For the best web experience, please use IE11+, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari

Law firm advances its cloud-first strategy by moving 47 TB of vital email archives to Microsoft 365

Law firm advances its cloud-first strategy by moving 47 TB of vital email archives to Microsoft 365
McCann FitzGerald LLP seamlessly migrates its business-critical Enterprise Vault data to Exchange Online with expert help from Quest.
  • Country

  • Industry

  • Website
  • PDF Download


As one of Ireland’s premier law firms, McCann FitzGerald LLP strategically adopts technology solutions to empower its associates to work more efficiently and serve clients more effectively. As part of its initiative to take advantage of the flexibility, scalability and other benefits of the cloud, the firm needed to migrate its email to Microsoft 365. A key element of the project was moving the company’s 47 TB of business-critical email archives from Enterprise Vault to Exchange Online — without downtime or data loss.
orange bg dots

Our email archive data is critical to our business, so we wanted somebody with a proven record to handle the migration. Quest had the experience and the tool to get the job done right.

Lorne Gallagher IT Infrastructure & Operations Manager, McCann FitzGerald LLP


McCann FitzGerald recognized that undertaking this large and critical project in house would have overwhelmed the IT team and led to extensive questions about their expertise and methodology during audits. Accordingly, the firm engaged its trusted partner, HPE Services (formerly HPE PointNext), who suggested several options. To ensure a successful migration, McCann FitzGerald chose Archive Shuttle in the experienced hands of Quest Managed Services. The project was a huge success, with all of the firm’s email archives migrated efficiently and securely.


  • Migrated 47 TB of email archives to Exchange Online with no downtime or data loss
  • Eliminated nearly all burden on the in-house IT team, saving them more than six months of work
  • Simplified audits by having experts perform the migration using a professional solution
  • Delivered cost savings and removed dependency on outdated on-prem tools

The Story

When you’re migrating data that’s not only critical to your business but subject to strict compliance regulations, there’s no substitute for a top-of-the-line solution and an experienced, flexible partner. That’s why McCann FitzGerald LLP chose Quest Archive Shuttle and Quest Managed Services to move its huge volume of business-critical email archives from Enterprise Vault to Exchange Online.

Embracing the cloud delivers a wealth of benefits, including flexibility.

One of Ireland’s premier law firms, McCann FitzGerald serves clients both in Ireland and internationally. The firm covers four main areas: corporate, finance, disputes, and real estate & construction. In addition, they offer end-to-end services, from high-volume data review and reporting to development of technology-enabled legal, risk and compliance solutions.

Like many organizations, McCann FitzGerald began moving to the cloud years ago primarily to take advantage of the increased flexibility. That strategy paid off handsomely when COVID-19 hit and Ireland went into a full lockdown. As Lorne Gallagher, IT infrastructure & operations manager at McCann FitzGerald, recalls, “When we were notified on St. Patrick’s Day that the country was going into full lockdown, all of our users were able to stand up from their desk, take their laptop and whatever other equipment they wanted from their desk to their home, and continue working.”

Migrating to the cloud addresses multiple challenges with legacy on-prem tools.

However, a key piece in the firm’s cloud-first strategy still needed to be implemented: moving email to Exchange Online. A vital part of that project was to migrate the company’s extensive email archives from Enterprise Vault to Microsoft 365. Driving the project were three primary factors. First, the version of Exchange Server being used was reaching end of life. “After consulting with Microsoft, we deemed it more prudent to move it to the cloud rather than upgrade to the new version of the on-prem solution,” Gallagher notes. “The business liked that approach because it was in line with the business direction of trying to move as many services as possible to the cloud.”

Second, the Enterprise Vault solution was also outdated. “It hadn’t been modernized for a long time and we felt that it was no longer fit for purpose,” says Gallagher. “Plus, there is worldwide lack of expertise in the tool, so trying to get support for Enterprise Vault was quite difficult. If we wanted to do an upgrade or if anything went wrong with the application, our options were very limited in what we could do and how quickly we got it resolved.”

Finally, storing all the email archive data on premises was quite expensive. “To comply with both internal policy and compliance regulations, we store every single email sent to or received by McCann Fitzgerald for 10 years,” Gallagher explains. “The archive had grown to 47 TB. Keeping such a large volume of data on prem required a huge amount of infrastructure, including VMware and SAN resources, replication, and backup. By moving the archives to the cloud, we would be able to remove that huge footprint from our internal infrastructure. For example, the lifecycle on the SAN is coming to an end soon, and when we renew it, we’ll need only a fraction of its current capacity, generating valuable savings.”

