Archiving or Complying?

CXOtoday.com appears to be an IT e-newspaper out of India and they have a short interview with Anil Chakravarthy who is VP of Symnatec India in "Making data easily accessible is a major need."

It’s a bit of a sales piece for Symantec’s Enterprise Vault which is "a software-based intelligent archiving platform" for e-mail systems and file server environments. This is the same Symantec that produces the Norton line of consumer products, but I keep hearing more and more about their business/enterprise products, and especially Enterprise Vault.

Back to the "interview" – I do like the way Mr. Chakravarthy succinctly describes the benefits of archiving (not just e-mail, but electronic files and databases too):

"Archiving helps in offloading historical data from production resources [and] reduce[s] the time it takes for in-house counsel to retrieve electronic evidence in response to a discovery request."

I also found a good blog post noting the "Difference between Email Archiving and Email Compliance" from Cryoserver (a company I’ll write more about soon).

"Email archiving is the management of your exponentially growing email archives onto a different storage media, this might be a local drive, into a .pst file, printing off the email onto paper and sticking it in the client files, or possibly moving the email onto alternative storage media. … [E]mail compliance … requires the emails to be kept for compliance and legislative purposes in a central repository … [which] should not be able to be tampered with in any form. [A]ny access … to this central repository should form part of a formal procedure with auditing to comply with the privacy legislation."

I think this distinction is too simplified (probably to fit it inside the blog post), but it certainly illuminates the glaring struggles that IT administrators have to grapple with in designing their systems for compliance/e-discovery/risk management purposes, all the while working with attorneys, records managers, etc.

I’m going to think about this some more, but perhaps the best way to conceptualize this is to think of "compliance" as providing the rules and regulations for what to save and when, and "archiving" provides the means/methods/tools for following the compliance rules.

Whatis.com provides a good definition of "e-mail archiving" but I like how PCmag.com concisely states it:

"Retaining e-mail messages for historical purposes or to be in compliance with many industry regulations."

Link to CXOtoday.com story and Cryoserver blog post.

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