Moving the E-mail Archive - What Would You Do in This Situation?
We're pulling the trigger in about an hour to move from Mimecast (using them for spam filtering and archiving) to SpamTitan. Just like with Mimecast, SpamTitan will give us a cloud spam filter and archiver for our corporate mail.
As you can probably guess, we don't have all the data on our mail server any longer that has been put into Mimecast over the past couple of years for people who have left the company or even for existing users. I sent the powers that be a list of personnel who had e-mail accounts and had left the company some time during our Mimecast stint and let them know unless we extract the data or have Mimecast extract it, that data is gone forever. And in addition to that, for people with active mail accounts, we would not have messages they deleted themselves (i.e. emptied their deleted items).
We had a choice to either get all of the data for every user from Mimecast for a very large sum or extract some of it ourselves from their platform (a very slow, laborious process that requires babysitting because you can only extract so much at a time) with no way to get it all before service cuts off at midnight this Sunday.
Management sent me a list of about 30 addresses they wanted to retain for folks who have already left the company. That's no problem. We have almost all of it extracted.
But, what the president did not understand until today was that we may only have 90 - 95% of all active users' mailboxes (or less, depending on how they manage their e-mail). He seemed ok with the accounts they collectively chose to keep.
It makes me wonder, would it be best to go ahead and extract all the data for all C-level folks and IT personnel just to have it and put it in the new archive for legal reasons? My boss did not seem to think that was needed.
What would you do?
If it's not too difficult to keep extracting, I would grab data for the C-levels for sure + maybe upper management. Basically, everyone who might ask you about missing data afterwards because they didn't fully understand the idea of data loss, and who might be able to cause trouble for you once they realize the data they want is gone. If it turns out they really did need something later, you can stride in and be a hero which is always a good time.
If it's going to take hours just to grab the C-level data then it sounds like your boss decided it wasn't worth the time commitment. Make sure that's confirmed through email to CYA in case of disaster and you should be okay!
My Dad, A long time IT Administrator for mainframes would tell me over and over your only as good as your last viable backup. I am religious about backups and copy's of data, especially with big moves like this.
And I second the notion that most if not any of your users do not fully understand what is going to happen. Add on top that almost all are convinced of the "Clouds" ability to retain your data indefinitely. And you have a recipe for disaster.
And you look like the hero too when / if they need that data.
So get a nice external USB 3.0 HDD and dump the data there and save it.