Moving from Autonomy archiving to Microsoft Exchange

"We needed to retain all staff and student email indefinitely, so they can access what could be valuable work and student-related information"

Autonomy archiving to Microsoft Exchange migration

University Moves Data from Autonomy EAS to Microsoft Exchange

NUI Galway
Essential Computing
Autonomy EAS
Data Size

One of Ireland’s oldest and finest academic institutions, NUI Galway prides itself on excellence in research and teaching and is home to 17,000 students and 2,200 staff.

During 2012 a significant restructuring took place within the University and two ICT departments were amalgamated into one.

Previously the departments each had its own Microsoft Exchange 2003 service along with a significant amount of historic data stored in a dedicated archive service based on Autonomy Enterprise Archive Solution (EAS).

NUI Galway Logo

The University’s objective was to consolidate all its email data into one place and at the same time upgrade from Exchange 2003 to 2010 as a way of providing better services to staff.


It was also decided that the contents of its legacy archive – 18 million+ emails across 500 mailbox archives – should be moved into the on-premise Exchange 2010 service. This would remove the support overheads associated with maintaining a separate on-premise archive. It also would give NUI Galway a degree of storage resilience.


According to Dorothy O’Regan, Principal Technical Specialist at NUI Galway, We need to retain all email indefinitely, both for staff and the University so they can access what could be valuable work and student-related information. Not migrating our existing archived data was never a consideration

The process of migrating such large volumes of email, however, was going to be a big challenge. Added to this the University had tight resource issues and knew it didn’t have the capacity to build its own migration solution. Following some research they partnered with archiving and migration experts, Essential Computing.


Working with specialised migration software from Transvault, Essential designed, architected and documented a solution to meet NUI Galway’s needs. They oversaw the initial mailbox migrations and provided training to the University’s own IT team so that they could complete the migration.


Continued O’Regan, The migrations ran smoothly. There were a small number of steps and it was great to be able to submit variable batch sizes. Due to the way some very old items were stored in EAS, NUI Galway started to see some failed messages.

According to the migration consultant working with NUI Galway, Transvault was able to remedy the problem long before any negative effects for the organisation were felt. We encounter many different archives that are old and creaking or have been through a patchwork of upgrades and unusual configurations applied throughout their lifetime. Knowing that Transvault is able to respond quickly to new scenarios means we can deliver a robust solution to our customers.

Concluded O’Regan, In the end we achieved a high success rate, with less than 1% of our emails failing. It was useful that we could re-submit a user’s archived data and only messages that had not already been migrated would need to be transferred. The migration approach certainly worked for us so we do not hesitate in recommending this approach to other organisations. We had no issues and no surprises and achieved our objective to migrate all archived email from EAS to the Exchange 2010 archive mailboxes. Essential delivered what was promised at the outset.