There was a time when IT organizations relied on individual end users to preserve their own emails for recordkeeping purposes. However, as email became increasingly central to business, many firms took a more systematic approach and upgraded to email archiving solutions, which provided more control over their company information:
- Archiving tools typically make emails searchable, allowing messages to be located quickly without the weeks-long ordeals that were common during the days of DIY email retention. Through advanced search and sophisticated reporting, most emails can be found in a matter of minutes.
- Email management is now a hot-button legal and political issue. To ensure proper compliance with legal discovery efforts as well as regulatory legislation, it is essential to have a dedicated archiving solution in place, capable of tracking all relevant electronic communications.
- The vast scale of corporate email – The Radicati Group estimated that a total of 205 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2015, and that the number would rise to 246 billion by 2019 – also necessitate lifecycle management. This practice determines which emails require archiving, where they will be stored, and if/when to delete them.
Limited budgets and crowded inboxes make the case for email archiving
Email archiving should be the norm for modern businesses, especially in light of these major trends. But organizations have to be smart when selecting such a solution, since email management requires significant amounts of storage and can accordingly strain already their tight IT budgets. Archiving should provide cost-effective relief from this problem.
Indeed, the 2017 State of IT report from Spiceworks found almost no expected change in IT budgets between 2016 and 2017. Moreover, email hosting was the single biggest component of hosted/cloud-based investment in both years.
Mailboxes are also larger than ever. For example, a PandoDaily survey of 38,000 inboxes revealed that the typical Gmail account contained more than 8,000 messages. Before Gmail launched in 2004, multi-gigabyte inbox storage limits were unheard of outside of expensive enterprise email plans.
Microsoft Exchange inboxes
Microsoft Exchange has also become a space hog. A Spiceworks discussion thread of email admins featured responses from several individuals stating that their inbox size limits had been set as high as 50 GB now that email had become a de facto file management server for many end users. Others enforced archiving requirements once a mailbox exceeded 2 GB or 10 GB.
Email archiving ideally helps keep inbox size in check through mechanisms such as stubbing. This practice can reduce the size of an Exchange Server by 80 percent through the removal of attachments and specific message contents from emails for designated users and/or groups.
What are the important features for an email archiving system?
We can see that email archiving, at its core, should make message retrieval easy, follow all applicable guidelines for storage retention and security, and reduce the pressure on inboxes by shifting older messages to a different storage medium. A top-notch solution should go even further with features such as:
It should be deployable on a virtual or physical server, an appliance, or as SaaS in a managed service provider environment.
Archiving across multiple domains
Today's organizations often support remote workers and branch offices. A good email archiving solution should accordingly provide options for authentication via VPN or cloud and access messages stored on multiple Exchange Servers.
Integration with Microsoft Outlook
Accessing archived emails can sometimes be cumbersome, since extra plugins and client-side integrations may be required. Tight integration with Microsoft Outlook can overcome this problem and facilitate easy access to archived messages.
"Tight integration with Microsoft Outlook can overcome access problems."
It should ensure that organizations have no trouble complying with the email-related regulations contained within HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and SEC rules.
MailStor from UbiStor offers all of these essential features and many more. With MailStor, you can seamlessly integrate email archiving, replication, migration, backup and disaster recovery into your existing IT infrastructures. Visit our MailStor product page to learn more about email archiving, and be sure to contact us directly for sales information or answers to any questions.