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Handling Leaver Data with ArchiveShuttle

Jun 5, 2015 by Orlaith Palmer

Organizations that migrate from legacy archiving systems to the cloud, such as Enterprise Vault migration to Office 365, often find themselves facing the challenge over what should happen with data stored in the legacy archive from former employees who have left the company. Typically, these left users don’t have an AD account and a mailbox anymore, hence there is no target mailbox to which the data can be migrated. Orphaned Archives, (leavers without mailbox and/or AD account), can already be easily identified within Archive Shuttle and a different migration workflow can be applied to those archives.


We often see, especially considering legacy archiving systems such as Enterprise Vault were introduced years ago, that there is a significant number of leaver archives that have built up over time. In one case, we saw 10,000 active AD Accounts (Employees) but over 60,000 archives on the legacy archive, resulting in a total of 50,000 leaver archives.

Microsoft’s suggestion on how to solve the issue without needing to buy 50,000 additional Office 365 licenses, is to put the Mailbox on Legal Hold so that the items in the mailbox can still be discovered/recovered if required. Then, the Office 365 license can be removed and, as a result, the data of the leavers is stored for free by Office 365.

Automated Leaver Handling with ArchiveShuttle 6.8

With the upcoming version of Archive Shuttle we have implemented an automatic process to handle company leavers when migrating to Office 365. As shown above, leaver’s archives are detected easily in Archive Shuttle’s User Interface. You will be able to define a bunch of “rolling” Office 365 licenses, which will be used for the migrating leavers. For example, you instruct Archive Shuttle to use 10 licenses for all your leavers. Archive Shuttle then creates Office 365 mailboxes for 10 leavers and puts the mailbox on Legal Hold before starting to migrate the data into those mailboxes. As soon as a leaver is done, the license is removed and added back to the leaver’s license pool, so Archive Shuttle can reuse the license for migrating the next leaver.

The result is a smooth and automated approach to migrate leaver data without any additional licensing costs in Office 365.

Archive Shuttle 6.8 is currently scheduled for general availability late June 2015.

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