Over 5,000 global customers use Enterprise Vault as an archiving framework to reduce risk and increase operational efficiency
Business is drowning in data. As part of the normal daily operation large numbers of emails and documents are generated; buyers may negotiate purchasing contracts over email, financial analysts may share data via Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server, and product managers may publish pricing and competitive information via file shares. All of these activities are fundamental to the smooth operation of the business and all generate business records, which, at some point, may be required for regulatory, litigation, or knowledge purposes.
Today’s complex storage and server infrastructures are not designed to cope with the efficient long-term retention of large volumes of data. The backup/recovery process becomes impossible within a reasonable timeframe. Keeping up with and exploiting the latest software capabilities raises the huge challenge of migrating legacy data. With IT budgets and resources stretched to the limit, the temptation to purge historical data is strong. But the increasing legal and regulatory demands mean this is not an option.
Flexibility and adaptability
Delivering value today, meeting your future needs
Without a flexible approach to storage the operational risks are overwhelming. Without an adaptable platform for information exploitation the risk of non-compliance could be catastrophic. Imposing complex document retention solutions on your users will result in overload. Enterprise Vault is designed to deliver long-term, archival storage of multiple types of data. The information and data lifecycles are managed and relevant content can be found on demand. A complete solution is delivered without disruption to the user, avoiding the need to change business processes and retrain staff. The heart of this solution is the Enterprise Vault archiving framework. Designed to offer secure, scalable information retention that is nonintrusive for the user, the framework is a natural evolution of Symantec’s market-leading archiving solution deployed around the world.
The archiving framework
Every organization is different. You need a solution that meets your business and operational needs, taking into account your current and potential future requirements. The archiving framework delivers the exact solution you require today, giving you the platform to meet current and future information retention requirements and exploit advances in storage and server technology. The framework consists of services grouped into a number of modules. By providing such a modular solution Symantec maximizes the value of your investment.
Components of archiving
The solution of the archiving problem can be broken down into a number of areas; each of these is represented by a layer in the archiving framework.
Enterprise Vault Repository
Central to every organization is the creation and ongoing management of the archive and its contents. This capability is delivered by the Enterprise Vault Repository. This is designed to deliver the capability to securely retain archived data in such a way that it can be fully exploited, and disposed of when it is no longer required. The Repository is designed to:
• Store archived content on the most appropriate platform
• Compress and single-instance for storage reduction
• Index content for rapid and targeted retrieval
• Render an HTML copy of all archived content, thereby
securing future accessibility
• Utilize user authentication security controls
• Define and implement retention and deletion policies
Enterprise Vault is designed to store content from multiple data sources. Movement of content from the application to the Repository is carried out transparently via policy control. This ensures that fundamental records can be retained without affecting normal daily operations.
Open storage layer
The Repository provides for retention of the archive on the initial storage platform. Depending on the size of the organization and the nature of the content, there may be a need to use other types of storage, or indeed consolidate and partition archives for maximum efficiency. Your storage infrastructure may contain SAN and NAS technology and increasingly may embrace newer technologies such as EMC Centera and Network Appliance NearStore. The timescale for retention of content may be a few years, or a few decades. Today’s storage media may be regarded as legacy in the future. Storage lifecycle management
therefore is paramount to the long-term usefulness of archived content. To facilitate true lifecycle management the Open Storage Layer allows policy-based migration of archived data across storage media through time. This allows you to take advantage of the storage media best suited to the content’s age and usage profile, and reduce the total cost of storing the archive.
Performance and scalability infrastructure
The Enterprise Vault Repository is architected to provide the optimal performance for single or distributed server solutions. As the deployment environment becomes more complex, so it becomes important to have the ability to deploy components of Enterprise Vault in a distributed manner. Symantec and its partners have tested Enterprise Vault to beyond 100,000 users. A building block approach allows different servers to be used for archiving, indexing, journaling, and many other activities.
Universal access layer
Due to the wide range of data sources that can be archived, and the many ways in which end users work, it is important to provide an adaptable user interface. One of the key premises of Enterprise Vault is that end users should not have to change the way they work as a result of the implementation of archiving. Email clients should still be able to access current and historical email; file system content should still be accessible, and when working offline, archived email should still be available. To this end, Enterprise Vault has available a wide variety of client options:
• Transparent shortcuts in Microsoft Outlook®
• Universal shortcuts for non-Outlook clients
• Full access from Microsoft Outlook Web Access
• Transparent placeholders for archived file system content
• Hierarchical “Explorer” view across all archived sources
• Offline access for mobile and remote users
• Simple and extended full text search capabilities from
Outlook and Web interfaces The implementation of archiving and keeping of business records need not be intrusive for end users. They use familiar tools and continue to work as before.
Reducing the overall cost of storage should be only part of the TCO addressed by an archiving solution. Content is being kept because at some point in the future you will need to access it; otherwise, why would you keep it? Typically business records need to be accessed as part of a regulatory action, or as part of a litigation action. In both of these circumstances it is paramount that the information can be found very quickly and that only relevant information is disclosed. The ability to search the archive is only one part of the requirement. Locating the right set of content in response to litigation (perhaps as part of a contractual dispute) will require multiple searches. Search sets will require review by people with different levels of experience. An audit will be required of how decisions were made on what material to disclose. There is a process to this and it requires workflow. Enterprise Vault business accelerators deliver this workflow and drive the discovery or compliance process. Initially there are two business accelerators available within the framework:
• Discovery of content in response to litigation or a similar
event (Discovery Accelerator)
• Regulatory supervision in line with finance regulations
• Built upon proven solutions from the market leader
• Supports many different content sources, not just email
• Nonintrusive for the end user
• Flexible deployment options
• Complete exploitation of archived content
• Addresses operational efficiency and compliance
• Enables information and storage lifecycle management
• Adaptable for future needs
• Reduces cost, reduces risk
Both Accelerators use the inherent search capability of Enterprise Vault to gather records that may be relevant to a case. The records are then assigned to a reviewer who is responsible for deciding whether the records are relevant to the case in hand. If in doubt, the decision can be cascaded to more experienced reviewers. The end result is a set of business records of absolute relevance, which may then be packaged for disclosure. Throughout the process an audit trail is retained.
Archiving for compliance, records management and
Reducing risk and increasing efficiency
Enterprise Vault provides a framework of solutions that will increase your operational efficiency and decrease your business risk. Compliance is not just about email retention. Reducing cost is not just about storage optimization. Symantec helps you move beyond simply archiving email. We work with you to deliver a solution that allows email and other critical content sources to be archived and exploited on demand. This approach brings operational benefit to the data sources and preserves records for future use. Today your organization is looking for an application to underpin your compliance initiatives and reduce the future TCO of your storage and information infrastructure. Enterprise Vault is the proven solution.
Coretek Services is a Michigan based Systems Integration and IT consulting company that works with virtualization infrastructure, and is also a Symantec Gold Partner specializing in Symantec Enterprise Vault (SEV), Symantec Backup Exec (SBE), and Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP). Please contact us today for any virtualization requirements, or Symantec Product requirements.