When one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in Europe, Tullow Oil, set their sights on Africa, the company recorded its largest ever discovery off Ghana’s shores. Uganda and Kenya followed suit. The result was a 56% exploration success rate with 9 discoveries out of 16 wells, allowing the African continent to become synonymous with Tullow Oil success.


Owing to the major global Microsoft Exchange challenges encountered by Tullow Oil, Integr8, one of leading and most reputable IT Infrastructure Management and Services company in Southern Africa, was contracted to design and configure an onsite lab which would restore the Microsoft Exchange databases. The creation of a separate off-network lab environment at Tullow Oil would allow the team to restore the databases from tape backups dating as far back as 5 years by using Symantec Backup, Exchange EDB, and PST Recovery. The outcome of the exercise would enable Tullow Oil to actively restore what was lost and convert to PST.


To deliver the required solution, Integr8 implemented an Active Directory and Exchange Lab environment that allows Tullow Oil to actively restore Exchange databases and convert them to PST files as a solution, in turn providing an Exchange Disaster Recovery and business continuity plan for the future.

The lab environment consisted of all the required servers, applications and services needed to ensure a seamless and effective restoration of the Exchange databases, simultaneously capitalizing on technologies and software already invested in by the business.

Delivering meaningful business solutions on time and within budget requires a verified approach and as result, the Microsoft Solutions Framework methodology was used. The outcome of this practice provides an adaptable framework for the efficient delivery of technology solutions at a faster rate, requiring fewer people and reducing potential risks. MSF helps teams to address the most common causes of ‘technology project failure’, and so improving success rates, solution quality, and the positive impact on the business.


After the Exchange crash, Tullow Oil re-created the entire domain and changed the name. As a result of this action, the company experienced great difficulty in restoring the Microsoft Exchange mail stores previously backed up on the old domain structure.

Following Integr8’s task of setting up the environment and successfully managing to extract the required data, Tullow Oil realised that the initial plan would not be a viable option and thus changed the objective so that the newly restored environment could be replicated at Tullow’s premises, allowing their team to restore their mailboxes when required.

Integr8 took this in their stride and promptly setup a dummy domain and Microsoft Exchange environment to allow Tullow access to their archive mailboxes when required.

Tullow Oil described the experience as a professional one, from the initial meeting through to the administration and documentation stages to the technical delivery of the required result.