On a recent long overdue vacation to Costa Rica, I ignored the advice of many travellers and just relied on a good map. What I thought was a good plan turned disastrous in a hurry. In Costa Rica, many of the roads are unlabeled or not referenced in the same ways we reference in the United States. Luckily, I met a nice lady from the United Kingdom who taught me how to use my iPad as a GPS without using WIFI or requiring 3G service. The realization in that moment was that as a technologist, I really missed the boat on this one. The great advice and learning experience allowed the vacation to be a success.
The same could be said for Exchange migration. Maybe you are still running SharePoint 2007 or just completing your migration to SharePoint 2010 when Microsoft releases SharePoint 2013. Without a doubt, the product keeps getting better and everyone wants it. Getting Exchange migrated to the latest version is the challenge. However, you can overcome this challenge with expert guidance from many in the field specializing in SharePoint. You know who they are and most likely follow their tweets, blogs, and read their books.
In the interest of due diligence, how will you get your data from the old environment in the event of a discovery request or complete disaster? Outside of maintaining recovery farms or perhaps utilizing recovery databases, there is still a ton of manual work to get the data into a usable format. While these traditional methods are available, do you actually have the time to perform them when time is a hot commodity these days?
One such tool that would make these situations simpler is Ontrack® PowerControls™. This tool allows you to open an offline/un-mounted content database, giving you access to the site collections, sub-sites, and ultimately the granular items you need to gather. All of this is done without SQL or even SharePoint. From there you can drag, drop, and restore or even export to a hard drive location of your choosing. With no restrictions on where to restore the data, the sky is the limit.
With the right tools, anything can be achieved.