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Blackmont Slashes Archiving Costs

Financial firm Blackmont has slashed the time spent accessing archived emails from 24 hours to just a few seconds by outsourcing a key part of its data center operations.

Despite misgivings from some IT managers about email outsourcing, the Toronto-based company also estimates saving around $400,000 in hardware costs since shifting its email archive to Fortiva around two years ago. (See Outsourcing Email Not an Easy Choice, Fortiva Adds Enhancements, Firm Keeps Tabs With Fortiva, and On Demand In Demand.)

Like many firms, Blackmont is coming under increasing compliance pressure, with the Canadian Investment Dealers' Association (IDA) and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) both requiring emails to be kept for five years.

An additional worry for Blackmont's Information Security Officer Brian Erdelyi is getting hold of specific emails -- no mean feat when the firm generates between 700,000 and 800,000 a month. "The time-sensitive requests tend to be for legal discovery," he explains.

Prior to outsourcing its email archive in spring 2005, Blackmont relied on Symantec's NetBackup to send email data off to its own tape-based archive -- an approach with limitations. If a user, for example, sent an email at noon and then deleted it from his "sent items" folder, there would be no record of the email when the system was backed up at the end of the day, according to Erdelyi.

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