Office 365 Architecture for eDiscovery [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Electronic discovery (eDiscovery) is a necessary part of doing business for many organizations these days and there are good reasons why you should want business teams, not IT, to own and manage their own case workload in Office 365.

To name a few:

  • reduced security and privacy concerns from Legal and Compliance perspective
  • enhanced efficiency and reduced timelines
  • elimination of communication breakdowns

I work with organizations helping move this responsibility to the typical business teams requesting eDiscovery searches (Legal, Compliance, Risk, HR, Internal Audit, etc.) and consistent feedback I’ve received is the need for business teams to understand where to search for what across Office 365.

This requires a view of Office 365 architecture thru an eDiscovery lens rather than a technical one. To help bridge the gap and answer questions I often hear such as “where are chats stored?” or “what’s in a user’s mailbox?”, I’ve created 2 infographics.

[UPDATE November 26, 2019] Included Microsoft Teams private channels in infographic.

Each one approaches Office 365 Architecture thru a different lens:

The intent is for these to be a resource for eDiscovery managers and administrators as they’re building their search queries.

Please feel free to download these and share with your business teams working with eDiscovery, however please give credit if you do! I’d love to know if business teams in your organization find these helpful. 🙂

Special mention… shout out to Drew Madelung and David Wesst for reviewing and providing great feedback on the infographic content.

As changes are made across Office 365 applications affecting what’s included in an eDiscovery search, I’ll update the infographic. If you believe I’ve missed something, please don’t hesitate to reply in this thread and I’ll update the infographic as time permits.


Credit: Photo by Cam Morin on Unsplash


  1. Thank you for a very helpful series of articles. Team meetings may be recorded and held in Stream, with or without a transcript. Is this covered by eDiscovery and infographics?

    1. Hi Keith, Microsoft Stream recordings are not discoverable. I’ve added this to the ‘Where are meetings stored’ section. Not sure how I missed that one – thanks for asking!

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