Information Faster Blog

Is Exchange 2010 Archiving for You?

By André Franklin


Most Exchange customers are aware that email archiving is a new feature in the recently released Exchange Server 2010 (E2010). The archiving and e-discovery benefits of Exchange 2010 can be summarized as follows:


Less need for PST’s



  • User has a personal archive

  • Rules to move to archive (after a certain time period) 


Improved retention



  • Keep for a certain amount time period

  • Legal holds


Basic e-discovery services



  • Search across multiple mailboxes


This is Part 1 in a multi-part series. The goal is to help IT departments determine if Exchange 2010 archiving will meet desired archiving requirements. In a word…is Exchange 2010 archiving for you.


 


This edition of the multi-part series will explore archiving and retention rules.


Archiving Rules


Exchange 2010 archiving allows for time-based archiving policies only. For example, mailbox messages can be archived if the messages are older that X number of days. This may work for many Exchange customers. Unfortunately, this will NOT work for archiving policies require additional parameters. Assume a message should be archived based on age only if the word “FINANCIAL” appears in the subject line. If you need multiple conditions in archiving policies – 3rd party Exchange archiving products should be considered. Archiving based on age alone is perfect for many…including many small businesses.


Retention Rules


The same restrictions apply to retention rules. Retention rules are based on age only. Exchange 2010 does not support retention policies with multiple conditions (e.g. - Delete message if “FINANCIAL” is in the message header AND if message is older than one year).


Stay tuned for Part 2 in which we’ll discuss online and offline archive access.

Email Management?

By Noel Rath


AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) has produced an excellent report from their survey on "Email Management - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (© AIIM 2009, www.aiim.org) -- available at www.aiim.org/emailmanagement2009.


Here are some of the key findings.



  • On average, our respondents spend more than an hour and a half per day processing their emails, with one in five spending three or more hours of their day.

  • “Sheer overload” is reported as the biggest problem with email as a business tool, followed closely by “Finding and recovering past emails” and “Keeping track of actions”.

  • Email archiving, legal discovery, findability and storage volumes are the biggest current concerns within organizations, with security and spam now considered less of a concern by our respondents.

  • Over half of respondents are “not confident” or only “slightly confident” that emails related to documenting commitments and obligations made by staff are recorded, complete, and retrievable.

  • Only 10% of organizations have completed an enterprise-wide email management initiative, with 20% currently rolling out a project. Even in larger organizations, 17% have no plans to, although the remaining 29% are planning to start sometime in the next 2 years.

  • Some 45% of organizations (including the largest ones) do not have a policy on Outlook “Archive settings” so most users will likely create .pst archive files on local drives.

  • Only 19% of those surveyed capture important emails to a dedicated email management system or to a general purpose ECM system. 18% print emails and file as paper, and a worrying 45% file in nonshared personal Outlook folders.

  • A third of organizations have no policy to deal with legal discovery, 40% would likely have to search back-up tapes, and 23% feel they would have gaps from deleted emails. Only 16% have retention policies that would justify deleted emails.

 


 

SourceOne customer speaks, but HP IAP customers boast

An EMC customer has spoken about the new SourceOne suite, saying:




  • EMC’s solution is not the cheapest.


  • They wonder if they’ve over-bought.


  • They’d like to see EMC add support for end-user access to the archive through mailboxes.
HP customers speak louder: Here’s what HP IAP customers are saying about HP’s comprehensive solution:Brunel University: “What we have is effectively the best 'find' button on the internet!  Beyond just efficiency, the solution has helped Brunel further enhance its reputation for corporate integrity, and you simply can't put a price on that.”Coscon: “The software and hardware integrated solution delivered by HP has not only mitigated the risks we faced, but also helped us to realise real-time mail data management in an effective manner within a short period of time.”Dubai International Financial Centre: “With the HP IAP we have peace of mind knowing that we can be in full compliance with legal and financial regulations.  It has made it far easier for us to retrieve any email we need— we can now do it in minutes.”

 

EMC's new services: Not new to HP customers

The EMC announcement of the SourceOne suite includes new consulting services to help customers develop information policies which align with business goals and regulatory requirements.

 HP already provides customers with regulatory compliance services, such as compliance and e-discovery workshops, information discovery and classification, business value analysis and requirements development, compliance and data policy assessment, and information policy definition.  Furthermore, the May 2008 acquisition of EDS enables HP to deliver a broad portfolio of information technology, applications and business process outsourcing services to clients in manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, communications, energy, transportation, retail industries, and government. In fact, HP recently increased its Information Management Services headcount by 10X, to further meet the needs of its customers.

