A message archiving system saves all or specified incoming and outgoing messages on a system separate from Messaging Server. Sent, received, deleted, and moved messages can all be saved and retrieve in an archive system. Archived messages cannot be modified or removed by email users, so the integrity of incoming and outgoing messages is maintained. Message archiving is useful for compliance record keeping, but it is also useful for message store management. For example, some customers may use archiving to perform message back-up or to move older messages from more expensive message store storage to less expensive archive storage.
Archived messages can be accessed through a separate archiving software GUI client or through Messaging Server. If the messages are deleted from Messaging Server, then the archiving client can be used to search for and retrieve those deleted messages since archived messages are never deleted. Note, however, that archived messages are not stored in mailbox folders as they are in the Messaging Server.
The system can also be set up so that archived messages can be accessed from Messaging Server. For example, you can set up a system to archive messages over 2 years old. Instead of having message bodies reside in the message store, they would instead reside in the archive system. From the users standpoint, the message appears no different from a regular email message. The same header and subject information will appear (this is still stored in the message store storage), but the message body is downloaded from the archive server by the message store when needed. Thus, there may be a slight delay as messages are downloaded from the archive server. In addition, archived messages cannot be searched from the email client. Searching must be done from the archiving GUI.
There are two types of archiving, compliance and operational. Compliance archiving is used when you have a legal obligation to maintain strict retrievable email record keeping. Selected email (selected by user(s), domain, channel, incoming, outgoing and so on) coming into the MTA is copied to the archive system before being delivered to the message store or the internet. Archiving can be set to occur either before or after spam and virus filtering.
Operational archiving is used for mail management purposes. For example:
To reduce storage usage on the Messaging Server message store by moving less used (older) messages to an archiving system which uses lower cost storage.
As an alternative for data backup.
Note that compliance and operational archiving are not exclusive. That is, you can set up your system so that it does both compliance and operational archiving.