Are you are forgetting something in your email migration plan? You may not know it yet, but there is a very large portion of data that you might be leaving behind. It’s not frequently accessed so it is quickly forgotten but when needed users expect it to be there. This large mountain of rarely accessed data is also unknown to your data backup and legal data retention teams. It is a problem waiting to happen and is often is overlooked.
Of course, I am talking about PST files. These personal storage archives for users of Outlook make it easy for users to avoid mailbox quotas and archiving and retention policies. Do you blame them? It is so easy to drag an email to a folder stored in a PST. So easy in fact that most administrators do not know or understand how large the problem actually is. Most users have PSTs on their desktops and don’t even know that is what they are called.
PST files are prone to corruption and performance issues and if a PST file is very large and accessed by more than one user, the risk is high. Because PST files are stored at the desktop they are rarely backed up so data loss can easily occur. PST files are a risk for compliance professionals wanting to keep their company out of hot water. The distributed nature of PSTs makes it really difficult to search through any e-discovery methods and PSTs can be used to avoid any data retention and lifecycle management policies. This is a huge risk for those companies struggling to keep information private and remain compliant.
So what is an administrator to do? There are methods for importing PSTs into Exchange and Office 365, but most are slow and do not help with searching the network for existing PST files. Agent-based solutions require more bandwidth and require that an agent be deployed to each desktop. Another challenge is filtering through all the data so that old data that no longer needs to be retained is not migrated.
Today, Quest announced the availability of Quest Migration Manager for PSTs. Migration Manager for PSTs will search for all PST files located on user desktops, determine who owns those PST files, and then migrate those PST files directly into the primary or archive mailbox in Exchange or Office 365. There are no agents to deploy at the desktop and the PST data is migrated directly – avoiding the requirement of a two-step process. Not only is the migration multi-threaded, so that multiple PST migrations can happen simultaneously, but the data can be filtered to reduce the data size and shorten project timelines.