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Cool Tip: Using GWCheck to Prepare Your GroupWise Environment for Successful Archiving - Part 2

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Messaging Architects

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Posted: 1 Aug 2006

Last week, we discussed how to use GWCHECK to help determine your storage architecture needs when establishing the amount of GroupWise data that needs to be archived and its location. Today we will see how to do a Statistical scan with GWCHECK to determine what is being stored in your GroupWise system and what the size of the attachments is.

Email was first created as a means of improved communication, but today it is much more than that: it is a complex collaborative system for sharing and managing information and time. At the same time, email systems have become bloated repositories of superfluous messages, duplicates and large attachments.

Often this happens because of email's pervasiveness and ease of use. The email system becomes a medium for business processes that in reality should be handled by other systems: for example, mass email broadcasts and the use of the email system to share large document files between collaborative workers.

Now that more and more industries are being required to retain the data in their email system, administrators should understand exactly how their system is utilized and if it is hindered with large volumes of duplicate attachments. The issue isn't only system slow-down; the large volume of stored data creates huge message repositories that must be backed up and restored in the event of system failure. From a compliance perspective, this state obstructs the proper implementation of retention policies with respect to the email archive.

As an administrator, you should look at how your system is being used. Using GWCHECK with a statistics scan for attachments over a certain size such as 10MB is a good way to determine what is being saved and stored in your GroupWise system. Once you have the metrics, consider if there are better business processes that can be implemented to handle these processes. For instance, sharing large attachments could be handled more effectively through technologies, such as WebDAV, or document management systems that are designed to handle collaboration and include locking and versioning controls for better records management. Company-wide distributions may be handled through the Intranet, linking web content to email messages so the actual content is stored on the web server and email becomes a notification method. Third-party programs, such as GWExtranet by Messaging Architects, provide the ability to share calendars and files directly from GroupWise on a dynamic web page.

The final piece of the puzzle is handling legacy data. Most email systems undoubtedly have email data sitting in personal user archives. This data is part of the corporate record and as such may potentially be included in a records request. As a best practice, import all the information stored in personal archives into the corporate record repository for global searching. To achieve this, the primary effort is to identify and locate the information. In well-planned GroupWise systems, archived files should be centrally located on the network; often, however, due to space limitations or user preferences, these archive directories may exist anywhere on the network or on the user's workstation. Locating legacy archived data, therefore, is crucial if the organization wishes to incorporate it into the master repository for a well-designed and compliant corporate archiving.

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