Many companies are migrating electronically stored information from on-premises deployment to cloud-based data stores. As part of this transition, a number of customers are researching the interaction of these online offerings with Sherpa Software’s solutions.  The good news is Altitude IG, Sherpa’s latest information governance and eDiscovery platform, has been designed since its inception to enforce policy, analyze data and provide eDiscovery searching in Microsoft 365.   Sherpa also offers options, for customers who wish to migrate their local Archive Attender archives to new data repositories.

The choices available for migrating data from Archive Attender archives are highly dependent on conditions of each customer’s installation of the product and the environment where it was deployed.  To help evaluate the optimal route for migration, the following information is needed:

  • Is Archive Attender currently in use? If so, what version?
  • What is the total size of the archives? How many archive locations?
  • How were the archives originally created (User, journal or another method)? Were messages stubbed? If so, what is the version of Exchange?  How many users?

Note:   Many of the migration options will only work with archives created in versions 3.5 or 4.3.

Stubbing Options
A widely used Archive Attender feature is stubbing – the replacement of a message or an attachment with a smaller version of itself with a link to where the original message is archived.  If stubs are used as part of the archiving policy, a decision needs to be made on what to do with the stubbed messages remaining in the mailboxes. Ideally, this should be done before decommissioning Archive Attender and before migrating mailbox data. Doing nothing could result in orphaned stub links that have no connection to the archived message.

As long as Archive Attender remains operational, users have three choices for dealing with stubbed messages:

  • Keep stubbed messages – this option migrates the stubbed messages to the new mail servers. If deployed correctly, this option will keep the links working in their new home.
  • Restore messages to the mailbox – the stubbed message is replaced by the original message.
  • Delete the stubs – the stubbed messages are removed from the mail stores.

Please note:  If Archive Attender has already been decommissioned, the stubbed messages options are limited and can only be managed by using Sherpa Software’s Altitude IG, Mail Attender, or Discovery Attender.

Data Migration Options
There are a number of choices available to move messages from Archive Attender archives.  In order to choose the best method, there are a number of questions that need to be answered:

  • What is the target data store: PST, Online Archive, Mailbox (on-premises or Microsoft 365), or something completely different?
  • Does the data need to be filtered before migration?
  • If so, what filters are needed – date, user, others?

Based on the answers to these questions, there are three basic options available to perform data migration:

  1. Archive Attender Native Features– If Archive Attender is still operational, customers will find that it contains expansive functionality for data migration and management of archives in general.  Filtering options can only to be performed within Archive Attender itself.

The downside of the native features is that they tend to be rather slow when dealing with large sets of data.  For migrations where Archive Attender has been decommissioned, or filtering is not required, then one of the independent utilities may be a more efficient option.

  1. Online Import Tool– The online import tool restores archives directly to new Exchange mailboxes or Online Archives. It works with Exchange Servers 2007 through 2013.  In some configurations, the tool can also directly import archives to Microsoft 365.

Archive Attender does not need to be running to use the Online Import Tool, but versions 3.5 or 4.3 do need to be installed for it to function properly.

  1. Archive to PST– Outlook Personal Files (PSTs) are very flexible formats that can be ingested by a number of data stores. As its name implies, the Archive to PST tool will create PST files directly from Archive Attender archives. Users can specify users for migration, choose export locations, and determine PST file sizes.

Archive to PST can be used in almost any situation as it does not require an active copy of Archive Attender. As long as the archive format has not been disturbed and Outlook is available, the Archive to PST option can be deployed immediately.

How to Choose
Sherpa Software encourages you to work with a technical representative to find the best option for migrating your Archive Attender data.  This service is included as part of technical support as long as your product maintenance remains active.  The support team will help you to go over the choices and will work directly with you to find the optimal data migration routes with the least disruption.