Vaultastic is an email archiving solution to preserve your mail data for the long term. It works on the principal of ingesting a copy of the email data from your primary mail platform in-flight and storing it in safe tamper proof vaults, one per user.

It is often the case that businesses have large volumes of historical email data captured and stored in various mediums, over the years, to ensure readiness for compliance or data loss events.

The current methods of storing historical data in most organisations, make it risky, and not so useful since all this data is not online and therefore not easily accessible or searchable. Essentially, it is not online and not search ready.

Businesses are keen to de-risk on this front and figure out a way to leverage this accumulated wealth of information (70% + business critical data is carried in email) for business decisions, insights and knowledge discovery, recovery, in addition to being ready for information governance.


Historical data migration into Vaultastic is supported only for users subscribing to the TRACER, DURABILITY or HOLD plan.


Method 1: Copying email data from live mailboxes using IMAP

If you have live mailboxes (belonging to active or inactive users), which contain email data that needs to be migrated to corresponding user vaults on Vaultastic, we propose you do this via IMAP Sync.

The Process for IMAP migration

Using this method, you configure sync jobs using DIY migration tools provided with your Vaultastic administration panel to copy data from your primary mail system, over the Internet to Vaultastic.

It is important to note that most mail systems deploy bandwidth throttling to protect their systems from being overloaded and hence this method, while fully automated, would take a while depending on the data size per user account. E.g. we have seen several popular systems restrict daily download limits to 2.5GB per user, which means a 10 GB mailbox could take upto 4 days to complete.

The DIY migration tool allows you configure multiple parallel jobs to optimize the copy and increase throughput.

Stages of migration using IMAP Sync

Stage Description
Convert/Migrate Convert or migrate the email data from the primary mail accounts into corresponding Vaultastic accounts to enable ediscovery and other analysis
Store/Search The email data is preserved in the Vaultastic accounts till the retention period applicable to the account and is available for discovery/search and other processing.

Bill of Material for Copying email data from live mailboxes using IMAP

Stage Item Charged to Description
Upload or Migrate Internet bandwidth at the last mile Customer You pay carrier charges as applicable to move data from your environment to the Vaultastic cloud.
Convert Operations Team Customer Your team oversees this activity and performs this end to end, including configuring jobs in batches, monitoring the completion of jobs and ensuring all the data has been imported. Your team is well supported by a DIY portal, documentation and Mithi’s support staff.
Convert Tools Customers pays for data conversion

With every Vaultastic TRACER, DURABILITY or HOLD plans, you are entitled to upload historical email data. This attracts a one time conversion charge per GB as explained here

Convert Any charge levied by your primary mail system to extract data Customer In case your primary mail provider will charge you to pull out data from their platform, this cost goes to your account.
Store/Search Storage in Vaultastic account Customer pays to hold imported data

With every Vaultastic TRACER or DURABILITY plan, you can upload any amount of historical data, which will be billed pro rata at the rate of per GB per year.

With the HOLD plan, you can upload historical data limited to the volume of storage purchased.

Method 2: Copying static email data in PST/EML/MBOX formats

If you have accumulated email data in the popular PST/EML/MBOX formats in files stored across your devices and storage mediums, you can import this into Vaultastic using the process described below.

The process for migrating PST/EML/MBOX files

Step 1: Collate all the data in one place:

This step makes it easy to manage this exercise by having all the data in a single place sorted into folders, where each folder contains all files with email of one user. If you do not already have your data sorted like this, then now is a good time to do this since you can only import data into Vaultastic corresponding to the target user account. This means that if ravi@acmecorp is a user, then only Ravi’s email data files in PST/EML/MBOX formats can be uploaded to Ravi’s vault in Vaultastic.

Step 2: Create an S3 bucket in YOUR AWS account to park all this data in the cloud:

This step is about moving all your email data files and folders into the cloud first. Amazon S3 is an elastic cloud storage technology, which can hold all your email data with very high durability.

If your data size is not too large, you can choose to copy these folders and files to the S3 storage via the Internet using the S3 browser. The "large" here is a relative term and it depends on your last mile Internet capacity. As a rule of thumb, if it takes more than one week to upload your data to AWS using the spare capacity of your existing Internet connection, then you should consider using the snowball.

Learn more about when to use snowball

Step 3: Convert & Import email data from your S3 bucket into Vaultastic:

Vaultastic provides a DIY tool for performing such migrations as part of the administration tool kit. You can define multiple parallel jobs to pick up the PST/MBOX/EML files from your S3 bucket (Source) and convert/copy them to the corresponding user’s vault in Vaultastic.

Stages of migration for importing PST/EML/MBOX files

Stage Description
Upload

Upload data in external files such as PST/EML/BOX to an S3 bucket in your (customer’s) AWS account.

At this point, data remains in the raw format and is not available for search/discovery.

Methods for uploading raw data from your environment to your S3 bucket in your AWS account are S3 browser over the Internet or AWS Snowball for physical shipment.

