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Attachment management

Feb 19, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Managing attachments effectively is important to messaging system health

In a recent survey, we found that two of the five most serious problems with organizations’ messaging systems had to do with attachments – employees’ increased use of attachments and the large size of the attachments.

Another serious problem cited in the survey is related: growth in messaging storage requirements, which is caused in large part by the attachment problems noted above.

So what do you do to control the impact of attachments on a messaging system? One option is to use a monitoring and reporting system that helps administrators get a better view into how a messaging system is employed. For example, as noted in this newsletter previously, an East Coast bank uses DYS Analytics’ E-mail Control to monitor the top five messaging traffic generators on a weekly basis so that these individuals can be taught more efficient methods for using the messaging system.

Another method is to use a dedicated attachment management system. Accellion, for example, produces a system that strips attachments out of messages and replaces them with a link. The attachments are simultaneously loaded onto the nearest Accellion server. When an e-mail user clicks the attachment link in an e-mail message, the message is the downloaded from the Accellion network, which is separate from the messaging infrastructure. The advantage of an attachment system is that it reduces the load on messaging servers and the network, and it makes more efficient use of messaging quotas.

Yet another method is to use an archiving system that automatically removes content from the message store, indexes it and moves it to an archive where it can be accessed for later use outside the context of online storage.

Another alternative is simply to depend on users to remove content from their inboxes according to corporate policies, use attachments only when necessary, and adhere to best practices.

Regardless of the method used, reducing the growth of storage, particularly online storage, is critical. Excessively large message stores reduce server performance and increase the length of time needed to restore a messaging system after a disaster or less catastrophic failure of the messaging system.