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Faster, safer migration with PST FlightDeck 4.0

7 Sep 2015 by Thomas Madsen

It’s now even easier to use the world’s leading PST migration tool
Getting rid of old Outlook and Exchange Client mailboxes is a guaranteed way of improving your security and making sure you meet regulatory and compliance requirements. Over the past ten years we’ve worked with hundreds of organisations – from medium-sized businesses to global corporations and public bodies – helping them migrate off troublesome PST files. With PST FlightDeck 4.0 that process has just got even easier.

PST FlightDeck is typically used in projects like Office 365, Exchange and Enterprise Vault migrations, and its latest enhancements include load balancing to speed up transfer from disparate locations, automatic provision for migrating the mailboxes of people who have left the business, and new helpdesk functionality.

Let’s have a look at some of the cleverest tweaks and why they’ve been introduced.

Improved efficiency for multiple locations
Many organisations operate across multiple sites, with different network setups and bandwidth allowances. PST FlightDeck 4.0 can actually take advantage of that, breaking down the collection, processing and ingestion procedure into local processes running concurrently. This has huge implications for speed.

Take a typical example where a customer has 1,200 people in location X and 800 people on the other side of the country in location Y. If migrating to Office 365, all the data would previously have had to be transferred to location X for repair and de-duplication before ingestion, or different PST FlightDeck servers (with their additional management overhead) would have been needed at each location.

PST FlightDeck 4.0 introduces master/slave functionality. A master server in location X can control a slave server at location Y, so that processing is done locally and data gets ingested from multiple points directly into Office 365. This is a huge benefit as there’s no need to move the data over the corporate network. Because PST FlightDeck will be ingesting into Office 365 from different subnets it also helps reduce the throttling done by Microsoft.

The job completes faster and the customer retains a single view and reporting point. The technology’s also ideal for tackling distributed Exchange and Enterprise Vault models.

Automatic handling of leavers’ mailboxes
For compliance it’s essential that the emails of people who have left the organisation – even if many years ago – remain accessible after migration.

PST FlightDeck 4.0 now has similar functionality to our archive migration product, ArchiveShuttle. It automatically creates mailboxes from a pool of leavers in Office 365, pumps in the data, flags the data as ‘legal hold’, and then deletes the mailboxes. The Office 365 licence can then be repurposed, the effect of which is that the data is held ‘free’ within Office 365 and remains fully searchable, but at no extra cost.

Unified end user and helpdesk interface
Along with its new master server model, PST FlightDeck has also been updated with a new interface. Operators can track discovered files as well as the status of the migration, and there is a new web-based ‘helpdesk’ view that does not require installation on a client.

If a user asks “where is my PST file?” the helpdesk operator can immediately look up the user and see the live status for each file – even drilling down to ingest counts.
Owner analysis, profile policies and active bandwidth management
PST FlightDeck 4.0 includes further behind-the-scenes enhancements to features introduced in the previous release.

Six-factor weighted analysis is carried out on every PST file to confidently identify the correct owner (competitive products use only one or maybe two parameters). Based on deep analytical algorithms, this feature significantly reduces administrator effort to manually match files. It ensures data ends up in the right mailbox, and that only exceptional files need to be flagged to operators for manual intervention.

The number of users being migrated, and the bandwidth available, have an impact on speed. PST FlightDeck’s CollectProfile technology sets different policies for user types based on local environment, regional restrictions, platform, local language, regulatory requirements and infrastructure constraints. With this information, PST FlightDeck can manage the transfer speed for each individual user and location.

Active bandwidth management ensures that distributed organizations with complex network setups and WAN infrastructures can be migrated without detrimentally affecting other critical network services. Customers decide how to schedule PST collection matched to available local bandwidth.
Get started with PST FlightDeck
With its multi-threaded advanced PST repair capability, minimal user intervention and high performance, there’s no reason not to consider PST FlightDeck for your PST migration.

As a start point, Quadrotech’s PST Snapshot service can help you quickly ascertain the extent of PST use throughout your infrastructure.

And you can find out more on PST FlightDeck itself here.


Thomas Madsen is the Senior VP Product, PST FlightDeck. He has over 25 years of experience in the various segments of the software industry, and was part of the management team at VCARE that originally developed the migration tools which became Quadrotech as part of a management buyout. Thomas is also the Chairman of the Board.