Oregon Taps StorageTek for Email

Oregon Department of Administrative Services uses software to untangle email bureaucracy

June 13, 2003

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

After years of dealing with flooded inboxes and day-long searches for requested emails, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services says it has finally gotten email under control using Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek)s (NYSE: STK) Email Content Manager.

The move points to the growing storage problems created by email -- and the potential for storage vendors to sell a fix.

"For several years before we got to this point, people were just burning email files to CD,” says Edie Tipsword, a Department project coordinator. “We frequently get requests for discovery of information… It was a management nightmare.”

The Archived System Manager (ASM)/Email Content Manager (ECM) is part of the Email Xcelerator product suite StorageTek launched in February 2002 (see StorageTek Xcelerates Email Suite). The software aims to automate and simplify the storage and retrieval of exploding amounts of ever larger and ever more precious emails, StorageTek says.

That was something the Oregon Department of Administrative Services needed. Before purchasing 1,000 licenses for StorageTek’s ASM/ECM software version 4.30.133 in February this year, the Department had no real way of managing its soaring amount of email. That was a huge problem, says Tipsword, pointing out that as state information, the emails fall under a number of different regulations. This means that the emails are not only required to be stored safely for at least six years, but that IT administrators have to be able to locate and hand over specific messages.Trying to retrieve emails stored on individual CDs or hard drives could take technicians between three and five full days of work, according to Department systems and network administrator Dale Huitt. “Figuring that a technician makes $25 an hour, that got really expensive,” he says. They needed a way to speed up the process.

The software cuts the time dramatically by offloading copies of email messages and attachments from Micrososft Exchange to a separate archive server. Then, based on policies set by the IT administrator, the messages are moved to lower-cost storage.

“The unique thing for users is that they see all their information as active,” Huitt says. “In the event of a system failure, that data is still available to the user -- archived off of the exchange server.”

The Department claims that installing the software has allowed it to consolidate from three mail servers down to one, and from three email managers down to one. “This allows us to focus on other things besides email,” Huitt says.

All is not perfect, however. The Department says it has encountered one problem since installing StorageTek software, claiming that once emails with attachments are archived, the attachment does not always follow the email when it is forwarded to another user.StorageTek, however, insists that the attachments are supposed to be as easily accessible as the emails. “Maybe they’re not operating it correctly, and we need to fine tune them a bit,” Tolson says. “The email and the attachment should come back seamlessly.”

For the implementation and the 1,000 licenses, the Department paid about $60,000.

— Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights