First, find out whether your company is facing any urgent compliance deadlines that might force a quick tactical solution, such as an e-mail archiving server with dedicated storage. If you have some time for planning -- or if you are looking at archiving a more extensive set of applications such as ERP databases and Web content servers -- you should start with a systematic assessment of the requirements. This process will enable you to develop a consensus in your organization regarding the archiving policies, in terms of compliance requirements as well as service levels and other business needs. Then, define the most appropriate and cost-effective architecture for meeting the full set of requirements.
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