Client moving to exchange, How to support archive data?
Question asked by Paul White - 11/7/2022 at 8:53 AM
One of my clients has grown over the years, and has been bought out by a venture capital group.  The new owners want to move everyone in the company to exchange ( cloud based ) since it comes with the office suite they already pay for.  My understanding is they could setup the accounts and them and use IMAP to copy over all the data per user.  But there is not a way to move the archive data.  I have several TB of data going back to 2014.  The only solution I can think of is to have them run their own copy of smartermail locally at the office so they can pull stuff from the archive when needed.  Since they are only going to use it to that do they need to buy it?  Or will the free version work?  Or is there some kind of special tool to work just with the archive? 

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Tony Scholz Replied
Employee Post
Hello Paul, 

To start with the Free Version will support Message Archiving if needed. The Message archiver stores the emails in plain text format ( eml ). 

Message Archiving
This feature is only available in SmarterMail Enterprise edition.
Message archiving is a method of storing all email traffic for a domain -- either incoming messages, outgoing messages or both -- in a separate location on the mail server. Typically, this is a feature used for companies that need mail servers in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 or other regulatory compliance.

By default, SmarterMail does not archive any messages. To specify which domains on the SmarterMail are archived, the system administrator will need to create archiving rules. Note: If the system administrator wants to allow individual domain administrators to search their domain's message archive then individual rules need to be set up for each domain. Setting the message archiving rules to "all domains" means only the system admin will be able to access message archive and search for messages on the mail server.

When archiving is set up, messages are automatically archived as soon as they hit the spool and before they are handled by any spam and/or content filters. This means that all messages are archived, not simply those that are delivered to a user's mailbox. (The exception to this rule is messages rejected due to SMTP Blocking. If a message is rejected due SMTP Spam blocking, it will never hit the spool and, therefore, will not be archived.) On a nightly basis, SmarterMail zips up archived messages and stores them to conserve disk space on the mail server. However, zipped messages are still searchable.
If needed you can zip up any of the emails ( after doing a search, or if they have their own archive location ) and send them over to them to do with as they wish. 

Please let me know if you have more questions. 

Thank you
Tony Scholz System/Network Administrator SmarterTools Inc. (877) 357-6278 www.smartertools.com
Paul White Replied
Thanks Tony!
I will tell my client they will need to use the Free Version of Smartermail to manage the legacy part of the Archive.
I think after they get on the exchange cloud, they will be begging to come back to smartermail : )

Paul Blank Replied
The suggestion to use the archive part of free SM is a good one. If you want these messages in M365, you'll need to do some work...

From within SM, you can do an archive search with just an email address in the To or From field, and then copy the result to a folder in a SM mailbox, but I don't know at what message count this might max out. And then not sure what will happen to system resources if you "Copy to Mailbox" after getting a huge result. Just searched a user's folder for all mail to them from 2010, and it made it to 100% after counting over 350,000 messages. I did not click "Copy to Mailbox," however. 

Anyway, since the archive files are in plaintext EML format, as stated, there appears to be several ways to manipulate these and get them migrated to M365 (or elsewhere). What I don't know is how to automate the process of extracting the EML files from the ZIP archive files, and then separating them by user. 

This should not be too difficult to program. I'm not much of a programmer these days, but I believe it can be done. If the client is large enough, they just might have a budget for this.

BTW there is at least one flavor of Microsoft 365 that doesn't include email, and which comes at a lower price. One of these would be Apps for Business, and can be mixed on a tenant with other M365 flavors.

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