Optimizing Exchange Server archiving for email attachments

Get an overview of the different attachment-archiving methods offered by third-party Exchange Server archiving vendors and learn what approach would best suit your organization's email archiving needs.

Many enterprise-level Exchange Server setups use -- or are currently evaluating -- a third-party email archiving systems for compliance with regulatory standards.

One thing that has become increasingly important is having an email archiving solution that can optimize for message attachments. For example, if you have an attachment that's emailed to 50 people in your organization, a "dumb" email archiving solution will archive the same attachment 50 times.

This is a waste of space -- and even though space is theoretically dirt cheap, it's not cheap enough that you can afford to take a cavalier attitude toward it.

Free Archiving Seminar:
Get independent expert advice on designing and deploying an email and file archiving strategy - register today!

If you're considering an Exchange Server email archiving solution, there are a number of them that deal with attachments intelligently -- but they implement it in different ways. You'll need to look at the volume of email and attachments in your network, and what they're composed of, to figure out what you need.

One of the simpler systems for dealing with attachments is C2C's MaX Compression, an add-on for Exchange Server that compresses and decompresses email attachments on-demand, as they are requested, out of the Microsoft Exchange store.

This approach works best if your users are not already doing this habitually (there's no point in compressing an already-compressed archive). Also, it is only practical for items that are being kept online in Exchange Server, rather than those rotated out to an offline archive.

However, C2C's Archive One product uses the same on-the-fly compression combined with a multiple-database archiving engine for efficiency with high volumes of data. In the same compress-as-you-go vein, GFI MailArchiver, uses a SQL Server database to store the message data -- a nice way to make use of SQL Server as part of your Exchange Server archiving setup.

Another attachment-archiving method involves removing attachments entirely, analyzing them for redundancies across the whole enterprise, and then archiving only single copies or differential copies.

One program that uses this technique is ZANTAZ First Archive, which employs the same tactics for both messages and email attachments, along with metadata for each. Quest Software's Archive Manager has the same "single-instance storage" function for attachments and message data alike.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.

Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Article: Email archiving -- what's right for your enterprise?
  • Tip: How to evaluate Exchange Server archiving products
  • Tip: Email archiving software shopping tips
  • Learning Center: Exchange Server archiving essentials
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server archiving tips and resources

    Please let others know how useful this tip was via the rating scale below. Do you have a useful Exchange Server or Microsoft Outlook tip, timesaver or workaround to share? Submit it to SearchExchange.com. If we publish it, we'll send you a nifty thank-you gift.

  • This was first published in July 2006

    Dig deeper on Microsoft Exchange Server Email Archiving

    Pro+

    Features

    Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

    0 comments

    Oldest 

    Forgot Password?

    No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

    Your password has been sent to:

    -ADS BY GOOGLE

    SearchWindowsServer

    SearchEnterpriseDesktop

    SearchCloudComputing

    SearchSQLServer

    Close