Hold/Convert

This stage is about holding the raw email data in your AWS S3 storage for as long as you decide. For example, you can choose any of the following options:

a. You can upload files to your S3 bucket and immediately submit for conversion to your Vaultastic accounts. After conversion to Vaultastic, you may delete the source PST/EML/MBOX files

b. You can upload files to your S3 bucket and immediately submit for conversion to your Vaultastic account. After successful conversion, you may continue to hold the data in the original raw format.

c. You can upload files to your S3 and hold the data in raw format. You may choose to convert to Vaultastic only on demand.

Store/Search

The email data is preserved in the Vaultastic accounts till the retention period applicable to the account and is available for discovery/search and other processing.

Bill of Material for Copying static email data in PST/EML/MBOX formats

Stage Item Charged to Description
Upload Internet bandwidth at the last mile Customer If you decide to use the Internet as a medium, you pay carrier charges as applicable to move data from your environment to your AWS S3 bucket in the cloud.
Upload AWS Snowball Customer If you decide to use the AWS snowball, you would be paying its rental and other logistic charges to receive the device from AWS and send it back to AWS.
Upload/Hold/Convert Operations Team Customer Your team oversees this activity and performs this end to end, ordering for the snowball, creating an S3 bucket in your AWS account, including configuring jobs in batches, monitoring the completion of jobs and ensuring all the data has been imported. Your team is well supported by a DIY portal, documentation and Mithi’s support staff
Convert Tools Customers pays for data conversion

With every Vaultastic TRACER, DURABILITY or HOLD plans, you are entitled to upload historical email data. This attracts a one time conversion charge per GB as explained here

Store/Search Storage in Vaultastic account Customer pays to hold imported data

With every Vaultastic TRACER or DURABILITY plan, you can upload any amount of historical data, which will be billed pro rata at the rate of per GB per year.

With the HOLD plan, you can upload historical data limited to the volume of storage purchased.

The best strategy for you depends on your data size and other factors. The table below can help you decide on the right strategy

Data Migration type Stages involved
Small data (less than 4-6GB / user) available in email accounts on your primary mail server and your primary mail solution supports access to IMAP accounts (you have the user id/password per user or a master account to access the mailboxes of all users) IMAP
  • Convert for each user.
  • Store in Vaultastic accounts.
Small data (less than 4-6GB/user) available in PST/EML/MBOX formats PST/EML/MBOX
  • Upload to your S3 bucket.
  • Hold only till migration is complete.
  • Convert immediately to Vaultastic data.
  • Store for the lifetime of the Vaultastic account.
Large data (6GB - 10GB) / user) available in email accounts on your primary mail server and your primary mail solution supports access to IMAP accounts (you have the user id/password per user or a master account to access the mailboxes of all users) IMAP
  • Convert for each user
  • Store in Vaultastic accounts
Large data (6GB - 10GB/user) available in PST/EML/MBOX formats PST/EML/MBOX
  • Upload to your S3 bucket.
  • Hold only till migration is complete.
  • Convert immediately to Vaultastic data.
  • Store for the lifetime of the Vaultastic account.
Huge data (>10GB/user) available in email accounts on your primary mail server and your primary mail solution supports access to IMAP accounts (you have the user id/password per user or a master account to access the mailboxes of all users) IMAP
  • Convert only for a few years (such that the size is < 10GB)
  • Rest to be converted to PST/EML/MBOX and uploaded to own S3 bucket and converted on demand
Huge data (>10GB/user) available in PST/EML/MBOX formats PST/EML/MBOX
  • Upload to own S3 bucket.
  • Hold forever.
  • Convert on demand.
  • Store for the lifetime of the Vaultastic accounts.
  • Migration
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  • 1. Is there any limit on the amount of historical data I can upload?
     

    Upload of historical data is available only the users who have subscribed to the TRACER, DURABILITY and HOLD plans of Vaultastic.

    The TRACER, DURABILITY plan has a provision for unlimited storage, which means that you can upload any amount of historical mail data belonging to that user. You will be billed for holding the data at the rate specified here

    The HOLD plan is billed by the storage consumed, but there is no limit on the amount of data you want to store for the HOLD plan users.

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  • 2. Why do you want me to copy my email data to an S3 bucket before importing?
     

    There are multiple reasons to the design of this architecture.
    1. The convert and import tool need an always available online nearby source to work effectively without interruptions. This would be a challenge if the tool was to directly access the email data from your environment over the Internet.
    2. The S3 bucket is in your account and by copying your data from your dispersed mediums such as USB drives, tapes, laptops and other devices to the cloud storage, you have consolidated and centralised the data in a highly durable storage, reducing the risk of losing data. This is more important since the covert and import function will run over time.

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  • 3. Does Mithi charge anything for historical data migration?
     

    The Bill of material tables in the methods described above enlist all your billables. In both cases, Mithi’s roles is to provide you the tools and the guidance to perform the migration, both of which are included in the subscription charges. You can refer to this topic to learn more about the price for migration of data.

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  • 4. Why does Mithi not provide this as an end to end service?
     

    As per our privacy policy, we do not want to gain access to our customers’ data. Hence, we have worked very hard to create tools and design processes to enable a DIY system for our customers to support them in this effort.

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  • 5. Do I need to maintain the email data in my S3 bucket after its been imported into Vaultastic?
     

    This is entirely upto you, however its not required once the data has been successfully imported into Vaultastic. Once the data is in the vaults, you can search for information quickly and export it in multiple choice of formats at will.

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