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New data management for Exchange

Managing Microsoft Exchange Server data is a challenge in an environment that demands higher service levels, increased storage capacity and easy access to historical e-mail.

Managing Microsoft Exchange Server data is a challenge in an environment that demands higher service levels, increased storage capacity and easy access to historical e-mail. Traditional tape backup methods inadequately serve Exchange for recovery, and do nothing to manage e-mail for archive access and retention. E-mail management nearline servers offer speed and e-mail archiving, plus help reduce the size of Exchange storage. This new generation of products leverages low-cost archive grade storage such as SATA RAID. Here are some of the crucial capabilities that can revitalize your Exchange data management.

  • Fast recovery: Recovery from disk is orders of magnitude faster than traditional tape recovery. Tape recovery is too slow and the risk of recovery failure is too great to make this an efficient recovery method except for off-site disaster protection. By using new low-cost archive grade storage, it is now economically feasible to maintain a full Exchange database copy on disk for recovery purposes.

  • Mailbox recovery: While tape backup solutions address the recovery of full messaging databases, recovery of individual mailboxes has not been solved in any scalable way. A nearline disk-based approach significantly improves Exchange recovery, and is flexible and supports recovery at all levels, including full database, mailbox and message level restores.

  • Self-service retrieval: Allowing users to search and restore messages themselves boosts productivity and saves administrators time. The Exchange Deleted Item Folder offers message level protection, but it also consumes valuable space on expensive Exchange storage and it requires administrator assistance. Also, the data on an Exchange Server is typically not indexed, due to the high overhead and storage space this process consumes. An indexed archive of all e-mail that is stored on a separate nearline server could provide easy search and retrieval of individual messages by users using the standard Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface.

  • E-mail discovery: Auditors must be able to perform rapid search across multiple mailboxes over time, in order to comply with a legal discovery request or regulatory investigation. An e-mail management nearline server can support flexible discovery of messages across multiple attributes, including full-text search of e-mail messages and attachments.

  • Reduced store size: The growing use of attachments is resulting in unmanageable mailbox stores. One way to reduce the store size is to selectively remove attachments based on age or size and replace the attachments with stubs. As before, Outlook users access e-mail with select attachments served up from the nearline server. By removing attachments, store sizes can be reduced by up to 80%! A smaller store runs faster and is easier to back up and to restore if need be.

  • Retention and disposition enforcement: Most companies have established policies for retention and disposition of e-mail. A disk-based solution for e-mail management allows for consistent enforcement of policies that are automated and policy-based.

    Low-cost archive grade storage overcomes the challenges of tape backup and traditional e-mail archive solutions. Exchange data management is dramatically improved with fast-granular recovery, self-service retrieval and reduced store size. A new generation of nearline server-based advanced data products will revitalize Exchange data management for IT managers, legal and compliance officers and, most importantly, the business users who rely on Exchange for daily communication.

    About the author: Bob Spurzem is senior product marketing manager at Mimosa Systems Inc.
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