EMC SourceOne – Email archive worth looking at ?

Ok, So I’ve just come off a series of EMC SourceOne training courses relating to installation, implementation and pre-sales planning and design. Here’s my 10 cents…

 

First, lets look at why we archive; mails or otherwise. There are a number of reasons people might decide to archive their mails or file data, the first benefit of doing this would be this archiving static data or mails, while removing them from production storage, minimises the amount of data a company has to backup, minimises spending requirements on fast spinny disk and gives the administrator some control over the ever increasing storage requirements of production servers. That is all great, brilliant, but why else ?

 

Increasingly, companies are being pushed to be compliant with certain regulatory bodies such as FSA, SEC, etc. These regulatory bodies will state that companies dealing with certain types of data must retain data for a specified period of time; not only that, they must also delete certain types of data after a specified period of time and they must be able to produce certain records/files/mails upon request within a reasonable timeframe in litigation cases, etc.

To take one example, goverment bodies in the UK are bound to being able to produce all mails referencing the requestee’s name upon request (for a fee obviously). This put pressure on organisations to put the mechanisms in place to make these processes as automated and intuitive as possible.

 

EMC Propose one such solution, SourceOne. SourceOne is still in its infancy as far as the market is concerned, but has been through a signinficant amount of development and is very much a priority product for EMC.

 

At the moment it only offers mail archive for Exchange and Domino environments, but is set to become a family of products which will incorporate file archive, sharepoint archive and be able to access third party historic archives for the purposes of co-existence.

 

Architecture 

 

SourceOne architecture allows you to have any number of roles, spread across any number of servers.. which is nice.

 

 

SourceOne uses the concept of worker servers. There are 3 types of worker roles (journaling may be a seperate worker role or may come under Archive, memory fails me at this point):

 

  • —Archive
  • —Index
  • —Search/Retrieval

Within each of these worker roles are a series of activities that can be performed (Ie, within the Archive role there are activities such as historical archive, PST ingestion, shortcutting,etc..). Depending on the environment you can have all these roles existing on one server, or any number of activities across any number of server. You might decide to have one server just journaling, 2 or 3 servers for indexing, search and retrieval and a machine dedicated to PST ingestion; its very flexible.

 

New Jobs are created and stored in the activity database, which each of the workers will poll, looking for jobs they can take which match their assigned roles by way of activities.

 

Setting it up is pretty easy also, the customer would need the following installed :

  • Mail services (Exchange/Domino)
  • IIS Services
  • ASP.NET Version 2
  • SQL server 2005

You install a binary which goes and creates the necessary SQL databases, set DB read/write priviledges to the databases from any servers which will be accessing them and then simply point and click install the binaries for the required worker roles on their respective servers, referencing the Databases as you go…  pretty straight forward.

 

The GUI is pretty intuitive and all the intelligence comes in the policies you set, as with anything.

 

You first set your archive folders (the physical UNC paths where your archives will reside), and then you create mapped folders which point to your physical archives. It is within the mapped folder where you set the retention and user priviledges.

 

We create a policy, which will contain its respective activities. Lets run through an example:

 

We have a Source One Archive folder pointing to .. //example/archive

 

We create 2 mapped folders :

 Employee Archive & Complaince

 

Our employee archive folder has a 3 year retention and our compliance folder has a 7 year retention. Now to our policy. We create a policy called mailserver1 archive.. done.

 

Here is when it gets a little more complicated, but not too much. We create our activties.

 

When we create an activity, we must reference a mapped folder (this determines, the retention period of mails being archived as per this activity). We also need to reference where we are going to find the mails relating to this activity; we can do this by specifying users/groups in AD or address book, LDAP query or simply message store.

 

So we create an activity to run a historical archive job at the end of each day and we point to the mapped folder “employee archive” , we want to archive all our employee mail, so we simply point to the associated mail server and select the appropriate message store. Now thats all well and good,  by there are some employees which deal with particularly sensitive data which must be kept in accordance with.. let say FSA regulations. So we create a rule, we can specify that any users within the active directory group “legal team”, with the words “BUY, SELL or aquisition” in the subject or body, must be stored in the Mapped folder “Complaince” which has a 7 year retention set.

 

When then create a new activity within the same policy to delete and shortcut message from the users mailbox..   wahey! job done!

 

 

You can use standard disk for the archive folders, or that company that needs something more solid by way of compliance, they can archive to Centera or they can use Documentum  as the archive repository and utilise all the goodies around eDiscovery (anotehr conversation completely).

..and if you’re an existing Email Xtender customer..  fear not, SourceOne will “Co-Exist” with your existing EX archives. Meaning you can still access them in read only mode for the purposes or search and retrieval, but new mails will be archive to a SourceOne Archive.

 

Anyway, I could write another 10 paragraphs on the ins and outs, but fior your sanity and mine.. I shal refrain.

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About interestingevan

I work as a Technical Architect for a Storage and Virtualisation distributor in the UK called Magirus. The goal of this blog is simply to be a resource for people the want to learn about or go and Sell storage. I'm a qualified EMC Clariion Technical architect, Commvault Engineer and Cisco Unified computing specialist. I have also worked with the rest of the EMC portfolio for a good few years. This Blog will provide information on how specific technologies work, what questions need to be asked in order to spec certain products, competative info and my two pence on some of these technologies. Please feel free to provide feedback as to the content on this blog and some bits you'd like to see. View all posts by interestingevan

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