Data retention

Hi folks.

I was curious what stratigies, or tools I could use for data retention in an email system?

I want to find out some methods or other suggestions on how I can keep track of who sent what eamil/when, etc, and maybe be able to recall it if necessary, in a situation where I may actually need to do such a thing.

I hope this is clear enough, if it wasn't, let me know!


4 Replies

It depends! I dont know whether you are telling about Email data retention or email logs retention but I bet you dont need much older logs or mails for future :)

Just my 2 cents!

If it helps, I was kind of refering to both sides of that.

Let's see if that helps clarify things.


There are the logs in /var/log, of course. I would probably parse and import them into a database for long-term storage and searching, with the caveat that parsing log files and fitting them to a database schema is more than just """while logfile.readlines(): cursor.execute("INSERT …")""".

For the actual e-mails themselves, most MTAs can be configured to copy incoming messages to another address, e.g. always_bcc in postfix. The little Note on there is more of a Warning, however:

> Note: if mail to the BCC address bounces it will be returned to the sender.

So you want to make sure there is no way in hell e-mail to this address will bounce. This is hard.

This thread is also interesting and mentions the available *bccmaps features.

There's the above-mentioned always_bcc but if you're looking for something more powerful, there's Zimbra's Archiving and Discovery for Email Compliance:

> Archiving and compliance is the reality for today's organization (SOX, HIPAA, FRCP, corporate governance) but it can be a costly and time-consuming proposition. Many legacy solutions require expensive hardware, specialized administrative expertise, and are difficult to use…

Zimbra Collaboration Server 7.0 fully supports Archiving and Discovery; it is available as an optional licensed add-on to ZCS (like Zimbra Mobile). As with all other Zimbra services, we tackled the archiving problem by fixing what we think is broken in current solutions…

Messages for end-users who are selected to be archived are automatically copied (forked) to a pre-selected SMTP address using the Zimbra Postfix MTA. The process is transparent to the end-user. During the process the archived message is also expanded to include the relevant envelope headers and other recipient address information and placed in the archive with the message. This flexible approach gives businesses the option to run Zimbra Collaboration Server side by side with their existing 3rd party archive server or to run an all-Zimbra messaging plus archive solution.

* Use ZCS messaging with ZCS Archive Server as an integrated solution or add your existing 3rd party archive server via SMTP message forwarding to ZCS

Discovery UI integrated into the standard ZCS Admin console toolset

Class of Service (COS) used to set admin discovery privileges

Set up archiving per user; search across mailboxes

Easy to create advanced queries with Zimbra Visual Search Builder

Search inside attachments, over 200 recognized and indexed

New discovery mailbox is auto-provisioned with results-set based on search query

Use Tags, Flags, and Conversation views to easily manage discovery mailbox

End-user self archiving from Outlook via PST file import</list></quote></r>


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