 

What happened to all the structured data we used to manage as records?

I started my professional life when computers were big machines that filled rooms and only large corporations could afford them. In smaller businesses many of the administrative tasks, such as accounting, keeping customer registers, product catalogs, managing personnel, leave control, payroll etc. were done on paper in big ledgers.  These ledgers were managed as records with very well defined access controls and retention schedules.


With the advent of personal computing, or affordable computing, most of these well defined administrative processes started to use specialized applications that stored the data in some form of database. The focus of these applications was the day-to-day business process and the focus of the underlying databases was the storage, linking, and retrieval of the data, as a service to the applications. Neither the application nor the database technology looked at the requirements of records management.


At the same time, records management systems moved from index card systems to computerized metadata catalogs, and pretty soon moved on to also capture electronic records directly from users' desktops. The focus of electronic records management was on unstructured documents, which proved to be a real nightmare to manage in environments where information could be created by anyone, virtually anywhere and anytime. The information of the structured line of business application was seemingly managed - at least it had a recognizable structure and was stored in a controlled environment.


It is only now, when e-discovery and freedom of information legislation includes all electronically stored information (ESI), that businesses start to realize that very large parts of their ESI resides in structured databases and is not managed as business records.


In a post a couple of months ago I wrote about how some of our HP TRIM customers use metadata only records to at least recognize the existence of records in structured systems within the records management environment; the next step is now to talk about how to start taking control of the structured records at a more detailed level.


The combination of HP Information Management's Database Archiving and HP TRIM technologies makes it possible to manage structured records right from their definition in the source system to their management and destruction as part of TRIM's classification and retention policies.  This allows us to bring back into the fold of records management all that information that somehow got overlooked during the rapid change from paper to electronic environments.  Stay tuned for more...


 

EMC announcement: More like "PromiseOne"

On April 2, 2009 EMC finally announced the long-awaited replacement of EmailXtender.  No surprise.  Actually, it looks like they tried to announce it on April 1 and then pulled all the links—perhaps it was feared it would be seen as an April Fool’s joke.  What isn’t a joke is that this product, called SourceOne Email Management, is actually not a one-source archive solution—yet.  Like its predecessor, it does still archive one overall type of content: messaging.  EMC says that later this year they will release file, XML, and SharePoint archiving.  So, that’s when it will be “one source”?  Not exactly.  Why?  Because the SourceOne product family is not integrated.  Give them twelve to eighteen months—hey, they promised after all.

Bottom line: EMC’s announcement does not compare to the breadth and range of HP’s current offerings, and EMC is more than six months late to market with a product that does not even fulfill what they previously communicated to customers in terms of their key archiving needs.  Furthermore, the release of SourceOne Email Management is a replacement for EmailXtender, and what EMC is delivering with this release is a mere promise of what this product could become in the next year to eighteen months.  In these economic times, we need more than promises to show ROI like what HP IAP customers have been achieving for more than four years:

--Improving staff productivity by up to 80%, and email- and file-based productivity by over 34%


--Lowering email and document processing, review, and production costs by up to 90%


--Reducing time needed to analyze email and documents from weeks to minutes


--Achieving control of their corporate data, improving information governance

To Stub Or Not To Stub, That Is The Question…

By André Franklin


Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of convenient mailbox message stubs,
Or accept the clean simplicity of stub-less archiving…


… well… that is the question…


Ok…enough Shakespeare. What are you talking about?


When email archiving is performed to enable better email management, HP calls it selective archiving. In a word, selective archiving removes mail messages from mailservers. There are two popular selective archiving methods to manage mailservers:



  • with stubs

  • without stubs

So… what is a stub?


A stub is a substitute for a mailbox message that has been removed from a mailserver and placed into a dedicated archive. A stub contains a link to the original message and attachments that reside in the archive. The stub allows the original message and attachments to be retrieved from the archive through a user’s mailbox.


Only after messages are safely archived are they removed from the mailserver. Users remain within their mailbox quota limits as mailserver messages are deleted. This whole process improves email performance and reduces mailserver backup headaches. Assuming archive storage is lower cost per MB than Tier 1 mailserver storage, there are clear capital expenditure benefits for selective archiving.


(Note: archiving strictly for compliance purposes never uses stubs, but compliance archiving can be performed in addition to a selective archiving strategy).


What do I gain with each approach?


Stubbing:


A stubbed representation appears in the same place in a user’s mailbox as the message it represents. It allows for a single integrated list of both mailbox and archived messages. Stub messages are very small in comparison to the messages they replace. When used with policies that automatically remove, archive, and “stub” messages (often based on message age), users can experience a sense of “infinite mailbox”, and without the massive mailbox capacity that would give some mail administrators a heart attack.



