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News

E-mail backup and archiving for Liverpool University.

C2C Systems : 29 April, 2008  (Application Story)
Protection of vital documents and attachments for University of Liverpool achieved including offsite access with the implementation of Archive One from C2C.
C2C has implemented Archive One as the staff archiving solution at the University of Liverpool to decrease the backup window and provide staff members with seamless management and worldwide access to email.

The University of Liverpool is one of the largest in the UK with over 4,500 staff and 25,000 registered students. Email is business critical and the primary means of communication. Staff email boxes were bulging with irreplaceable coursework and papers, hence backups were becoming increasingly cumbersome. The University needed to identify an archiving solution that could cope with large volumes; retain files long-term and provide online access to historic collections of email. Iain Stinson, Director of Computing Services, described the email traffic: "The University supports 34,000 mailboxes, 4,500 of which are staff. We receive more than 8 million messages per month to 50,000 locations worldwide." Some staff required large attachments (including images) to be stored within their messages, with each mailbox user having set quotas. Once these limits were exceeded, many resorted to using PST files which caused concern as these files were only available to the local Outlook client.

The archiving solution firstly needed to reduce the volume of email so that email backups could complete in a more timely fashion. Secondly, in terms of management, Computing Services wanted to empower the staff to properly manage their allocation of email storage space and have access to the email archive from wherever they were in the world. Lastly, the team recognised that it would be valuable to have a tool that allowed for future email auditing should it be required.

Computing Services examined the archive offerings from EMC, Quest Software, IBM and Symantec and following a rigorous procurement process, selected Archive One from C2C because of it addressed all their requirements. This was an important factor for the team who were reassured by C2C's awareness, commitment and demonstrable history of keeping pace with Microsoft's ongoing developments. In addition, Archive One's features neatly fitted the Universities archiving requirements; it left the archived items fully visible (where the user left them) and yet significantly reduced the backup time. In addition, the archiving policies offered by Archive One were very comprehensive and included the features required for establishing effective standard profiles.

After extensive testing to endorse usage policies, the Archive One implementation successfully occurred 4 months after migrating from a UNIX based systems to Microsoft Exchange. The system was configured to operate within a watertight disaster recovery environment with archived data being stored on the mail SANs; and then replicated between the two data centres. There are two Archive One servers running to provide a resilient environment for the email archive.

The use of Archive One has provided significant results. The number of messages has been reduced through the management of the data. The size of the online (active) information store has been reduced dramatically. A large proportion of the data has been moved to lower cost storage and is held in compressed format, reducing costs and storage requirements. The online store is now significantly smaller reducing the full data store back-up times. In terms of future-proofing investment, time rarely stands still for the University - they are preparing shortly to introduce Exchange 2007 to work with Archive One.

Iain summarises the experience: 'C2C's Archive One archive facility has benefited the University tremendously in the reduction of on-line messages and the active storage required, whilst allowing staff immediate access to emails and attachments, regardless of where they are in the world. It's a facility that we could no longer be without.'
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