HP plots an effective e-mail archiving grid
Blade system creates a solid platform to aid in complianceFollow @infoworld
The only clue that I was working on a RISS system were additional menu tabs in Outlook and Notes. Everything else, including sending and receiving messages, had the usual look and feel.
Finding the Needle
My test system had messages already archived in RISS, so I could immediately try out the search capabilities via a browser GUI that starts conveniently from the Exchange and Notes client menus. For a basic search, you fill in fields such as which user’s messages to scan, how far back in time, and using which keywords.
The GUI advanced search mode offers more criteria such as a date range or a specific document type or path. Both search modes are easy to use, but in case of confusion, the online help explains each field in great detail.
I tried several queries, using restrictive and lax search criteria, and the results appeared almost immediately on my screen regardless of how many messages were found. From an unrelated account, I sent messages to test users and saw the new messages appear after a short wait in the RISS archive.
The query result lists only a summary -- typically user, subject, and date -- for each message, but clicking on the result will open the full body in a preview pane. One of the messages that my query returned had a PDF attachment that opened immediately in Adobe Acrobat Reader when I clicked it.
In addition to viewing the messages, I could save the results, send them to someone else (typically an attorney, in a litigation scenario), or export them.
E-mail systems offer similar capabilities. However, they are much less efficient, don’t scale as well, and most important, don’t protect messages from involuntary or malicious changes or deletion, which could expose senior management to harsh legal actions.
Consolidating redundant messages and attachments is another advantage of using RISS. Although certainly not the main reason to choose this solution, the amount of space saved can be significant.
Getting acquainted with RISS should be a no-brainer for users, but how difficult is to control such a complex system? I found the answer by logging in to the browser GUI of the PCC (Platform Control Center), the management application for RISS.
Interestingly, PCC is based on Nagios, the popular, multifaceted open source monitoring system for Linux/Unix. If you are familiar with Nagios, you should feel at home with PCC; if not, you’ll probably catch up quickly administering RISS.
Using PCC, admins can set up automated reporting and monitor the status of devices and services. Consistent with its name, PCC allows admins to control the state of all components -- including e-mail servers, gateways, and SmartCells -- and to generate warning messages when there is a malfunction or when certain thresholds are met.
RISS is among the most innovative storage solutions I’ve ever reviewed, and it’s one of the easiest to manage and use. In terms of price per gigabyte, RISS seems more expensive than competing products, but its moderate administrative cost and buy-as-you-grow approach quickly disproves first impressions. If you’re looking for a fast, reliable, easy-to-manage e-mail archiving solution that will facilitate compliance, RISS is probably your best bet.