Monday, May 5, 2008

22by7 shares its expertise in Benefit IT magazine

Sr. Architect Mr. Bharath shares his expertise in Benefit IT Mabazine article

You’ve Got Mail
So Archive It!

Managing e-mails is every organisation’s nightmare.
However, there’s no way around it given the need for
seamless communication, regulatory compliance and
legal purposes. With archiving solutions in place, you
can rest in peace regarding the efficiency of your server
and flow of e-mails. Go ahead and get one for that
smooth, hassle-free flow of communication.

Key BenefITs
No e-mail overload clogging server
No duplication of e-mails in archive
Ensures compliance with laws
Easy and quick retrieval of e-mails

You’ve got mail!

And a flood of it. Imagine your
inbox inundated with hundreds of messages
that you need to spend hours clearing each
morning? Or, what if a critical mail is lost
perhaps in the maze of your global network
or swallowed by your server? Unthinkable,
because the loss of a single e-mail may spell
the loss of a precious business contact,
contract, appointment, or may be a monetary
setback to your company.E-mail, an otherwise
efficient communication tool for companies or
college students, can be a nuisance, if not taken
care of expertly. In today’s global village, e-mail is
the most critical business communication tool in
over 93 per cent of the organisations in the world
today. Business firms receive a few hundred critical mails
everyday. Each mail is precious, for the communication it brings in
and the part it plays in the global business network.
A company’s progress is linked to it, and hence it needs to be preserved.
In the current business environment, organisations are under constant
pressure from the government, legal and regulatory bodies to store more
data and for longer periods ranging from five to
seven years. A lost mail may open the Pandora’s box of troubles from
loosing credibility in the eyes of potential customers to legal hassles
from suing clients. Enterprises, no doubt,understood this long back and to
maintain e-mail servers’ efficiency,the following steps were taken by
most systems managers:
• Adding more primary storage
• Limiting the end user
mailbox size.
• Deleting messages from
message servers at regular
intervals, and
• Relying on back-up tapes for
long-term retention.

But these methods bypass the necessity to store e-mails for
regulatory compliance and legal requirements.
The client suing you for unfinished work as per the
contractual agreement, may very well get away with it and
many of your hard earned crores while making a huge dent in your
credibility unless, of course, you fish out the two-year old mail
regarding the transaction which was completed two years ago.
Herein e-mail archiving plays a crucial role allowing you to search
and reuse an old mail at your convenience.
Searching and retrieving the data when needed is the tricky bit.
Storing, archiving, and searching an old mail are the few challenges
we must tackle to safeguard against any potential business losses.
Where’s the space?

Today, most of the company information and record systems
are digital on at least one computer system (and probably multiple
systems, including online and offline storage). E-mails with all
kind of attachments (ppt, doc, jpeg, mpeg, mp3, etc) are taking up
almost 40 per cent of the storage capacity in organisations today.
What's more, even the e-mail attachments end up getting
stored in multiple places such as the inbox, sent folder and different
folders in a single computer, thus occupying more precious space.

A PR firm sends a 2 MB presentation to 100 companies. This
right away creates a 200 MB storage requirement for 200 recipients of
the press release. Many of those receiving the mail may open and
save the attachment or just let it lie in their inbox The organisations
whose employees do not open the mail add to the ‘unread’ bulk;
while those who ‘read’ but do not bother to delete the mail add to the
‘read’ bulk. Research has shown that after 30 days, 80 per cent of the
people do not access their e-mails but they do not delete it either. It is
just being kept for future reference while eating into a lot of expensive
storage space.

This makes e-mail storage a challenging job that is expensive to
manage and difficult to back-up, additionally with personal archives,
risk exposure, and inconsistent retention, message retrieval is like
searching for a needle in a haystack.

The key challenges according to Atul Gupta, product manager,
Select Technologies are:
• Reducing the primary storage
requirement for the messaging
storage environment by 60 to
80 per cent
• Improving performance of the
message servers
• Automating retention and
disposition policies
• Searching and retrieving
messages in seconds instead of
days, weeks or months
• Confidently producing all emails
for legal discovery.
There’s a solution though!