Not-Stubbing:


There is no possibility or “stubbing” software causing problems with the mail client. Mail messages and messages classes are not modified. Archived messages that have been removed from mailserver mailboxes are presented to users as a special “archive folder” (no view of mailbox messages).


We’ll look at more of the benefits and “gotchas” of each approach in my next post.


 

How do you manage your Non-Records?

It makes me cringe every time I hear someone say "we don't need to worry about these, they are not records".  People usually refer to information that has been created or used in the line of business, but doesn't fall into their organizations "official" definition of business records.


These non-records cannot just be left alone. They still contain evidence and deserve to be treated with respect. The fact is simply that they are not seen as being of high business value and therefore nobody wants to spend time managing them.


And this is where the combination of an archiving system with a records management system makes sense. In our portfolio we have the Integrated Archive Platform, which allows you to set up rules to capture e-mails and files automatically. The IAP doesn't just apply retention rules to them, but also maintains their evidential value through making them searchable and non-tamperable. 


Through the integration of the IAP and HP TRIM you can still elevate the status of these non-record information to a business record, if and when required. At that point you add descriptive metadata to capture additional information about how the records were used and preserve their integrity and usability as part of a collection in the context of your business activities. If you capture any records right at the point of their creation, they are still stored in the IAP and take advantage of the secure and resilient storage.


The combination of the IAP archiving and the HP TRIM records management technologies allows you to build an uncluttered collection of high value business records, without running the danger that you have out of control non-records floating around your network forever.

5 ways to improve email management

Today, 85 percent of business communications occur through email, as the average email user sends and receives 76 messages per day.  This tidal wave of email is creating enormous challenges for almost everyone touched by Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino messaging environments. If you’re a CIO, CSO, IT VP/Director, Director of Messaging, legal/compliance officer or a GC, then you know that compliance, email security and control, mail server performance optimization, storage TCO reductions, and e-Discovery preparedness are top of mind challenges that you must resolve.

Today, up to 90 percent of companies from small (1-100 users) to very large (10,000+ users) who have deployed the market leading email applications don’t have an archive solution.  Yet 100 percent of these companies face requirements, whether internal or external, that dictate the need to ensure that their intellectual property is secure, controlled, and available when needed.  Since you’re in the 100 percent category, can you ensure that your email messages are captured, protected, accessible, and managed? HP Email Archiving software (for both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino environments) can help you overcome all of these challenges. It works exclusively with HP Integrated Archive Platform (IAP) to provide long-term retention and high-speed search and retrieval of messages and attachments to reduce the cost and business impact of e-discovery preparation, legal response, and regulatory compliance. This modular appliance approach eliminates the need to purchase separate archiving client software, servers, operating systems, indexing and search software, and content-addressable storage, helping enterprises improve:

Compliance: Many of the 20,000 compliance requirements across the globe require that you enable access to secure email. HP Email Archiving software with HP IAP helps reduce risk of non-compliance with Compliance Archiving (capture all sent and received email—before it becomes a PST), WORM on disk, encryption, and digital fingerprinting—all standard.


Security and control: 75% of corporate intellectual property is contained in email and other messaging applications. HP Email Archiving software with HP IAP enables email to be continuously controlled, secured, and protected with traceable audit trails and simple administration, all transparent to the end user.


Mail server performance: 183 billion email messages are sent daily. HP Email Archiving software with HP IAP lowers storage burden on the mail server, reducing mail server backup volume and speeding the backup and recovery processes.

Storage TCO: HP Email Archiving software with HP IAP reduces mail server storage burden. By reducing the number of users per mail server, server storage costs can be lowered and CAPEX can be deferred on mail server storage and upgrades.  

E-Discovery readiness: Many companies recognize that the cost of a solution enabling email security and e-Discovery readiness is far lower than legal costs associated with either an internal or external audit or legal discovery event. HP Email Archiving software with HP IAP ensures that the #1 culprit in legal discovery cases (email) is securely archived, searchable, and accessible.  By finding secure email quickly and easily, you’ll reduce the demand on IT, lower internal costs, and eliminate the need for expensive outside consultants.


For more information, visit www.hp.com/go/hpiap

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  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • For years I've been doing video and music production back and forth between Boston MA and New Orleans LA. Starting in 2010, I've began working with Vertica (now HP Vertica) in the marketing team, doing customer testimonials, product release videos, and website management. I'm fascinated by Big Data and the amazing things my badass team at HP Vertica has done and continues to do in the industry every day.
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