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How to write an archiving program RFP

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Formes built a test environment with an Exchange server using 5GB to 10GB of data, and had Mimosa staff perform data extractions based on policies he specified. In the process, Formes learned more about his requirements. "I found some products put a heavy load on the Exchange server itself," he says. "Finding out what that load was, was pretty important to me." The test was conducted over two months, and Formes bought the Mimosa product and had it up and running a few months later, he says.

Even with that much planning, Formes found the archive takes more storage than he thought--almost a terabyte--when his mail storage is 200GB. Because he has two offline backup copies, he expected only three times larger storage requirements and he isn't sure why it's so much bigger. "It's just something you need to plan for," he says.

Major compliance regulations

Compliance regulations are behind a major uptick in archiving product sales. Some of the more widely known regulations in the U.S. include the following:

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Act of 2002 established new and enhanced accounting standards for public U.S. companies. They not only require companies to produce information, but ensure that archived information isn't changed.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

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was enacted by Congress in 1996; among other things, it improves the security and privacy of health data. It requires patient records to be saved during the life of the patient.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 specifies similar privacy rights for student educational records at all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), a new version of which went into effect in December 2006, requires that participants in a civil case reveal retention practices and electronic formats of data. In addition, some states have their own laws on electronic evidence, which may or may not be the same as the federal laws.

This was first published in August 2007

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