For many organizations, email’s role is business- or mission-critical, but spiraling costs caused by email requirements are leading these organizations to re-evaluate their architectures. A variety of external business and technical pressures are triggering a ripple effect in the costs associated with email backup, archiving, eDiscovery, security, high availability, and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities.
One of the options organizations might look at to alleviate email management is peeling off support services like message filtering, archiving, and continuity and using a hosted service provider while keeping the rest of the email infrastructure on-premises.
Through the implementation of a strategic email management program that incorporates the “3-Es” of email compliance management—establishment of email policy and email retention policy; education of employees; and enforcement via proven-effective email archiving—government entities and educational institutions can successfully manage legal, security, and regulatory compliance risks.
Why use email archiving services?
The primary reason is because they address a major headache for the IT department. While email is vital to the flow of communication necessary to business nowadays, it’s difficult to manage and retain, and also presents technical, business and legal challenges.
Email archiving applications seek to address those problems by porting an organisation’s email to a separate archive repository that can be indexed and searched, which is important for compliance regulations. Many email archiving products also incorporate ways of reducing the volume of data that must be stored, for example, by keeping only one instance of an attachment that occurs on many emails, often leaving only a “stub” pointer on the email application to the fully stored email in the archive, thereby making the email store work more efficiently.
E-discovery is a key driver of email archiving, according to Bob Tarzey, analyst and director at analyst firm Quocirca. “From a discovery point of view, if you’re asked a question about what information you hold on an individual, archived emails are one of the main sources you check to find this stuff,” he said.
But handling these email archiving chores in-house is a technical and legal challenge. Email is perhaps one of the biggest drains on corporate storage resources, and employees have a propensity to attach large multimedia files. When IT departments try to control the size of user mailboxes with quotas, employees save email database files — such as Microsoft PST archives — locally, which results in emails that are not centrally backed up or searchable. Both of these practices are bad from a legal and business viewpoint.
Various kinds of challenges have caused many organisations to adopt email archiving services to offload the burden of storing archived data from the corporate data centre and to shift the chore of readily responding to e-discovery requests to an outside party. For small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular, there’s appeal in a service offering. For companies managing fewer than, say, 1,000 mailboxes, it may make sense to outsource email archiving to an email archiving service provider.
While email archiving services have generally been adopted by smaller companies, we are starting to see interest from larger firms for good financial reasons.
How do email archiving services work?
Email archiving products comprise two main functions — a means of capturing email messages and effecting their movement to a physical archive, and an archiving engine that indexes email content for search and applies policies that dictate their subsequent movement and retention.
The same things happen in an email archiving service, but offerings vary in the way those functions are split between the customer site and the provider. Some services work almost entirely in the cloud with email traffic passing through them before reaching the customer; with other services, the customer’s email infrastructure receives the email traffic, which is then journaled or copied to the service provider’s data centre.
Some providers simply offer cloud-only or journaled-only email archiving services, while others offer both.
Email archiving services also vary in their sophistication. You’ll pay more for advanced analytics, management capabilities, better security, greater scalability and the ability to handle multiple data types.
The email journaling method
Journaling email data involves taking a copy of the message, along with metadata such as the send date and a record of those involved in the conversation. This data is then stored separately so that metadata and keywords can be used to index the email.
Various Aspects to study the archival solution
1. User Experience –When selecting an email archiving solution, start with the user experience. In today’s Internet age of self-service, the user interface should require no guesswork. This goes for both administrator and end user.
2. On-Premise vs. Cloud
3. Administration/Governance vs. End-User Access –Client integrations have greatly evolved when it comes to accessing the email archive. End user mailbox storage quotas can virtually be eliminated when end users can directly and natively access their archive removing storage requirements on an Mail server. End user access must be simple, with direct integration to their email client, i.e., Outlook. Empowering end users frees up IT and allows managers instant access to the archive.
4. Compliance and Enforcement -eDiscovery has become a standard operating procedure, and archiving email is a technology platform that enables such.
5. Total Cost of Ownership
If you need further help in an email archiving solution, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck!!