Now that my TechTarget Virtual Seminar on email archiving is finished, I wanted to share the questions and answers from the session here. You will eventually be able to catch a recorded version of the presentation on TechTarget’s searchexchange.com site, and I’ll post when it’s out.
Interestingly, most questions revolved around justifying the purchase of email archiving solutions. I didn’t capture all of the questions, but will try to summarize the justification-related ones here.
How can a small company archive email?
Although email archiving is expensive, it is critical to almost any organization. Luckily, there are options for most people. At the most minimal, you can roll your own archive by “forking” messages into a redundant email system using mail forwarding rules. Many folks use open source UNIX mail servers for this since they’re especially inexpensive. Next, consider Exchange 2007’s managed folders as a way to build a basic but fully-supported archiving system. Another idea is to think about a managed service – many of these are much less expensive to set up than building a solution in house. Finally, look around and you might find that there are indeed much more affordable products than the “big names” many people have heard about.
Archiving solutions tend to be very expensive for enterprises, what is the trade-off?
Archiving solutions are very expensive indeed. They are difficult to justify on purely cost (IT infrastructure) basis. You must bring the legal and business people to the table and get their buy-in to justify the cost. Simply put, email archiving is expensive but e-discovery is much more expensive. With the backing of the legal organization, the cost justification looks much more positive.
What should be considered to account for email archiving for D/R scenarios?
Another great question! Many managed solutions include integrated DR for the system, but may not capture messages during a disaster or communications interruption. Local solutions tend to rely on conventional DR concepts like synchronous replication. Again, this technology (and especially the telecom to support it) is very expensive, but the cost can be justified for some when balanced against legal risks.