Where better to learn about how people use Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Exchange Online / Office 365 than during Microsoft TechEd North America 2012? Symantec thought so too, which is why they surveyed more than 100 qualified respondents. What they found indicates that unstructured data is still a challenge for many organizations and that there is a need for third party archiving solutions to complement Exchange 2010, which doesn’t support Single Instance Storage.

Trip to Dentist More Fun than Handling Legal's Email Search Requests

Symantec’s TechEd Survey 2012 revealed that more than a third of respondents would rather have their teeth cleaned at the dentist than process a search request on email for Legal. Why is this?While respondents have moved or are considering moving IT resources like email (40 percent) and email archiving (30 percent) to the cloud, Microsoft Office 365 / Exchange Online has not yet been widely adopted. However,42 percent of respondents are discussing a planned migration to Office 365, but only 6 percent have already migrated.

Before migrating to Microsoft Office 365, however there are still issues many organizations need to sort out when it comes to managing unstructured data. Ninety-three percent of respondents said they face at least one issue associated with unstructured data that is somewhat or extremely challenging. The top three challenges associated with unstructured data included (1) keeping up with file system growth, (2) the proliferation of duplicate data and (3) excessive storage costs.

Is SharePoint the Answer?

Not surprisingly, no, SharePoint isn’t the answer -- at least not for what users want to accomplish.

According to the survey, 77 percent of respondents currently use SharePoint, but reducing the storage footprint of Windows is a primary goal for organizations. Additionally, users are focused on minimizing the storage footprint of Windows file systems (67 percent), the storage footprint of primary applications email (60 percent) and the storage footprint of SharePoint (47).

Learning Opportunities

So what can you do? With the right tools, you can support your Exchange use, while simplifying archiving and e-discovery tasks.

These results reinforce the need to archive with a third-party system like Symantec Enterprise Vault, which can automatically move older, not-recently-accessed information from primary systems to a separate archive, where it’s compressed and deduplicated. By shrinking the storage footprint of Exchange, it can be backed up and restored more quickly. 

Prefer to archive Exchange 2010 messages in the cloud? Symantec's Enterprise captures all messages sent and received into a centralized repository that supports multi-mailbox search, retention policies and legal hold enforcement, while providing end users with access to their archived emails and attachments whenever they need it.