Email archiving client concerns

Email archiving will not go away. As a critical aspect of running any business, finding a way to streamline the process will save a company money and give VARs an opportunities to show their worth. These are the top questions that customers are asking. VARs need to be prepared to answer them and have best practices in place that will help a company save money and continue to grow.

Does email archiving require huge amounts of bandwidth?

The answer is: "It depends." It depends on what kind of email system that you're putting in place, and how you intend to move data from the email server to the email archiving. For example, suppose an employee has email traffic on a daily basis. A basic email archiving system would track email based on when it arrived in the email system. A policy might then dictate that the email be archived off the email server after 60 days. That's batch-type processing and does not require a substantial amount of bandwidth.

However, if you're "journaling" emails -- capturing and archiving copies of email the moment each message arrives at the email server -- then yes, you're going to utilize much more bandwidth because data is being moved across the network almost continuously. Usually, users will choose this approach for regulatory or litigation purposes.

Read the rest of Tolson's answer at SearchStorage.com. What are the advantages and disadvantages of an in-house email archiving system verses a hosted system?
Hosted email archiving systems are relatively fast to get up and running. There's nothing for the customer to buy. The outside company is doing all the work and providing all the solutions; they're just hooking into the company's email system. The upfront cost is also reasonably low because, unlike in-house email systems, there are no initial capital expenditures for equipment or software.

The advantage of an in-house email archiving system is that the customer has much more control over the platform. But with daily control comes daily responsibility, so beyond the sizable investment, the user must also find, hire or rely on consultants for the expertise needed to setup and manage the email archiving system to meet regulatory or litigation requirements.

Find more about storage management and administration at SearchStorageChannel.com. What strategies should I implement when considering hosted vs. in-house e-mail archiving?
There are actually three potential strategies to look at when looking at e-mail archiving options: in-house, hosted and hybrid.

  • In-house e-mail archiving: The in-house solution model is just how it sounds. All required hardware and software is purchased by the customer, installed in the customer's data center and managed by the customer. The vast majority of e-mail archiving solutions sold in the last eight years are of this type.
  • Hosted e-mail archiving: In this model, a company's e-mail, sent and received, is forwarded via VPN or other secure link to a service provider which accepts the e-mail, indexes it and stores the e-mail for later retrieval by the customer.
  • Hybrid e-mail archiving: The hybrid e-mail archiving approach combines the in-house and outsourced models. In a typical installation, an appliance is installed at the customer site which performs the capture, indexing and management of the e-mail traffic. This e-mail is then usually encrypted and sent to a service provider's site for secure storage. The hybrid model was originally created to offset the high cost of storage. Now, because hybrid vendors usually offer the hybrid solution via a monthly service charge, customers are offered the best of both the in-house and hosted models.

Find more about storage management and administration at SearchStorageChannel.com. Can you offer a step-by-step approach to creating a records retention policy for email? What are the most important things to consider?
There are three main considerations you need to take into account when creating a records retention policy for email.

First, the mistake most companies make when creating an email retention policy is not involving all areas of the company in the construction/review process. An email retention policy is not just a legal document, it will effect employee productivity company-wide. So, the first step is to create a policy group with representatives from all major areas of the company.

Second, you need to understand what regulatory or legal factors you are subject to. Is your company in a heavily regulated industry that has existing data retention requirements?

Third, you need to decide how you will enforce the policy. Are you planning to put an automated email archiving system in place, or will you rely on manual procedures? If you will rely on manual procedures, you will need to include step-by-step email retention instructions that employees can follow and employee training to ensure the policy enforcement.

Get the rest of the details for creating a records retention policy for email at SearchStorage.com. What's the biggest mistake you see companies make when adopting an email archiving solution?
The biggest mistake is when a company reacts to a specific event and purchases technology without fully understanding all of the problems that they really need to solve. There are four or five main problems that companies try to solve when it comes to email archiving: regulatory requirements, litigation/discovery problems, storage and management (often due to the migration of large PST files to network servers), user productivity impacted by time spent searching mail and managing mailboxes. A few years ago, many companies reacted to the Sarbanes-Oxley law by purchasing the first solution that they found. But after they spent the money and installed the solution, additional problems started to crop up that they had not considered.

Unfortunately, a company will often see one of those issues appear and implement a solution that answers that one problem without considering the other potential issues. You should completely understand all of the problems that you would potentially want to solve before making an email archive purchase decision.

Find more about storage management and administration at SearchStorageChannel.com. My client just bought an email archiving solution. What's the first thing that should be done?
Companies don't bother to create an email retention policy and put the policy into place before they go out and buy the technology. Once you purchase the technology and install it, what policies are you going to set when you turn it on? Creating a company-wide policy with all major departments included in the decision-making process will help when setting the archive system policies later on. I've seen companies get to the point where they've made a technology choice and brought it in, and now the system is just sitting there because nobody knows what policies to setup.

Creating a document or email retention policy can take some time because every major group within the company should have the opportunity to examine their needs and provide their input. For example, a human resources department has to deal with many data retention laws. Legal departments, engineering, finance and other departments each have unique retention needs that should be considered long before an equipment purchase is made.

Find more about storage management and administration at SearchStorageChannel.com.

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