Named after the canal that flows down its eastern border, Erewash is a Borough Council in eastern Derbyshire, U.K., that provides services to a population of more than 110,000 people. Erewash Borough covers an area of about 42.3 square miles (109.6 km) and lies between Derby and Nottingham in the southeast of Derbyshire.
To ensure ongoing support for its mission-critical email service, the Erewash Borough Council had recently upgraded from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to 2010. It also embarked on a project to get its email records under control.
“The problems started a while back when our Exchange server started being used as a filing system
and not just for simple messaging,” said Neil Webster, ICT Manager, Erewash Borough Council. “As a
public sector organization, we provide a wide range of services and certain departments generate huge
volumes of email. For example, the Planning Department sends large plans backwards and forwards –
sometimes up to 5 or 6 times and copied to several people.”
The council desperately needed a better way to manage its rapidly expanding mailboxes, especially
considering it needed to retain email for 7 years and be able to perform discovery against them in
response to any Freedom of Information requests.
“We were hopeful that the new personal archive service introduced with Exchange 2010 would help us,” said Webster. “But when we discovered it would not de-duplicate copies of the same item – such as
our large planning documents – we knew that to save costs we needed a separate, dedicated archive
Following an in-depth evaluation of a wide range of archiving solutions, Erewash selected Metalogix
Archive Manager Exchange Edition from messaging experts Essential Computing.
Metalogix Archive Manager is the market leading e-mail and file archive solution for the mid-market. Through its powerful single instance and hierarchal storage management, administrators can meet compliance and performance requirements. Archive Manager is transparent to end-users, minimizes Exchange mailbox and unstructured content storage requirements, improves search and recovery at the e-mail and mailbox level and establishes an efficient and standardized eDiscovery workflow. Archive Manager simultaneously enhances Exchange performance and uptime, allowing for reduced server and administration costs and with continuous access to data.
For Erewash, the ability of Archive Manager Exchange Edition to offer single instancing down to the attachment level, where it will de-duplicate attachments regardless of the email they are attached to, proved to dramatically reduce storage costs. Once the message is archived, only a small shortcut of 2 to 5KB in size is left in Exchange, making it smaller, more efficient and quicker to backup and restore. The council has saved nearly 75 percent compared with the earlier single instanced Exchange storage model.
“Without de-duplication, our storage and backups overhead would be huge over time,” said Webster. “Also, as we replicate our data between sites for resilience, we needed to avoid generating more traffic and load on the network.”
Another key reason for the council selecting Metalogix was the ease of use for end-users – the solution has been very well received by employees because they don’t have to worry about managing their mailbox anymore and the number of calls to the IT help desk have been reduced.
“In addition to storage savings, one of our main selection criteria was simplicity for end users,” said
Webster. “Some solutions we looked at were convoluted and complex, requiring users to make changes
to the way they worked. With Archive Manager Exchange Edition, minimal training has been required.
Some staff has not even noticed the difference between a shortcut and a normal message.”
The council has been able to implement e-Discovery without technical assistance, as it previously did not previously have a formal system in place for meeting compliance needs. In the past, searches would be carried out by IT department staff, with auditors sitting beside them.
“We sometimes had to inform people that the e-mails they were looking for simply couldn’t be found as they had been deleted”, explained Webster. “With Archive Manager, we can give audit staff the tools to perform their own searches without creating an overhead on the IT team.”
After completing the rollout of Metalogix Archive Manager Exchange Edition, the council will start to upload its .PST files into the archive with the solution’s built-in .PST migration service. The council is also looking at archiving file servers, as Archive Manager includes the ability to archive and search both emails and files with the same system.
“We are also about to implement a custom marking scheme for e-mails that are sent and received via the Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSx),” said Webster. “And we may wish to use Archive Manager to vary retention times using these classifications.