Email has become a key form of communication for businesses worldwide. Every day, billions of emails are sent and received and the ever-increasing volume of email is becoming a concern for systems administrators in every type of enterprise.
Storage issues, corrupt PST files and compliance regulations are pushing businesses to keep copies of their email off their mail server and more and more systems administrators are turning to email archiving to automate the process and save time (and avoid potential problems).
How does email archiving work and how can it save time and money for administrators?
In simple terms, email archiving software automatically extracts email contents and attachments from both incoming and outgoing emails, indexes them, and stores them in a read-only format in a separate database and off the email server.
The main purpose behind this is to help organizations maintain records of all emails which would be centralized and accessible for administrators as well as employees. In this way, the possibility of emails being accidentally or deliberately deleted by workers is decreased, and in worst case scenarios they can easily be found and restored to the individual’s mailbox. What is also important to note is that all archived email is kept in its original state.
So how does email archiving make the administrator’s life easier?
Here are three primary reasons:
1. Store size is reduced and Exchange performance is improved – To improve message store and Exchange performance, administrators usually implement email quotas for employees. This can be problematic as employees would need to delete emails which might be needed for future reference. By archiving email in an SQL database instead of on Exchange, email archiving software grants employees a near ‘unlimited’ mailbox with easy access to their email at all times.
This also gives administrators peace of mind as, knowing email is being automatically archived, they do not need to worry about employees deleting email from their inboxes. Also, since archiving would be left to the server and not to Exchange, Exchange performance and store size are improved.Email archiving not only solves the storage problem that is exacerbated by Exchange 2010, but makes email backup and restore a snap – as simple as dragging and dropping an email in Outlook.
With organizations upgrading from Exchange 2003 / 2007 to Exchange 2010 they will enjoy the new features of Exchange but they will miss Single Instance Storage which means that their storage costs will increase considerably. Using an email archiving solution, users will put SIS back into Exchange thus reducing the need for expensive storage.
2. No more messing around with clumsy and cumbersome PST files – Not all employees store their emails in PST files, and few know how to organize them properly. Besides being large and difficult to back up and search, if they are subsequently damaged or deleted, emails are lost. With file size limitations on PST files, employees have to maintain numerous copies of PST files creating additional problems as these may not all be saved in the same location. Employees do not need to store their mail in PST files or on local hard disks if the business uses an email archiving solution. This means that instead of having to go through a store of PST files on a disk to find a particular email, both administrators and employees can retrieve past emails from the database.
3. Users can retrieve stored emails themselves – Having an email archiving solution installed means administrators do not need to go through the hurdle of having to search manually and of handling the requests coming in from employees. With an email archiving solution employees can access all of their old email with just a few clicks.
With these three points in mind it should come as no surprise that the email archiving market is growing incessantly as it is a true bonus for any SME.