Email continuity is not something many think about but when Gmail experienced a server down situation not long ago, millions in productivity was lost and suddenly email continuity and email archiving was the hottest topic around.
Ensuring email is always available is not something the typical user thinks much about but email archiving is a critical requirement for every organization to help ensure email continuity. It is essential that it is centralized and secure. Email archiving should be about more than just email storage for the sake of record keeping and compliance because businesses can not longer afford an email outage for any length of time.
We live in an 'always-on' world where access to email is taken for granted. Much like breathing, access to email is now seen as something that is always there. We expect to be able to access our emails from our BlackBerry devices, iPhones, laptops, computers, an internet cafe half way around the world and anywhere at all we might find ourselves. Email continuity is not a word in our vocative but it is exactly what we expect.
Email systems are more complex than people realize., In fact, little thought is given to what might happen as you press send. When an email goes from a device, it is typically navigating a pathway directly to the server using a number to access the server. Use of a name causes a minor delay and one no one reasonably notices as the email route needs to be checked in the DNS. The DNS is the system that has a registry of all information about every domain and subdomain. Each domain (and some subdomains) also have unique email information associated with them and this is where email continuity systems are first hit.
The DNS lookup for the MX (mail exchange) record happens and most systems have one address for delivery. Larger ones have two or three to ensure that if one mail server goes down, another one can either accept the email on its behalf and deal with it, storing it or sending it along, otherwise it may be an exact clone of the downed system, offering seamless email continuity services. This lookup is an important part of ensuring email is always available for people as it is at this point that if there is a problem at the main server something may go wrong. If there is a backup available – even if it is not a mirror system – it means few will even notice anything has changed.
In our world where we always expect email, and where it is essential for businesses, mirror servers are more common. These systems hot failover once a system goes down ensuring there is a seamless move from one physical server to another and while one is being repaired, another is used with no one the wiser. This is expensive email continuity. A less expensive option to provide a type of email continuity is to failover to the separate email archiving system which is often sitting on a different server either in the same rack (which is risky) or is in another server location or in the cloud. This is a safer way to provide true email continuity as the servers are physically located in different places.
Ensuring email is never down is important now more than ever. Email continuity is expected and no matter how complicated, it is expected that IT departments just get it done meaning having a reliable system is essential.
Source by Jennifer Flowers