December 21, 2020 by Steven Tobolar

Email Archive Migration: Challenges, Best Practices and Solutions

Organizations have been archiving email for two decades, which means that 90% of companies already have some kind of an email archiving system in place. But what happens when a company decides to change the archiving provider or upgrade to a new solution? How can you future-proof (and continue using) your existing archived data?

What is email archive migration?

Email archive migration is the process of transferring your archived data from one archiving solution to another or between storage types and file formats. It is a key consideration for the implementation of archiving systems. It’s also crucial in cases when the archiving company offers free hardware upgrades, which requires moving all the archived data from an older email archiving appliance to a newer configuration.

The problems with legacy email archives

Managing older data to cope with new technologies is usually problematic. Some email archiving vendors offer only basic tools to migrate old email archives to new technologies.

When companies need to migrate massive amounts of data, such as when one company merges with another and needs to unify the archives, or when one email archive system is being replaced or upgraded, the process often turns out to be much more time-consuming and complicated than expected.

When companies need to migrate massive amounts of data, the process often turns out to be much more complicated than expected. Click To Tweet

Sometimes legacy email archives are incompatible with new technologies, or the old vendor does not provide support to migrate the old data. This can leave organizations feeling that their data is locked into old technology and incurs additional costs for third-party migration.

What is data ingestion and how does it work?

Data ingestion essentially means collecting data from previous sources and moving it to long-term storage – in this case the email archiving appliance or a cloud email archiving solution.

It’s a process which allows you to import previously processed data into the archive – data being tens of millions of old emails that need to be transferred one hundred percent and without obstacles. This is one of the major challenges in email archiving.

To ensure error-free migration, an email archiving solution needs to be developed in a way that ensures easy migration of high volumes of data from the legacy system into your new archiving solution. Legacy data typically consists of PST or EML files which have to be ingested into your archive in order for users to be able to access, search and retrieve them later.

Your email archiving solution needs to ensure an easy migration of high volumes of data. Click To Tweet

How to handle different types of migrations

In email archiving, there are several types of migration scenarios:

  1. There could be a problem with the current email archiving solution in terms of outdated functionalities, clunky user interface and performance issues.
  2. Your current archiving product may be reaching EOL and the migration is the only solution.
  3. Your organization might simply want to end the current contract for whatever reason.

In practice, the way you and the archiving vendor will approach the migration process can depend on whether you’re staying with or leaving that specific vendor. Even if you’re staying faithful to your current provider but migrating data from e.g. the hardware solution to the cloud, there are vendors who still charge extra for such migrations.

Why not entrust a third party with your archive migration

Manually migrating email archives can take months and is a waste of time that most organizations can’t afford. To speed up the process, organizations often hire third-party companies to handle the migration for them, especially if they’re stuck with an old on-premise archive containing a massive number of emails with old, poor-quality data.

The problem with this approach is that such companies have experience with some email platforms and some archiving systems. Each archiving vendor has their own technology that they know best. For this reason, it’s best to leave the migration process to the archiving vendor to which you’re migrating.

How to effortlessly migrate from any archiving solution to Jatheon

Many organizations stay with their current email archiving vendor despite issues such as rising costs, lack of features or inadequate technical support. Most are dissatisfied with the legacy archives but are reluctant to switch to another archiving company because they dread the potential data loss during data migration.

And it makes sense. When you need to migrate such massive volumes of email data (20 or 30 million emails), the migration process can turn out to be quite demanding.

Large-scale data archiving is tricky – because of the strict regulatory requirements for electronic data retention and email often being key evidence in legal cases, it’s absolutely necessary to preserve every, and we mean every single message. No data loss is allowed. Ever. This makes migration the central piece of the puzzle.

At Jatheon, we have designed a special, proprietary, turn-key migration program from other email archiving systems. After 15 years of experience in email archiving, we have successfully migrated our customers from almost every major archiving platform.

We have a team of software and tech support engineers that specialize in migrations. Once they get a migration project, the team first provide the analysis of the legacy data and propose the best migration process. Next, they create a detailed migration plan based on the customer’s infrastructure and work together with the customer until the migration is completed.

Migrating to Jatheon from a legacy system

Migrations from legacy archives are our specialty and our teams love such projects. The only thing the customer needs to do is prepare the legacy data (as PST or EML) and place it on a network drive so that the Jatheon solution can mount the drive and start importing email.

Once Jatheon’s solution is configured and put in production, it will automatically start archiving new email in real time. Simultaneously, it will start importing the legacy database prepared on the shared drive. The data will be imported in time periods that can be customized – every 3 hours, 6 hours, once a day, or whatever the customer finds most convenient.

If necessary, Jatheon can assist during the export process and extract PSTs for the specified date ranges. Jatheon products are compatible with all major platforms, which ensures a smooth and a 100% error-proof migration process.

How quickly can we migrate your legacy data?

To be honest, it’s difficult to tell.

The process itself is easy – the ingestion is triggered at a single click. The actual ingestion time depends on various factors such as:

  • the number of emails
  • the size and type of attachments, and
  • the number of duplicates.

Jatheon’s solutions can ingest between 2 and 4 million emails daily. In case your organization is migrating 30 million emails (the typical archive size of Jatheon’s customers) , the entire migration process will take between one and two weeks to migrate that amount of legacy data into Jatheon.

A major benefit is that Jatheon will be able to do it automatically. The only effort required on your part is for your IT staff to prepare the legacy files and export them to the shared drive.

Still, the best thing about migrating from another system to Jatheon is that the migration is free. Free data migration is part of our Jatheon Care tech support and customer care package, together with free customer onboarding and 24/7 monitoring.

Can my data get stuck or lost in the process?

That’s not an option with Jatheon. All your emails will be date-stamped, which means that they will be ingested and indexed with their original date of creation, so no metadata will be lost.

The simultaneous archiving of real-time and legacy email data is not something that should worry you. In case there are too many legacy emails to be imported at a time, a queue will be formed and they will be imported as soon as possible.

The entire process will be monitored by Jatheon’s tech support team. Our alerts and 24/7 proactive monitoring systems will ensure a quick response by out Support in case there are any hiccups.


By migrating your legacy data, you’ll be able to search and actively use old, historical email archives you previously thought lost, you’ll centralize your email archiving efforts, ensure full compliance by having all email secure and searchable in a single location and avoid all the risks and additional costs associated with manual archive migration.

If you’d like to learn more about how to migrate your current email archive to Jatheon, contact us or book your personal demo.

Read next:

Is Your Metalogix Email Archive Down Because of an Exchange Update?

Top Five Email Archiving Alternatives to DataCove

Top Five ArcMail Email Archiving Alternatives

Office 365 Email Archiving: Finding An Alternative

Why You Should Start Looking For a Google Vault Alternative Now

About the Author
Steven Tobolar
Steven Tobolar is Jatheon’s Head of Tech Support and an experienced engineer specializing in large-scale migration projects, AWS, Exchange Servers, and Microsoft Azure. Outside work, he enjoys reading, movies, off-road driving, and mountain biking.

See how data archiving can simplify compliance and ediscovery for your organization

Book a short demo to see all the key features in action and get more information.

Get a Demo

Jatheon is a “Trail Blazer” in The Radicati Group’s 2024 Information Archiving MQ

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap