See why EVNearSync should be your #1 choice for migrating EV to Office 365
Over time storage requirements, best practices and hardware change.
During the early years of Enterprise Vault EMC’s Centera platform was the platform of choice for many organizations however it is now “end-of-life” with all of the support difficulties that entails.
ArchiveShuttle allows you to easily swap-out legacy storage platforms and switch to more cost-efficient platforms for email archiving on its own, or as part of an infrastructure modernization program.
Use Case – Storage Durability
EVnearSync can be used as an alternative to the regular incremental backup cycle for Enterprise Vault email archives.
By deploying an EVnearSync agent onto an Enterprise Vault server the data in Enterprise Vault can be continuously protected by replication to a local NAS device.
There is no requirement for the original and replica copy to use the same storage platform, this gives complete flexibility for immediate protection of Enterprise Vault.
In the event that the Enterprise Vault storage fails for some reason, the replica copy can be brought on-line without the need to recover from back media.
The detail of how EVnearSync replicates Enterprise Vault can be read here
Use Case – High Availability and Disaster Recovery
EVNearSync can be used for both high availability and disaster recovery to provide the best options to suit Enterprise Vault Continuity.
Unlike other solutions for Enterprise Vault high availability or Disaster Recovery EVnearSync does not require specialized hardware or software to be deployed. It does not require storage sub-sytems to be matched across local and remote sites and it does not require virtualization.
In the event of an outage users of Enterprise Vault can be switched to a secondary copy of the archive either locally or remotely. Because of the way EVNearSynch replication works with the Enterprise Vault safety copy mechanism there is zero potential for data loss, so an RPO of zero is delivered. Additionally if automated switchover is configured the RTO is a matter of seconds.
Email migration best practice demands that users have continuous access to their email. Not all approaches to email migration provide such continuous access. EVStorageMigrator uses a “Sync’n’Switch” approach. By uncoupling data synchronization from the user migration EVStorageMigrator guarantees users are not interrupted while their email is migrated from one instance of Enterprise Vault to another.
In short users’ archived emails are synchronized to the target in the background without impacting the ability to work and access archived emails as usual. Daily deltas are recognized and synchronized continuously so that at the point where the user migration itself takes place (the switch) the user has access to both the new and original source data.
This is achieved by following a two stage process that first synchronizes the data, then switches the user to the new archive.
Migration Workflow Stage 1 – Sync
Set Criteria to Initiate Switch
Migration Workflow Stage 2 – Switch
Why is Sync’n’Switch Important?
Email migration best practice demands that users have continuous access to their email. Not all approaches to email migration provide such continuous access, and are often invasive to the user. The full Quadrotech product set, including ArchiveShuttle, MailboxShuttle and EVStorageMigrator use a “Synch’n’Switch” approach. By uncoupling data synchronization from the user migration Quadrotech products guarantee users are not interrupted while their email is migrated from one instance of Veritas Enterprise Vault to Microsoft Office 365 or another Veritas Enterprise Vault system.
What benefits does Sync’n’Switch give me?
- Seamless user migration, removing any downtime or user inconvenience
- Data migrated in the background prior to the actual user switch taking place
- No ‘wait times’ for users being moved from Source to Target
- Full Reporting and Monitoring via the Quadrotech Product Suite
How does Sync’n’Switch work?
In short, Sync’n’Switch is a two stage process. Firstly, users’ archived emails are Synchronized to the target in the background without impacting the ability to work and access archived emails as usual. Daily deltas are recognized and synchronized continuously so that at the point where the user migration itself takes place (the switch) the user has access to both the new and original source data.
Secondly, users are then Switched to the target system seamlessly, completing the migration process.
What exactly does the Stage 1 (Sync) do?
Stage 1 includes the initial synchronization, as well as continual delta/incremental changes being synchronized prior to the actual Switch (Stage 2) being performed.
How is Stage 2 (the Switch) initiated?
Stage 2 can be initiated either manually, or using an Active Directory trigger (for example, when a mailbox is moved to a target Exchange Server or Office 365, ArchiveShuttle could be configured to initiate a Switch of the user to the target archive).
What does Stage 2 (the Switch) actually do?
Stage 2 is responsible for disabling the source archive for one or more users, validating the final deltas or incremental of data have been migrated, enabling the user on the target, cleaning up the mailbox, and optionally deleting the source archive. All completely seamlessly, without the user being aware of the switch or migration taking place.
Can EV stores be split?
Yes. You can move user’s archives from one Vault Stores to another. Simply select one or more user archive and define the destination Vault Store. The deletion or rename of the source archive is done automatically during the migration.
Can EV installations be consolidated?
Logging and Auditing
It is essential that any archive migration maintains a full audit trail and log of activities. Preserving the chain of custody in compliant environments requires documentation steps in each step of the process. But this isn’t just about passive reporting, it requires an active approach.
EVStorageMigrator delivers a robust auditing engine which logs each step in the migration workflow while validating that the data has not been corrupted or tampered with in any way during the migration.
The migration of each item is recorded in EVStorageMigrator’s database with several metadata properties, like its unique ID in the source, the item date, the retention category, etc.
Each successful step in the migration workflow of this item will be recorded in the audit log, together with a timestamp for the completion of that step. Then as each item is extracted from the source system a cryptographic hash will be computed and stored in the database as the fingerprint of the item.
Before the item is ingested into the target system, the hash is recalculated to make sure that not one bit has changed during the migration. If a discrepancy occurs, the ingestion will be aborted and the item will be re-exported from the source.
This approach ensures that a full compliance trail is recorded and any issues that arise are dealt with when they occur.
Unlike storage-based replication solutions which use block-based replication EVnearSync uses object based replication to provide a safe, reliable and fast replication process which is integrated into the DNA of Enterprise Vault. This allows a primary and secondary copy of Enterprise Vault to be maintained in different locations without needing to match storage platforms.
It also protects Enterprise Vault installations from replication of corrupt storage blocks which otherwise could destroy a secondary copy and make failover impossible during an outage.
EVnearSync makes use of Enterprise Vault’s “safety copy” feature to provide a completely supported mechanism where replication is integrated in the archiving workflow.
A typical Archiving Workflow with EVnearSync in place to replicate archived data would look like:
The steps are as follows
- During the archiving schedule Enterprise Vault connects to the user’s mailbox on the Exchange Server using the MAPI protocol and, dependent on policy (e.g. older than 30 days), it copies the items which match the policy to the Enterprise Vault Server. The “original” items are still available on the Exchange Server but they now have the altered message class of IPM.Note.EnterpriseVault.Pending.Archive.
- The metadata of the copied item is inserted into the Enterprise Vault database (Vault Store DB, Fingerprint DB and folders in the directory DB)
- Depending on the Single instance (SIS) settings on the Vault Store Group hashes will be calculated on the items’s different parts (body, attachments etc) and the item will be split into different files. These proprietary Enterprise Vault files will be written into the open partition of the Vault Store
- The index for the item is created and stored on the file system.
- EVnearSync now gets triggered by Enterprise Vault. It reads the EV Databases to determine which files have been archived since the last query. It replicates each object (i.e. file by file – all the files within a single EV transaction) to the replication target in the second data center
- EVnearSync calculates SHA-256 or MD5 hashes to ensure the quality of the replication. Both source and replicated files will be hashed. If the hashes match the replication is known to be successful
- At this point EVnearSync provides feedback to EV that the item was successfully written and the archiving storage is now safe as there are two copies.
- Enterprise Vault deletes the original item from Exchange and replaces it with a shortcut
Steps 5 to 7 are additional steps carried out by EVnearSync. Because there are always two copies of the item at the same time (either in Exchange and in the archive storage – or in the archive storage and the replication target) it is impossible to have data loss. The original item in Exchange will only be deleted if the replication was successful.