Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2017-06-12 20:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

I got a call from a peer asking me whether Microsoft had improved the export performance or functionality in the latest release. Any excuse to test new toys is a good excuse. When Microsoft first released the eDiscovery Center to meet demands for search and export of Exchange and SharePoint (2010) content, I performed both performance and validation testing. Corporate clients have always needed defensible, practical preservation and collection functionality for their primary unstructured ESI platforms. Forensic collection tools required training and technical skills, especially with the changes in ESI formats, APIs and versions. Most corporations just used the Exchange Administration Console (EAC) to dump entire mailboxes down to PST files and manually downloaded document libraries from SharePoint. The original eDiscovery Center was replaced in the 2013/2016 releases for the current Security & Compliance Center. Office 365 Enterprise E3 ($20/month) customers can search, hold in place, export and E5 ($35/month) customers even use the Advanced eDiscovery functionality based on Equivio for analytics and review of moderately sized collections. So what did my fast tests find?

  • The export process now runs in two phases to export to a temporary (2 week) Azure storage location before using the AZCopy utility to download.
  • Email can be exported as a PST or MSG files to the Azure staging area.
  • My home office testing showed improved download speed of 6.4 GB/hour for a single PST and 11.8 GB/hour for MSG files. While this is a serious improvement over the 1-3 GB/hour experienced in the original process, the MSG export has major tracking issues and no effective way to cross reference the metadata in the CSV report to the MSG files.
  • Office 365 will offer to install an automated version of AZCopy to perform the download based on an export key that you copy/paste. The full utility is command line driven and is a bit technical for the average legal department user.
  • The AZCopy utility supports concurrent export threads and the default 16 operations can be increased up to a maximum of 512. The recommendation is 8 times the number of processing cores constrained by bandwidth and storage limits. Here is a good tech note on increasing the operations via registry setting for the dedicated eDiscovery download version.
  • Export limits per current support documentation: LINK
    • 2 TB/day
    • 10 GB/PST
    • 3 concurrent exports/user
    • 10 concurrent exports/organization
    • 260 character file path limit on exports. File name truncated or file moved to parent folder. eDJ Note: This issue and the inability to directly connect the export report to the renamed MSG files makes MSG export unsuitable for discovery.
    • SharePoint exports seem to be limited to doc libraries with very limited metadata fields in the export report. There is no HTML views of the actual SharePoint pages, just the files.

I expect a couple of long term clients to revisit usage of the Compliance Center soon and an opportunity to conduct formal validation/performance tests with much larger, diverse data. I am most interested in testing the AZCopy utility to move exports Cloud-2-Cloud for improved performance. Many of my clients are phasing out their onsite preservation repositories in favor of Azure/S3 repositories that better support the requirements and ability to charge back preservation costs instead of just absorbing them into the IT budget. I will keep you informed as the testing continues.

Stay skeptical my friends!

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365/2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment. Greg is no longer a journalists and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? eDJ Group is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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