An important component of corporate data today is email communication. The high speed interconnected world demands that email messages suffice as orders, offers, acceptances or a host of legal documentation that earlier was exchanged in hard copy. This means that these email messages are extremely important and valuable to the enterprise that has gone electronic. Entire business transactions may be built up on exchange of a few emails between the contracting parties. A number of federal and legal regulations also make it imperative that such email data is preserved securely and are easily accessed at all times for the stipulated number of years. Hence, organisations looking for backup and restore options for their data must also ensure that the backup software in use facilitates email backup and restore.
Email data is unlike other kinds of data. They are blocks of messages that must be saved as a block and restored as a block. There also needs to be decisions around what needs to be backed up for restore. Do we back up whole mail boxes or do we back up individual messages or groups of messages? If the backup software selected does not allow mail level, group level or message level restore, enterprises are likely to find them selves extremely handicapped. The more granular the level of restore, the better will be the flexibility in backing up and restoring enterprise mails. Additionally, granular message level restores will save enterprises a packet in terms of space and monetary outlay.
Message level restores are possible and enabled in most backup/restore software to restore messages. The advantage, that is immediately visible, is that the operations are directed towards protecting and restoring individual or group emails without interrupting the functioning of the email server. Industries with compliance mandates that must meet several Federal regulations regarding access to electronic data and information find this feature in backup and restore operations extremely useful as it allows them to securely retain only those messages that have significant business value from a mass of irrelevant mail that is received. This feature also safeguards these industries against accidental deletion from the mailbox or from messages.
Another advantage of the message level restore is that the selection and restoration of individual mailboxes is possible by use of filters that are built into the backup and restore software. Agentless backup/restore software like Asigra allows restoration of single user mailboxes or restoration of mails on an entire network. While mail clients make this process extremely cumbersome and unwieldy, single mail or mailbox level restore features in backup software optimise restore operations and even allow messages to be restored to the original location or new location with ease.
In instances where image level backup of the exchange server has been done, it is possible to mount and browse the Exchange database at individual data or mailbox level without having to go into the trouble of mounting the database to a Recovery Storage Group and running compatible utilities to access the database.
The greatest advantage of Message Level Restore process is that the system allows streamlined restoration of messages to any kind of hardware at any location even from multiple sites located at different points on the network. Bare metal restores permit the recovery of email and other data without having to reinstall the operating system or redefining hardware configurations. Agentless backup and restore software offer email / message level restore services as an integrated service at no additional cost.