The most popular solutions in India are EMC’s E-mail Xtender
and Symantec’s Enterprise Vault,informs Atul.
EMC EmailXtender is a centralised data storage and
retrieval system. It automatically moves data off the e-mail
message server into the storage system, capturing and indexing all
incoming and outgoing e-mails. EMC EmailXtender
archive edition helps to reduce storage costs and increase
message server performance in Microsoft Exchange and Lotus
Notes/Domino environments by automatically migrating e-mail
messages and attachments into a centralised message archive. It
also removes duplicate messages while compressing them for a
compact message archive. “Good e-mail archiving solutions do
something called de-duplication of messages, so any message archived
will not be archived again,” adds
Bharath Kumar, senior architect,
22by7 Solutions Pvt Ltd.
This can also be combined with networked storage and help
organisations achieve increased operational efficiencies for dayto-
day e-mail management. For fixed content archiving, corporate
governance and regulated storage environments, EMC Centera,
a content addressed storage (CAS) system, provides unique
self-healing and authentication features.
Storing, archiving, and searching an old mail are the few challenges we
must tackle to safeguard against any
potential business losses.


Since this is a a one time cost on software products and
disk storage solutions where the mails will be archived,
taking the compliance and SLAs (service level agreements) into
consideration, the ROI (Return on Investment) can be achieved
in a year, adds Kumar. However, Atul adds that the cost depends
on the archival policy and compliance and there are two
major components—archival software and hardware. Software
has unique features that lower the TCO (total cost of ownership)
and gives quick ROI. E-mails need to be archived as
a record of business transactions.At the same time there must be
ease of use for people to work with efficiency.

The art of archiving

An e-mail server’s performance can deteriorate
exponentially when storing vast amounts of old e-mail and as a
result, users have to suffer e-mail quotas. Archiving helps to keep
the messaging server sizes small, while improving performance
and reducing back-up time. With archiving, an organisation can
establish a pro-active e-mail management system. Moreover, a
single, centrally managed e-mail archive would help
improve operational efficiency and storage management in
your company as also reduce time, cost, and the risk of legal
hassles. It will also provide a seamless end-user experience
while enabling compliance with regulatory and corporate
governance requirements.

Digging deep

When we archive so many mails every day, we end up
storing millions of mails. So how do you hunt for one specific mail
in this mass? According to Kumar there are two ways to search for
mail from archives: Web search (By using a URL to connect to
the e-mail archival server) and second by using client software
which will get integrated with a mail client like Outlook, Notes,
etc. Thus, it can be retrieved through a simple search.
“Since every archived mail has an icon and this reflects as any
other mail in the mailbox minus the size of the mail. Once the
user clicks on the icon, the e-mail gets retrieved with a minimal lag
time,” says PK Gupta, director— APJ (Back-up, Recovery and
Archive solutions), EMC Global Services.

The legal angle

The compliance regulation ideally ranges between five
to seven years. So for legal purposes a company needs to
preserve its mails. Again, each company has its own policies
and systems of meeting its regulatory obligations. “The
time span for which we need to store an e-mail varies to a huge
extent from one organisation to the other. Different companies
have different strategies and policies. For example, one of the
customers keeps all the e-mails for 30 days on primary storage
after that it moves it to ATAbased cheaper disks for one year
but leaves shortcuts so that users can retrieve their e-mails quickly,
and at the same time save a lot of space by de-duplication.
After a year, it moves to content addressed storage (CAS) for five
years to meet the compliance requirements and then gets
deleted after five years,” adds Gupta.

Cost is a constraint

Companies need to invest on storage products so that the
servers’ efficiency is maintained, which indirectly impacts the
efficiency of employees. This improves user satisfaction and
Archiving for accessibility
• Increases the processing power of
the mail server
• Gives control on mails within the
• Enhances e-mail retention efficiency
• Assists compliance with e-mail
retention requirements and
regulations to preserve corporate
• Deploys complete e-mail
management with assured
authenticity and easy accessibility to
the archived messages
• Increases end-user productivity by
reducing time spent managing e-mail
• Accelerates Microsoft Exchange
and Lotus Notes software upgrades
and migrations by archiving e-mail in
• Reduces storage costs and improves
message server performance
• Lowers the costs and risks of legal

-by Jesus Milton Rousseau S.
BenefIT Bureau

“Good e-mail archiving solutions do
something called de-duplication of
messages, so any message archived
will not be archived again.”
Bharath Kumar, senior architect, 22by7 Solutions Pvt Ltd.

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