How to choose e-mail archiving tools

In this condensed article, Contoural Inc., a Los Altos, Calif.-based storage consulting company, makes recommendations on how to approach this task.

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

What you will learn from this tip: Key product features 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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Tip: Expand your SAN -- No-sweat SAN design tools

Topic: Data management tools

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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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