PST files pose a significant challenge to many organizations today. Often used extensively by end users as personal archives for email, they will be scattered widely across end user devices and network storage and can cause many ongoing problems.
Barracuda PST Enterprise is designed to address the problems and risks created by storing valuable email data in PST files.
Why are PST files a problem?
PST files are highly portable, and are a great way of moving email data between people or organizations quickly. However they are also easily misplaced, so organizations face the risk of valuable data within these files being lost or falling into the wrong hands.
PST files were not designed for long-term storage of large amounts of email and they are easily corrupted, especially if they are accessed over a network. The time taken in resolving issues with PST files can be a significant drain on resources for IT administrators.
Administrators will know that PST files exist, but they are unlikely to know exactly how many they have within their organization or exactly where they are currently located. PST files are often ‘orphaned’ from their originating email account and many may not have a current owner who is responsible for them.
PST files located on desktops or laptops are probably not being backed up at all. If they are on a network location then they may be included in backups, but as they are often very large (a typical PST file may be over 1GB in size), the size of these files will impact backup and restore windows.
When an organization receives a legal request for eDiscovery or similar provision of information, it will need to identify and search all relevant email messages, including those stored within PST files. This can be challenging if these PST files are unmanaged and their location or owner is unknown.
Email data contained within PST files should by definition be subject to information management policies for retention, deletion or classification. However they are often regarded simply as container files and therefore fall outside the scope of corporate governance, particularly if they are located on end-user PCs and laptops. This will put the organization at risk of non-compliance.
Key IT projects such as a migration to Office 365, or a refresh to new hardware or a virtual environment, can require that all data currently stored in PST files be migrated to a new location. If these PST files are not currently being managed then the cost of locating and processing them all, and the time this can take, represents a significant threat to the success of those projects.
How can Barracuda help with PST Management?
PST Enterprise will automatically discover PST files wherever they exist across your organization. It will then selectively migrate the data you need back into your email system, or into a secure archive such as Barracuda’s Message Archiver or Cloud Archiving Service.
This will eliminate the ongoing cost and risk of storing and managing these troublesome files, while enabling you to meet compliance requirements and undertake discovery requests on the valuable business data stored within them.
What are the benefits of managing PST files?
By locating and identifying all PST files across your organization, and understanding the value of information stored in them, you will be able to secure and manage this data appropriately so that it will not be lost or corrupted, and can ensure it is readily available across the business as needed.
Supporting the ongoing use of PST files can be expensive, both in the system resources it takes to store and secure these large files, and the overhead that managing them causes for IT administrators. There may be many terabytes of PST data located on end user devices or on network servers that can be deleted, with the remaining data from these files migrated back into Exchange or a central archive where it can be managed more efficiently.
Applying email retention and deletion policies to the data contained within PST files means that you will retain only what is actually needed by your business, and all obsolete or redundant data within PST files will be eliminated. This will help to ensure costs that you are fully compliant across the organization with all relevant government and corporate information management policies.
Once all the PST files across your organization have been identified, and the data within them has been migrated to a central archive or mail server, it becomes easy for business users to search and retrieve this data when needed in response to requests for investigation or legal discovery.
PST Enterprise is a highly scalable and automated solution that is suitable for the largest enterprises as well as smaller organizations. It provides a cost-effective way to regain control over PST files and to manage them effectively and efficiently whilst minimizing the impact on end users.