I'm looking at putting in EV to replace another Email Archiving vendor that has not been working out for us too well. I'd like to get some first hand feedback from current users to get an idea of the grass REALLY is greener and what sort of gotchas I might be getting myself into.
15K users world wide - large domestic US office and remote sites in India, UK, Israel, China (with local Exchange 2003/2007 servers.
Multiple email clients (MAPI/POP/IMAP)
Multi-language environment (double byte character support is a MUST!)
Retention = forever
Capture everything (all inbound/outbound email, all calendar items, tasks, contacts)
Produce de-duplicated email in PST format, quickly, accurately, reliably.
Mailbox mgmt (nice side feature but production email for litigation is top priority)
Today we are having trouble with lack of full double byte character support, and keeping up with the volume of email (user and journal) archiving and indexing.
We are starting to wonder if we are expecting too much out of any archiving vendor.
What kind of retention are folks setting out there using EV? Does anyone retain data infinitely? Have you run into any issues as a result? What would you do differently if you were to start from the beginning? Are you happy with the product? How do you handle your international/remote locations? How difficult is it to produce data with a distributed environment? Did you import all of your PSTs into EV? Did you restrict PST usage from the client side? Do you delegate the DA searches directly to your Legal team?
What do you love and what do you hate?
I'm not sure about doublebyte characterset, but here is to the rest of your answers.
Capture everything = Journaling
Calendar, tasks, contacts = setup policy
Mails in PST's = Exort archive / or Discovery Accelerator results to pst
Mailbox mngmnt = by archiving policy
Journaling = 6 months
Mail = indefinite
no issues, except storage
Woudl not do differently.
Very happy with product.
No international/remote locations.
Using a distributed environment should not be too hard. I suspect having ev-servers on physical site, put them all in one ev-site.
NO pst usage (risk of not having mails in archive)
We set up searches, hand those over to legal.
We have 70.000 + mailboxes, 9 exchange clusters, 9 journal mailboxes. Environment is keeping up fine.
Average is about 450.000 mails (a day.....)
Thanks for your comments Gertjan - I have a few more questions:
What sort of staffing do you have in place to support your EV implementation?
How long have you used EV - did you have any other archiving solution before that?
Is it a hosted solution or do you have all the infrastructure for archiving in place?
Why do you only keep your journal data for 6 months?
Do you have a mailbox quota in place?
We have a 'strict' seperation in support groups. There is a group for hardware and windows OS, one for Exchange, one for SQL, one for EV. In the EV group, there are 3 people, of which actually 2 are doing maintenance and 3rd line support. There is a huge frontline supportdesk, and 2nd line supportdesk.
Additionally we have seperate 3rd line groups for Exchange, SQL, Windows.
In this environment, the 2 people handling EV are enough.
EV is in use since 2004/5 (Version 5.) We're running EV2007SP2 since last april. The upgrades (I only did 6 to 7, and 7 to 2007) took a weekend each. (20 hours) No other archiving solution was in place.
We have the infrastructure in place ourselves. EV currently has about 21 TB (yes, TB) mailboxarchives
Mailbox quota is 2 GB, but most are around 150 MB. We run quota based archving about once a month, to bring most mailboxes down to 98% free space (40 MB)
We keep journal data for 6 months for several reasons, but the main one is legal. We're obligated by law to be able to provide Discovery Accelerator searches going back max. 6 months. Additonally, with our amounts of mail, it is impossible to keep the journal's longer. (diskspace) Our journaling servers have a store-disk of 1 TB, which continiously runs on 85/90% of capacity
Short setup info.
1 SQL cluster, SQL2000SP4 (4+1) (going to SQL2008 when upgrading to EV8.0 Q1/2 2009)
9 Exchange clusters (6+1) Exchange 2003 SP1 (going to SP2 in jan 2009)
15 mbx archiving server
9 Journal archiving servers
4 DA servers
All running windows 2003 SP1 (going to SP2 somewhere in 2009)
If you have a well configured EV-environment, I believe that 2 people doing serious management of EV is enough. If they also have to maintain Exchange and SQL, I think you should add 4 more (2 exchange, 2 sql)
For a good implementation, it is a must to think out the best setup. Especially retention, policies, storage, placement of servers etc. I strongly recommend getting a Symantec consultant in to help you in setting this up. Additionally, for the EV supporters, get them to EV Admin I and II course. Very good course! Additonally, you might consider doing the Advanced troubleshooting course also. I've done all three, and they helped in getting a cleare understanding of the 'under the hood' operation of EV.
Last remark, make sure your user community gets explained well what is happening, and how the archiving works. We're getting most calls on disappearing shortcuts... (mail gets archived, shortcut is made, after 1 year shortcut is deleted, user thinks archived mail is gone..).
The initial setup for EV is hard work, but once it runs, there are little issues. Support of Symantec for EV is really good. Forum has some knowledgeable people (in and out of symantec), and the support dept really knows what they are talking about.
All in all, we're very happy with the product and it's performance.
Hope this helps.
DBCS really is not an issue with us at all compared to other vendors. You may want to take a look at the Translation Blog entry I made not that long ago on https://forums.symantec.com/syment/blog/article?message.uid=331801 .
DBCS from different vendors means different things: (1) Index/Search, and (2) End-user interfaces. We do both very well IMNSHO. End-User interfaces are not limited to Outlook/Notes but we have also translated our Accelerators and VAC (Vault Admin Console) to a number of languages, all DBCS based as well.
FYI, when we were a very small company as KVS, we started our international expansion into Asia just as soon as we did Europe and unless I am mistaken, we support more DBCS languages for both (1,2) than any other vendor.
This is because as we listen to our customers' feedback (either pre-sales or existing) we have had a ton or requests and having a field-facing Regional Product Mgmt team spread across the world we have worked to support the largest countries.
I hope this helps!
DBCS should not be an issue, we have customers in Korea, China, Taiwan, etc...deployed EV and i have even deployed chinese version of EV...
To implement EV in a centralized, de-centralized, or hybrid... there are quite a few elements to consider. Eg, bandwidth, how aggresive is the archival policy, etc...
There are few ways to migrate PST files to EV, each has it own pros and cons...
For Forever retention, you can't run away from buying storage then.. There is also huge enhancement of single instance storage (SIS) in EV 8.0
Approach Symantec Consulting, they will be able to assist you :)