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Enterprise Information Archiving (E-mail and files)

Businesses, government agencies and other organizations receive, generate and store enormous amounts of information which should be archived for many reasons.

Preserving e-mail and related data for long periods is critical on a number of levels: to comply with legal obligations to retain business records, to comply with regulatory requirements, and to keep a record of corporate history for use by employees and others.

An e-mail archiving product should provide a searchable archive of all e-mail messages for a defined period of time. It can be used as a way to reduce the size of production e-mail data store to gain operational efficiency (reduce back-up time, improve recovery and eliminate the need for quotas while still keeping the active data store lean). It has to capture and archive all or selected e-mail messages entering and leaving the company, and messages between users on an internal e-mail server as unique, indexed records.

Archiving can be achieved by using different methods: on premises, where the customer takes care about the appliances, storage, software and other necessary things that make the solution effective, cloud archiving, where all mail are sent to datacenters in the cloud and a hybrid approach which stores messages on premises and in the cloud.

However, in-house setups are typically expensive and may only be in the financial realm of the biggest corporations. On the other hand one concern the customers may have about the hosted model is that they are placing private communications in another company's hands -- something few companies are wild about. Vendors developed multiple solutions to avoid such thing. A hosted service should offer encryption from the place from which e-mail is extracted to the datacenter. More of this, e-mails should be stored in an encrypted mode and only the customer should be able to decrypt them.

There are many reasons for e-mail archiving.

Regulatory compliance is another major driver, especially for companies in the financial, health care, pharmaceutical, utilities, government and other regulated industries. These organizations must give regulators access to e-mail content upon request.

Litigation support is another factor. The need to provide e-mail information in support of litigation can be difficult with traditional e-mail systems, where information may be located in several different systems, the report noted.


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