Casting a cloud on hosted email archiving

Google was in the news last week when it announced that their Google Message Discovery service would provide an option for storing emails for up to ten years. The hosted service archives email and provides a search function. It was first released in April of this year, and and was released after Google acquired Postini.

More businesses are looking to implement email archiving to comply with various government regulations; but besides the compliance issue, email archiving just makes good sense as a standard practice to promote efficiency. The question is though, should you use a hosted service for email archiving, or an in-house solution? Google is not the only software-as-a-service provider offering email archiving in the cloud, but they are one of the cheapest. Although their service is not unique by any means, they hope to gain market share with aggressive pricing rather than any sort of meaningful differentiation. To the point, Google Message Discovery is nothing new, but its high-profile presence does make us want to re-examine the status quo.

Most reviews of the Google archiving solution are generally positive, and there’s no doubt that it’s easy to use and fairly priced. But that misses the point. A review on Surfing Safer does point out the advantages of the Google option, but stops short of giving it five stars, noting that users should bear in mind “that this is no substitute for proper email retention solutions and should not be relied upon as such.” Legal compliance, ease of use and accessibility are all major issues that should give one cause to have second thoughts about in-the-cloud solutions. Read the rest of this article

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