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E-mail archiving with CAS

I'm considering designing an e-mail archiving infrastructure using CAS. Could you outline some of the benefits of this approach?

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CAS, or content-addressable storage, is an object-oriented storage model which provides the user the ability to store objects completely separate from the logical location. One of the main benefits of CAS is its ability to store a "single instance" of a given object. This capability reduces the need for disk space.

For example, say an HR department sends out an e-mail to all 1,000 employees announcing the company picnic and attaching a 1 megabyte (MB) jpeg map of the location. Depending on the e-mail system, when this e-mail and attachment is saved by employees, you potentially could have tens to hundreds of copies if this 1 MB e-mail consuming hundreds of MBs of storage. A CAS storage device would ensure only one copy of the e-mail is saved.

Many e-mail archiving products already in the ability to store single instances of messages in their archive. Before purchasing a CAS storage device for e-mail archive storage, you should double check with your vendors to see if they already offer it in their product.

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This was first published in April 2006

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