Updated: Jan 11, 2021
For any business today, it is a fact that email is a record of activities and transactions making it a very important reference in contractual and legal matters. Alembic, a 100-year-old Pharma company, understands this and for them safely storing email for the long term is critical to manage risks and ensure compliance.
So what are Alembic Pharma concerns when looking for a solution to this need:
Is there a solution to make it easy, reliable, and hands-free to manage your email store?
Is there an easy way to manage the growth of your email store?
Is there an easy way to search and instantly discover useful information, uncover valuable data, gain insights?
Is there a solution, where your users can help themselves recover ‘lost’ information, retrieve email, and export selectively?
Is there a way to prevent a data lock-in with a mail service provider?
In this webinar we spoke about:
Why backup is not the same as archival and understanding the 3 key business uses of archiving email
The best practices, how to’s and key criteria while choosing and deploying an email archiving solution for your organization
How email archiving and ediscovery can help with business intelligence, supervision, improving quality of communication, and more
Alembic Pharma’s story of moving their email storage to the cloud
Why the cloud storage the safest and most secure data storage
Q and A Session
Questions asked during the webinar
Once mail data has been moved to AWS cloud, will the life cycle management policies like moving the data, which is not used frequently, to Glacier come into action. What will be the lead time for the retrieval of this data? Will it be available within a couple of hours?
Vaultastic internally deploys a hierarchical storage architecture to keep the recent and most frequently accessed data on the HOT store and the rest of the data on the WARM store depending on their age. Over and above this, Vaultastic deploys a high performance, highly scalable indexing engine, which drives the eDiscovery portal for you. This ensures that you can find and access any mail, from any period, across all the stores (hot, warm), in a few seconds.
I would like to know what is the maximum mailbox size in GB that can be maintained. Also, what is the max DB size of the entire company that we can maintain? Including the Hot & the Archival data separate as well as combined? Can it support Zimbra, like we are using Zimbra with 10-20 Gb per mailbox, and have around 100 users? with 10-15 GB of average data in the inbox. Not archive.
Vaultastic is highly scalable and elastic. The storage grows automatically as new data comes in. There is no limit on the size of any organization’s archival accounts, neither individual nor cumulative. Some of our customers are consuming 10+ TB each, across 200 users, across 7+ years of retention. Also, some individual accounts exceed 70GB, accumulating mail across 10 years or more. Vaultastic supports archiving of email from Zimbra. For your requirement, once we start archiving email for the existing 100 users, we could look at migrating the existing mails in your mailboxes (10-20 GB each) into Vaultastic as historical data. Historical data can be migrated using IMAP sync from each account or by uploading PST files into Vaultastic, as feasible.
Centralized Archiving and Client PC Archiving, please compare and tell the pros and cons of a big size organization (20K employees).
Client PC archiving, is a feature of MS Outlook, where older mail from the Inbox is moved into an Archive folder on the client PC, locally. This happens periodically (daily, weekly, …) as defined by the user. The main reason to do this is to reduce the size of the Inbox and keep only recent mail in the Inbox. This helps to speed up client-server syncs and improves the performance of the client (a large inbox slows down the client, for search and sync functions) However, this does not stop the user from deleting mail from the inbox or archive folder, and since the data is locally stored, there is a major risk of data loss, corruption. Also, this information is not available to the organization for analysis, compliance, or other functions. A centralized archival on the other hand is a safe deposit of EVERY mail sent and received by EVERY user before the mail is delivered. This means 100% of emails are saved. The data is stored in tamper-proof vaults, easily accessible by users and users and administrators(they can only see, export and search, NO DELETE), and is extremely useful to the organization for finding useful information in the accumulated email, handling compliance requests, recovering entire mailboxes or individual emails, and more.
We would like to upload PSTs into the archival system
Can we archive our existing emails already landed in our email client(thunderbird or outlook) using Vaultastic?
Yes, we can. Vaultastic has tools to ingest PST files (MS Outlook) or EML files (Thunderbird) into the Vaults and store them as historical data. This historical data is indexed and search ready from the eDiscovery console.
What is the minimum user limit for a PLAN?
Our MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity is 5 for an organization). Per plan, there is no such minimum requirement. You can even deploy one user on one plan. We also support mixed plans, which means that you can allocate plans depending on your user profile, all in one purchase. This allows you to optimize your purchase and pay only for what you are actually consuming.
Can we select only some user’s email backup? Can we store old .pst? What’s the cost?
Yes, you can archive email only for selected users. Yes older PST files can be imported into the Vaults as historical data. Please refer to this answer for more details. The pricing for Vaultastic plans can be seen here and for the one-time effort to migrate historical data can be seen here.
You say backups are always full not selective. How much is this statement true in today’s world when almost all email backup software gives a single mail recovery?
Backups are a point in time snapshots of the email server’s mailbox state and by their nature are periodic. This means that they do not capture changes that happen between two backups. E.g. I can receive an email and delete all between two backups. So even though they can allow you a function to retrieve an email, they can never elevate to their function to that provided by a centralized archival system, which captures email even before its delivered (inline and 100% complete), stores it in tamper-proof vaults, all active and search ready and can return ediscovery results in a few seconds. Backups and Archival are both required by an organization. Each has a separate purpose.