Manual migration options are ponderous and fraught with risk.

After evaluating the scope and impact of the archive migration project, McCann FitzGerald decided to seek help from experts. “Migrating our Enterprise Vault data to the cloud using in-house resources would have been a massive undertaking and a huge headache,” notes Gallagher. “The level of expertise required is huge, so two of our critical IT pros would have had to be given a lot of time to up-skill to be in a position to undertake the project. Then they would have been tied up for three months or more performing the migration and verifying everything. Our IT team is simply too busy for that to be a viable option.”

Moreover, McCann FitzGerald needed confidence that its critical data was migrated accurately and securely. “With a manual project, you always have a question mark over how well it was done,” Gallagher says. “We needed to be 100% sure that all of the data was migrated without any loss of fidelity or security gaps. By working with migration experts, we knew we could satisfy both our internal policy committee and auditors that everything was done correctly, instead of having to field a huge number of questions about the qualifications of the engineers and the reliability of the processes used.”

Quest Archive Shuttle and Quest Managed Services are a trusted combination.

For help in finding the right migration solution and expert services, McCann FitzGerald engaged its trusted partner, HPE Services, who suggested several options. Gallagher chose the experienced experts at Quest Managed Services and Quest Archive Shuttle.

“One of the options that HPE proposed was a bit too new to the market. Our email archive data is critical to our business, so we wanted somebody with a proven record to handle the migration,” Gallagher recalls. “Quest had the experience and the tool to get the job done right. That became clear from speaking with the Quest pre-sales technicians. In addition, Ireland’s quite a small country and all the engineers know each other, so I spoke with colleagues who’d undertaken similar projects. They had used most of the tools out there, and they strongly recommended Quest as the easiest to deal with and the one that would ensure the job was done correctly.”

A “brilliant” project seamlessly migrates 47 TB of email archive to the cloud.

The first step in the migration plan was to disable archiving of email to Enterprise Vault for the duration of the project. “To make it easier to copy the data from Enterprise Vault to Exchange Online, we chose to stop the archive services so that no new emails would be moved into Enterprise Vault during the project,” says Gallagher. “As mailboxes were moved across to Exchange Online, the users were moved from Office 2016 to Microsoft 365, at which point they no longer had access to Enterprise Vault; instead, they were using the Exchange Online archive through Microsoft 365. That made it easier to cut people across to the new environment.”

Then the migration of the archive data proceeded, smooth as silk. “The archive migration was absolutely brilliant,” Gallagher reports. “We met with the Quest engineers, they set everything up and we verified it. Then it just ran seamlessly in the background! It was a huge headache we didn’t have — we would just be notified when jobs were complete. It all worked out really, really well.”

A minor hiccup at the end was quickly resolved. “We were delayed about a month in verifying that all the Enterprise Vault data had been fully migrated,” recalls Gallagher. “When we did, we discovered some mailboxes that hadn’t fully migrated across. When we contacted Quest, there was no issue with getting an engineer back on to get the work completed, which was brilliant. That could have been a huge headache for us, but Quest were very good in making sure that everything was done correctly without issue.”

The key benefit of working with Quest is confidence.

The migration of McCann FitzGerald’s archive data had to be complete and accurate, and Quest delivered. “Our archive data is set to be immutable, so nobody can delete an email after it’s been sent to or received by McCann Fitzgerald,” explains Gallagher. “In the event of a legal discovery, we have to be able to state categorically that we have provided all the email related to the case and nothing is missing. So, there was a huge onus on us to prove that the data hadn’t been corrupted and that no data was lost. We have gone through both Quest reports and our own reports and performed test discoveries against the source and target environments, and they verify that exactly the same data is returned. That’s massive for us.”

Gallagher would heartily recommend Archive Shuttle and Quest Managed Services. “Throughout the migration, the Quest engineers clearly knew what they were doing — never at any point did they appear to struggle with anything or to lack the necessary expertise in any of the areas,” he says. “Working with Quest gave us confidence that the data would be migrated correctly and that we would be able to stand over it in a court of law and say, ‘Yes, this is all the data.’”