11 months ago



STRATEGY: EMAIL ARCHIVES TIME TO BREAK UP WITH YOUR OLD-SCHOOL ARCHIVE ALMOST 90% OF ORGANISATIONS HAVE ENCOUNTERED PROBLEMS WITH THEIR EMAIL ARCHIVING SOLUTION - BUT THEY NEEDN'T, ARGUES GLENN BROWN, CLOUD ARCHIVING EXPERT AT MIMECAST Data archives have a vital role to play in today's information-driven world. They provide a digital repository of corporate data which, used effectively, can boost productivity and efficiency by enabling employees to access email whenever and wherever they are. In addition they help to ensure legal, regulatory and compliance obligations can be met quickly and easily. But traditional on-premise archiving is flawed: 88% of organisations say they have experienced problems with their existing archiving solution. Nearly 60% cite administrative complexity as a top challenge, while 40% experience a lack of scalability. Another 56% are plagued by slow search performance. If this sounds familiar, the most likely reason is that you're making at least one of these costly, complicated and avoidable mistakes: 1. Settling for "good enough" search Time-short users expect fast results in one go when performing a search of their archive. Unfortunately, the average number of searches a user has to run to find what they are looking for is five. Half of organisations say search queries take longer than five minutes each, with 20% reporting search completion times of up to ten minutes. Inefficient search can impact an organisation's ability to quickly respond to legal inquiries. It can also prevent businesses from meeting regulatory compliance obligations and external requests, like Subject Access Requests and Right To Be Forgotten requests under the GDPR. 2. Not planning for downtime Uninterrupted access to email and archives during server downtime is a win-win for everyone: lines of communication stay open, productivity remains high, and disruption after a cyber-attack remains low. However in the event of a system failure, one third of businesses say uninterrupted access to email isn't currently possible. 3. Storing data in one place Incidents like technical failure, human error and cyber-attacks happen - and without sufficient backup and recovery in place, they can destroy data. It only takes one corrupt email, one mistaken "delete" or one phishing attack to totally wipe corporate memory. Only 50% of organisations can recover their data after such an incident. A further 47% say they can recover only some of their data. These data destruction incidents are usually very specific in nature and usually occur a long time before being discovered, so finding data in a backup can be an expensive task, if the data is even available. OLD-SCHOOL ARCHIVING CAN'T KEEP UP The reality is that traditional archiving can't hold up to the turbulence and fast pace of modern business. Archives need to index and store data immediately. They need to be tamper-proof and perpetual. Users need the ability to sync files, folders, data, contacts and calendars - and to recover them if an attack occurs. It's essential that businesses can continue working as normal; end-users find what they need when they need it; have fast search and e-discovery capabilities - no matter what. The only way to guarantee all of this is to create a central repository of corporate data that is stored in a fully-encrypted, immutable and redundant system in the cloud. THE "PERFECT-WORLD" ARCHIVE Over 205 billion email messages are sent every day and in a world dominated by email, only cloud archives (such as Mimecast Cloud Archive) offer the scale, performance and advanced features needed to operate a business effectively. Cloud archiving not only enables businesses to reduce risk and cost, it can increase employee productivity, and decrease complexity for administrators. It can go beyond traditional boundaries of archiving by creating a central repository of data that is 100% available and fully secure. By aggregating semi-structured email data from across multiple platforms, organisations gain long-term business insights and create a digital corporate memory. This dramatically decreases the risk of data loss or corruption from cyber-attack, human error, sabotage or technical failure. Advanced e-discovery capabilities also streamline governance and compliance and enable users to restore mailbox data - on demand. Modern archives can also maintain email continuity in the event of server downtime or loss of connectivity. Your business shouldn't have to hang on to an old-school solution that can't perform to today's standards. A cloud archiving solution can give the flexibility and agility needed to run more efficiently and boost productivity. It's now the era of the "perfect-world" archive. More info: ^ 28 STORAGE Nov/Dec 2017 @STMagAndAwards MAGAZINE

OPINION OPINION: THIRD-PARTY SUPPORT THIRD-PARTY SUPPORT: A LOGICAL CHOICE THERE ARE SOME VERY GOOD REASONS TO CONSIDER AN ALTERNATIVE TO OEM SUPPORT, SUGGESTS SIMON BITTON, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING (EUROPE), PARK PLACE TECHNOLOGIES of the storage arrays you want to cover. You are best off looking at companies that meet the following criteria: Storage maintenance companies are an important part of the increasingly popular third-party IT maintenance market. Among the available vendors are storage specialists, companies that only support storage appliances from the likes of EMC, NetApp, IBM, HP and others. There are also more broadly capable companies, such as Park Place Technologies, whose services extend to include server and networking hardware maintenance. WHY REPLACE THE OEM? Some of the most common reasons for looking beyond OEM storage support are: Cost: Third party storage maintenance companies can save customers up to 60% off OEM storage maintenance prices. Service quality: Many customers get tired of escalation procedures, sluggish replies, and limited access to expert engineers. A thirdparty storage maintenance company can provide a more comprehensive and personalised solution that is easier to use and more effective. Comprehensive coverage: OEM storage maintenance, even at the premium level, is a hardware insurance policy, the same type of security blanket you can purchase with a refrigerator. Some third-party maintenance companies provide a more comprehensive, proactive version of storage support that can actively reduce staff burdens, increase uptime, and enhance the environment. No expiration date: Yes, third-party storage maintenance contracts do have an annual renewal date, but many providers don't set an end point for when they'll cease to offer agreements on End of Service Life (EOSL) hardware. The OEMs, on the other hand, are continually using this tactic to leave customers high and dry and compel them to buy new hardware. Your short list of potential storage maintenance companies may vary based on which of these features - maybe some others that we haven't considered - are most attractive in your situation. DEEP STORAGE EXPERTISE You want to make sure potential support and maintenance providers have great knowledge A background with the OEM's storage devices: Nearly all storage maintenance companies will list what OEM equipment they are comfortable supporting. Make sure your favoured OEMs make the list before you sign on. You don't want your storage environment to be the one the engineers learn on! Support-led: Some third-party maintenance companies know storage pretty well, but their services are led by hardware resale, consulting, or other specialties. This tends to lead to lower quality service and sometimes a bias toward hardware of a particular OEM. A third-party maintenance company that leads their service provision on support and maintenance services is almost always a better choice. BROAD CAPABILITIES Consider whether to go with a storage specialist or a generalist. Although both options can work, a full-service third-party maintenance provider is a worthwhile option because they have: An understanding of the whole environment: A provider with knowledge of storage, server, and networking equipment - even if that knowledge is segmented among different engineer specialists - can take a global view of the environment and interacting systems when complex issues arise. Ability to grow: A company that covers a stable of OEM products can step in to take over a greater amount of the maintenance burden, freeing your staff for other purposes. Simpler maintenance arrangements: The more a thirdparty maintenance company can do, the less you have to devote internal resources to nonstrategic maintenance tasks. More info: @STMagAndAwards Nov/Dec 2017 ^ STORAGE MAGAZINE 29