Is this solution limited to only Microsoft Exchange? Or it would work with Send Mail as well?
No, the solution is not restricted only to MS Exchange. Vaultastic works with a wide range of primary mail solutions and servers including Zimbra, Office 365, GSuite, Lotus Notes, MDaemon, Postfix, MailEnable, CPanel, Sendmail, and more
Would the e-mails deleted by the User [Either post receipt or post -send] will also be available in the archived data? Will these be marked as deleted in the Archived Database?
Mails deleted by the users from their mailbox have no effect on the mails archived to their vaults since the archived email is a physically separate copy and are stored in tamper-proof vaults. Once a mail is archived, it can never be deleted. Also, emails deleted by the user from their primary mailbox, do not get marked as deleted in the archive mailbox.
Assuming, the user has discovered the specific e-mail through E-discovery. Would the user be still able to respond to / forward that archived e-mail?
Technically the platform supports this function, but it is recommended to use this only in case of an emergency when the primary mail system is down. An archival platform is designed for searches, exports, and analysis rather than for communication.
There are e-mails, which are sent for any communication. The sender does not have an email box e.g. no-reply@domain e-mail. Would these e-mails also be archived by the tool?
Yes, all mail that are sent/received from the mail server, will be archived. Vaultastic supports an auto user creation module, which scans ingested email and if the sender/receiver’s vault is missing, it will be created on the fly. Again a feature to ease provisioning and onboarding for you.
Would the solution work for an on-premise e-mail server, mails for which need to be archived to the cloud? What would be the bandwidth requirement? What if the link between the Primary E-mail system & Cloud is down for some time? As the e-mails are archived in real-time, what happens to the e-mails transacted during this time?
Yes, Vaultastic can ingest emails from on-premise mail servers too. This will happen over the Internet. The bandwidth requirement will depend on the number of users and the mail traffic volume. Considering industry averages, a 3000 mailbox server would need a dedicated 3.5 MBPS capacity to archive email to the Vaultastic cloud. If the link from the primary mail server is down, the primary mail platform will hold the email meant for archival in a queue and flush them once the link is up. This is part of the transactional design of any mail system. If any mails are transacted during this time, they are held in the queue and flushed once the link is up.
As I understand …you are supporting to save the data into the cloud. yes, I agreed but cloud means its simple storing data on server physical harddisk or san…if physical goes down or san goes down or crashed then how we can access my mail data.
At the end of the day, even the cloud is based on physical devices and objects like disks, servers, routers, etc. However, the beauty of the cloud is the way the physical objects are architected to provide high performance, elasticity, Scale, and reliability. E.g. when we write an email to our cloud storage, it actually gets written to 3 physical locations in different data centers, which improves reliability and durability. This is just one technique that is used by the cloud player like AWS. Using a combination of such and more techniques, their storage infrastructure by design can provide data durability of 11 9’s (99.999999999%), which means that once you write to the cloud storage, you never ever lose data.
What about the compatibility on open-source mail services such as QMAIL?
Yes, we support open source email servers such as Qmail, Sendmail, Postfix, and more.
What about existing email migration to your system?
Yes, this can be done via a process called IMAP sync by connecting to the user’s IMAP account on the primary mail server.
How many arrays combined for redundancy of disk to scale mote then Tera/Peta? Can it use hybrid mode? and integrate with enterprise vault? exiting archival solution? what is the ratio of deduplication?
The cloud is based on physical devices and objects like disks, servers, routers, etc. However, the beauty of the cloud is the way the physical objects are architected to provide high performance, elasticity, Scale, and reliability. So when we host our application Vaultastic on the AWS cloud, we are not concerned about the underlying layer and its engineering. We know that cloud storage is infinitely scalable and highly durable (11 9’s). Yes, you can setup Vaultastic in a hybrid mode by simply archiving mail of selected users to Vaultastic.
Archival data, what format it’s being stored in the cloud? As mentioned this support multiple mail client? Since the Mail gets archived before reaching the user, does that mean the user Mail gets archived to use designated space? In that case, how does the filter comes in place for malicious ones?
The mails are stored as individual emails in our storage and indexed for quick retrieval. Yes, we can archive emails from multiple email platforms like Gsuite, MS Exchange, Lotus notes, Zimbra, Mdeamon, etc. And Yes, the user’s email is archived to a corresponding user’s vault in the cloud. Each user on your primary mail platform has a corresponding archive vault in the cloud. Malicious mail is filtered for spam and virus before they reach the primary mail system using some clean solution, which you may have deployed. The archival stage happens after the clean mail stage in the flow. This means that only clean mail is archived to Vaultastic.
eDiscovery will work with the Archived mails only or real-time as well?
Mails from your primary mail server are archived in real-time and indexed immediately. If there are no systemic delays, a mail is available for eDiscovery typically within a few seconds after being sent or received. So technically speaking, eDiscovery is working in real-time.
Does Vaultastic offer DLP in-built for emails stored?
Vaultastic is an email archival platform and does not support the DLP function, which sits upstream at the point of sending an email. Typically if DLP decides to allow a sent email for delivery, it will be taken into the archive.