Planner: Calculate the Cost of an E-Mail Storage System

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-08-02 Print this article Print

To figure what it would cost your organization to build an e-mail storage system, download this worksheet.

Last year, it felt as though you spent half your day on e-mail. This year, you actually do. Like most companies today, e-mail at your large home lending operation has transcended from handy tool to dominant business application. And like most companies, the volume of e-mail continues to outpace your wildest expectations, overwhelming a patched-together data management "system" that ranges from high-end servers to random storage boxes to personal file folders.

That's why this project to implement an e-mail storage management system is as close to a no-brainer as your I.T. initiatives get. The project combines a suite of data archiving, storage and recovery applications with a centralized, tiered storage architecture to provide the foundation for a dramatically more efficient—and easily scalable— e-mail management system.

Once requirements are finalized, the system can be rolled out in a matter of weeks using mostly in-house I.T. staff. Return on investment will come almost as quickly through short- and long-term hardware savings (redundant, often expensive hardware is replaced by low-cost storage arrays) and a steep reduction in I.T. staff time needed to manage system administration tasks such as recovery requests and daily backups.

But the real payoff comes in the system's promise of air-tight regulatory compliance and increased e-mail efficiency for your staff of 1,200. That's also where this project's major challenge looms. The system's hierarchical archiving and compression algorithms do most of the mail management users will need behind the scenes, but the compliance controls will be worthless if employees continue to delete e-mails they should be saving or move files to personal folders. Plan for companywide training to clearly outline compliance requirements. And when in doubt, save everything. After all, with your company on pace to generate a terabyte of new e-mail data next quarter, what's one more e-mail in the archive?

To see the details behind this Planner and fill in your own estimates, click on the "Get the Tool" icon above and download the interactive worksheet.


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