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For most organizations, email is the most significant driver of growing storage requirements. To combat this explosive growth, organizations typically enforce a mailbox quota on employees but these tactics tend to increase email management overhead and force end users to circumvent the process and create PST or NSF files. This shifts the storage pain to shared network drives, laptops, and external hard drives — and introduces data loss, corruption, and backup challenges.
Email archiving is an automated process for preserving and protecting all inbound and outbound email messages (as well as attachments and metadata) so they can be accessed at a later date should the need arise. The benefits of email archiving include the recovery of lost or accidentally deleted emails, accelerated audit response, preservation of the intellectual property contained in business email and its attachments and “eDiscovery” in the case of litigation or internal investigations (what happened when, who said what).
Email archiving solutions capture email content either directly from the email server itself (journaling) or during message transit. The email archive can then be stored on magnetic tape, disk arrays, or now more often than not, in the cloud. Regardless of the location of the email archive, it gets indexed in order to speed future searches, and most archive vendors provide a search UI to simplify query construction.