10 points to consider before deploying an e-mail archive


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10 points to consider before deploying an e-mail archive

Selecting an e-mail archiving application based solely on functionality may result in unexpected administration costs.

As storage shops implement e-mail archiving, many of them are confronting issues related to a company's vertical industry or the capabilities/maturity of the IT organization and its e-mail user community. The best practices presented here--which are focused on archiving for Microsoft Exchange--will ease some implementation, operational and maintenance concerns.

Your firm's industry will determine how you implement e-mail archiving. If financial compliance is a key driver, the emphasis will be on proof points and mandated retention policies. For organizations susceptible to expensive legal discovery actions, retention and ease of retrieval will be paramount; firms with similar requirements might also need sophisticated search criteria.

Other implementation issues are related more to company size than to specific industries. For example, some firms have crossed a complexity threshold due to the sheer size of their Exchange environments; therefore, their archiving priority may be reducing the size of message stores to improve daily operations. And regardless of their particular requirements, most organizations will also be looking for a degree of transparency to users.

An organization will typically draft a list of

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requirements the projected archival application must support. I recommend you also take a moment to consider the impact on operations and administration that might occur depending on how the vendor has architected its application. The product's other advantages might outweigh these considerations, but remember that operational and administration overhead is forever. At the very least, a prudent IT professional will understand the tradeoffs between application features and functions and operational overhead.

Where does this overhead come from? Our best practices suggest reviewing the following areas, which can add operational/administration costs to your archiving solution.

This was first published in September 2006

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