Email Archiving: Choose Carefully…Very Carefully (Part 4)

 


By André Franklin


In part 3, we discussed seven principles. If the principles are observed, you are unlikely to ever have the need to migrate to a different archiving platform in the near future.


The seven principles are:




  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

We examined in detail principles 1 through 3 in part 3. Let’s examine a couple more principles in this post…


Don’t treat email archiving as a silo


We have heard from many users that email is the biggest pain with regard to implementing archiving. This applies to email archiving for compliance purposes, or simply to lighten the load on mailservers. As such, email is often the first archiving problem to be tackled. It’s a noble deed to take on the toughest problem first, but it’s not a wise deed if future archiving needs are not taken into consideration.


What will you need to archive in the future?  Most environments have files. Many use Microsoft Sharepoint to share departmental and corporate information and content. Then there are instant messaging systems, text messages, voicemail, and so on. There is also database data that can be selectively archived for improved database performance. To complicate matters, information management systems want to control what is stored, for how long I is stored, and who has access to the stored information. All of this must be taken into account when implementing an archive.


In an ideal world, one can perform a single search across a massively scalable archive to retrieve data of various types from email to media files to financial records, etc.


All future archiving needs should be considered at the time the first archiving problem is tackled. If an archiving solution does not address the breadth of application data that you want or will need to archive…you run the risk of trying to migrate your archive data to a new and scalable archiving platform in the future. As we have discussed in previous posts…”it’s ain’t gonna be pretty”…so make the right choices upfront.


Favor solutions built on standard interfaces for investment protection


Solutions built around standard interfaces mitigate certain risks with regard to data interchange -- if a migration ever becomes necessary. In addition to standard interfaces, solutions that expose well-documented API’s also mitigate risks. This allows you to roll your own solution and/or interface with other solutions and add-ons. You never really know everything you will want or need in the future, nor can you know of future products that will add value to your existing archiving investment. Standards and API’s help put the odds in your favor.


We’ll examine the remaining two of the seven principles in part 5 of this series.

Comments
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