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Email archiving strategies: In-house, hosting and hybrid email archiving

In-house, hosting services and hybrid email archiving are three models to consider for your customers' shops.

As a channel professional charged with developing an email-archiving strategy for a new or old customer, you'll be glad to know you have options to accommodate various budgets and wide-ranging security requirements.

In-house email archiving

One approach to saving and managing archived email is to create an in-house email-archiving system, particularly for customers concerned about security. This gives them the ability to own all the servers and software needed for email archiving, and manage the data within their facilities.

However, in-house setups are typically expensive and may only be in the financial realm of the biggest corporations.

Email archive hosting services

An outside hosting service may be more appealing to your smaller customers. This may be the most cost-effective approach for those companies that can't afford to build email archiving functions within their IT departments or just choose not to do it.

In the hosted model, your customer only needs a VPN connection to connect to yours or another off-site service provider. Incoming email to the customer site is funneled through a VPN for storage and indexing. The customer buys no equipment and no software.

One concern your customers may have about the hosted model is that they are placing private communications in another company's hands -- something few companies are wild about.

Hybrid email archiving model

A relatively new twist in email archiving is a compromise between the two approaches. In this hybrid model, mailboxes are managed by internal IT staff, and the actual archiving portion is completed in another location – typically off site.

The hybrid model, which has been available for more than a year, allows customers to manage their own archiving servers and encrypt their own email, while you or another partner host the storage. The encrypted email is sent to the off-site location.

There are some advantages in the hybrid model that offer the benefits of local mailbox management and allow end users to search their own archives quickly, because servers are kept in-house. The only savings is in the storage costs, but moving storage off site does build in the potential for disaster recovery into the model.

Another reason companies might consider a hybrid is that it's quicker to set up than if the IT shop had to build everything from scratch. An internal archiving installation may take months to develop and set up, and weeks of lab testing. A hybrid might take from four to six weeks to install and test. Fully hosted archiving can sometimes be set up inside of a week.

This article originally appeared on

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