. However, if you’re a medium to large enterprise, you’re probably not going to go ‘all in’ and make the move completely into Office 365.  Due to the sheer complexity and customization of larger environments or even regulatory issues, it’s just not possible for larger enterprises to move completely into Office 365.

More than likely, your company will incorporate a hybrid cloud environment – with email residing in the cloud as well as on-premises.  In addition, organizations that incorporate this model will most likely stagger the movement of that data into the cloud. Gradually moving data as opposed to all at once provides less risk, allowing organizations to migrate at their own pace and resolve any issues that may arise before migrating completely.

Furthermore, because Microsoft charges monthly for every mailbox in Office 365 and the most expensive subscription tiers are needed for unlimited data, it’s likely not all email will be migrated. Instead, a date will be selected and all mailboxes from that date forward will be migrated into Office 365. Ok, easy enough.

But for all the great things that Office 365 offers, there are still a few situations where organizations are going to need to leverage 3rd party tools.  One situation for example – how can you access legacy data stored in on-premises EDB files with Office 365?  Well, you can’t.  Your backups in Office 365 can only be accessed by Microsoft. And important to note – if you have a standard mailbox, the default deleted item retention policy is 14 days, which can be extended to a maximum of 30 days. After that, they are gone forever.   The disadvantage of extending the deleted items folder is that the deleted mail item is considered part of the user mailbox quota, which means additional cost to the organization.  You can create an In-Place Hold policy, which can be customized to keep messages retained for longer periods of time, but this feature is only available with certain plans.

Here at Kroll Ontrack, we’ve always been committed to protecting one of your organizations’ most important assets – email.  And we’ve recently upgraded our email recovery and restoration tool, Ontrack® PowerControls™, to support Office 365, Exchange Online, and Exchange 2016.  This means you can truly enjoy the benefits of both worlds – from Exchange 5.5 to Office 365.

Hybrid Cloud Environtment

Hybrid Cloud Environtment

The tool is able to access offline EDBs in addition to Office 365 mailboxes. So, have an EDB that’s still sitting in that offline backup somewhere?  We’ve got you covered. Copy that content and move it into Office 365. Done.  Need to maintain legal and regulatory compliance? No problem.  Perform advanced searches, filter, and export data (PST, MSG, CSV, and EML formats, for example) for ediscovery processing without changing the metadata.  Done.  And very few can do that! Have an employee leave the company?  Export their mailbox as a PST and shut down their Office 365 account, saving cost and maintaining compliance. Done and done.

Office 365 adoption rates are increasing, but medium to large enterprises are slower to embrace the cloud.  A recent survey from CIO indicated that it will be more than a decade before some enterprises manage their email completely in the cloud.  In the meantime, make sure you’ve got a plan and a tool like Ontrack PowerControls to move seamlessly between your on-premises and cloud environments.

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