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Email Archiving And The Small-To-Midsize Business (SMB) — Archiving, Compliance, And Disaster Recovery In One Solution

By Stephen Spence, NorthSeas AMT

In a Small-to-Midsize Business (SMB), messaging is usually the most critical of its business applications. Because of its ubiquitous reach, e-mail has become the preferred way of communicating business proposals, confi rming agreements, and even sending purchase orders and invoices. As a result, an organization's body of e-mail messages and their attachments contains vital business records and valuable corporate knowledge. The volume of data that passes through a company's messaging system has become so great however that many now find it almost unmanageable.

Organizations have different reasons for needing enhanced e-mail storage. Some need more capacity, longer term retention, and user accessibility. Some need to upgrade their e-mail storage to comply with regulations pertaining to retention of business or government records. Still others seek some assurance of ongoing e-mail continuation.

Most organizations manage their e-mail retention by performing regular back-ups of their mailservers. This helps restrict the size of the information store on the mailserver to a level that is optimal for server performance and conducive to regular maintenance. Old messages are removed from the mail-server but kept on back-up tapes where, if needed, they can be retrieved through a server-restore process. But because most SMBs do not have automated server restoration and because of the absence of a searchable index when messages are on tape, fi nding a message from back-ups is usually very time-consuming, cumbersome and costly.