When I explain email archiving to someone unfamiliar with the process, I’m often faced with the question; "Could they do that themselves?"
There’s a good case for wanting to have full control over your email archive. Maybe you want to save money, keep the process in house, maybe it would be less complicated than trying to install something from a third party?
So I thought I would investigate how someone might go about archiving their own email communication so that it was secure, compliant and searchable.
Storage needs of an email archive
First and foremost, and probably most importantly, you need archive storage. Email archives don’t just store client emails or messages flagged as important, they have to store everything. This is necessary for both compliance and to maintain business continuity, especially in environments of high staff turnover. Backup files, duplicate data or never-ending inboxes might be some solutions to these storage requirements, but are they enough?
Email archive searchability
Once you have your data stored and filed away, your next task is to ensure it’s searchable and that your system is capable of performing an eDiscovery request. Standard search engines, even when you utilize their “advanced settings” have very limited scope when it comes to performing searches.
If you have shelves of backup tapes, how do you begin to locate a single email among them? Labeling? A detailed database, master Excel document perhaps, with dates, recipients, times, subjects – how long will it be in the end?
Recovering data from an email archive
Whether you need to search for a file within a backup, or you need to extract some data the restoration process is risky. Data could be lost, corrupted or edited during the process. Once restored, data isn’t necessarily in a read-only format, as regulation would require, especially for litigation.
So where does that leave the DIY email archive now? You need ever-increasing amounts of storage, a system by which you can perform detailed searches, a method of producing legally defensible data – the list of required hardware, applications and software is growing. What ever happened to this being easy and cost-efficient?
The solution to DIY email archiving
The solution, put very simply, is someone else’s. A dedicated email archiving solution from a trusted provider will eliminate the need for additional hardware (and the costs that comes with it), guarantee compliance from the outset and perform eDiscovery requests with ease. There is a little bit of DIY, at least with Jatheon’s solution, you do have to plug it in – but from that moment on, it’s up and running and working for you.
How do you tackle email archiving? Do you try the DIY approach, of have you found an even easier solution?
Whether DIY or, in-house or outsourced, data retention is important, so important infact that we compiled a list of ten benefits to email archiving.