How to choose e-mail archiving tools

This article first appeared in "Storage" magazine in the February issue. For more articles of this type, please visit www.storagemagazine.com.

What you will learn from this tip: Key product features

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and policies to take into account when evaluating e-mail archiving tools.

There are more than 30 software tools on the market that enable organizations to manage archived e-mail messages. Finding a product is less of an issue than choosing the right one for your company. In this condensed article, Contoural Inc., a Los Altos, Calif.-based storage consulting company, makes recommendations on how to approach this task.

The first step, before evaluating e-mail archiving tools, is to establish corporate policies on who needs to handle e-mail archiving. In many organizations, the management of archived e-mail messages remains a grey area; the responsibility may lie with groups ranging from the e-mail team, document management team, storage team or systems admin to a team cobbled together from all of the separate IT silos.

The next step is to identify the product features your company needs. Key product features include the ability to:

  • Set policies and rules to manage the archival and retrieval of e-mail messages.
  • Search and classify the content of e-mail messages, including attachments.
  • Minimize the e-mail archiving tool's impact on the e-mail server's performance.
  • Manage disparate e-mail archive stores, such as on PCs or laptops. Produce reports that track capacity growth and satisfy auditors' requests.
For more information, including a few e-mail archiving products and tips on establishing archiving policies, read the rest of this tip in Storage magazine.

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About the author: Jerome M. Wendt is a storage analyst specializing in the field of open-systems storage and SANs. He has managed storage for small- and large-sized organizations in this capacity.

This was first published in March 2005

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