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Messaging archiving is a bit like Miller Lite

Aug 05, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Messaging archiving has multiple advantages

I have a bias: I think a lot of the information I receive and send via e-mail is too valuable to throw away after 30 or 60 or 90 days. As a result, I file some of it and keep the rest in my message store. I know that many messaging users think the same way, which is why mail stores keep growing so much every year.

To remedy the problem, implementing an e-mail archival system is a good idea. The advantage of such an archiving system is that, unlike some other technologies, it really can be all things to all people.

For example, if you’re a messaging administrator responsible for keeping an e-mail system up and running, the primary advantage of e-mail archiving is that it moves a lot of data from online storage to an archive, making e-mail servers run more smoothly and reducing the time it takes to restore them if they crash.

If you’re the corporate counsel, the main advantage is that an archiving system retains e-mail-based records according to statutory requirements and corporate policies. (Did you know, for example, that a vacation request is a corporate record and has to be kept for one year, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?)

If you’re a knowledge manager, the advantage of an archiving system is that it will retain the corporate knowledge housed in the e-mail system and make available all that stuff your company paid employees to create.

If you’re an end user, an e-mail archiving system can make your mailbox quota seem to disappear.

Advertising for Miller Lite beer used to appeal to those who thought it “tastes great” and those who thought it was “less filling” – if you bought the beer for one advantage, you got the other thrown in. Similarly, e-mail archiving provides a number of advantages to an enterprise, although only one of those advantages will likely appeal to any particular constituency in an organization. For example, if you deploy e-mail archiving because it improves e-mail server performance, you also get compliance and litigation support thrown in as an added advantage; if you implement e-mail archiving to support regulatory compliance, it also makes your e-mail system perform more smoothly.

The bottom line is that any organization – regardless of size – should archive e-mail. Why they do so is up to them.

I’d like to get your thoughts on e-mail archiving. Please drop me a line at