Email Archiving: Choose Carefully… Very Carefully (Part 3)

By André Franklin

In part 2 of this topic, we raised the question, “How DOES one choose carefully? We listed several basic principles to consider when choosing. If these principles are observed, you are unlikely to ever have the need to migrate to a different archiving platform.

The principles we listed were:

  1. Thoroughly understand your email environment.

  2. Set clear archiving goals that will still make sense in 5 years or more.

  3. Examine scalability in all dimensions.

  4. Don’t treat email archiving as a silo. Consider other applications that need (or will need) data archiving.

  5. Favor solutions built on standard interfaces for investment protection.

  6. Backup and/or replication is more important than any other single feature

  7. Seek references of companies that have similar needs.

Let’s examine a few of these principles in this post…

Thoroughly understand your email environment

Without a good understanding of your mail environment, you’ll play roulette when it’s time to purchase an archiving solution. You must know certain basics, such as: storage capacity in terabytes, messages per second, average message size, max message size, etc. You need to make sure the proposed archiving solution can keep up with traffic in your mail environment. The new solution must be of sufficient size to accommodate all of your terabytes of messages and attachments… with room for growth over the next several years.

Set clear archiving goals that will still make sense in 5 years or more

Are your goals strictly compliance or e-discovery oriented in which you will remove data from the archive after “x” number of years? Are you trying to offload data from mailservers…and expect archived data to grow and grow and grow over the years? Maybe you require all of the above?

If the solution you buy today is already designed to address the picture you have in 5 years… you have reduced much of the risk associated with the purchase of an archiving solution.

Examine scalability in all dimensions

One of the big mistakes made by many is that capacity equates to scale. Just because a storage or archiving device can store the amount of data you want does NOT mean you’ll be able to easily retrieve it when needed. Archives must be designed to ingest data quickly (keep up with traffic in your mail environment)…while allowing rapid search access to archived data. Message retrieval using search can be hours or days with some solutions…and may be quite unacceptable if a judge is waiting for you to produce information based on a number of search parameters.

Before you buy… examine scalability in ALL dimensions:

  • Search performance (retrieval time) for the environment size you envision in 5 years

  • Archiving performance (the number of “typical” messages per second that can be archived)

  • Capacity (the number of terabytes of messages the archive can hold)

Stay tuned…more on these seven principles in part 4 of this series…

| ‎12-23-2008 04:24 PM

Thanks for your article.

From a wide list of email archiving solutions on the market I can recommend using <a href="">archive manager</a>.

It works pretty smooth and includes powerful abilities for email archiving and capturing to a central database. It keeps only a single copy of all messages and attachments saving storage diskspace.  

As for exchange environment analyzing - you can take a look at  another part of scriptlogic's <a href="">exchange management soluton</a> called <a href="">message stats</a>.

| ‎12-07-2009 10:36 AM

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