Category : Uncategorized

Archiving Email–Some Considerations

Businesses live and die by email. Orders are submitted, proposals are sent, meetings are scheduled, and deals are made through email. So emails have a tendency to accumulate rapidly. No one wants to delete email because they like to have a record of the communication. There’s the fear that if you delete and old email you’ll need it later. It’s a security blanket of sorts. And some employees will use email as a default document management system, categorizing emails by client name, etc. These and other factors tend to contribute to large email stores, and large mailbox sizes.

Since data is expensive to store and backup, and accounts with large mailboxes can be more problematic to manage, not only can the uncontrolled saving of email become expensive to maintain, but it can also become a liability for the company.

Archiving Email

To technically solve this problem many companies will install an email Archiving solution. If they are using Microsoft’s Exchange 2010 an archiving solution is built into the product, Archiving email enables organizations to move older, or less accessed, emails out of the main data store and onto a less expensive, less accessed, storage solution. It doesn’t keep emails from accumulating, but it does control where they are stored and how they are managed. Typically, users can easily retrieve archived emails when they’re needed.

Using Hyperlinks

One of the foremost reasons why mailboxes grow in size quickly is ‘attachments’. Attaching documents to emails will quickly grow a mailbox store size. It will not only increase the growth of the mailbox sending the document(s) but also increase the size of all the recipients’ mailboxes.

If users have a need to collaborate on documents within an organization there’s a simple remedy for this problem: Hyperlinks. Instead of sending the documents themselves, send a hyperlink, which is a pointer, to the document. The recipient will be able to click on the hyperlink and pull up the document without adding it to their mailbox. This is also best practice for collaboration purposes because when hyperlinks are used everyone views and edits the same document, not copies of it. This means that everyone sees the final product, not an outdated copy of it in their email store.

Mailbox Size Limits

Most companies will impose mailbox size limits on employees. This process limits the overall size of a user’s mailbox and will force the user to archive or delete email to keep the size within the limits imposed. Various actions can be taken if the user fails to heed the mailbox size limit warning. One such action, once the mailbox has reached a specified size limit, is to inhibit the ability to send emails. The user may be allowed to receive them for a limited time, but their ability to send or reply is inhibited.

Other Considerations

In addition to the IT cost for maintaining large email stores, keeping old emails can be a company liability. For instance, if a company is legally required to produce old emails for a court case the discovery costs can be huge. This requirement can be forced upon a company by an ex-employee bringing a suit, or any one of other legal proceedings that require a company produce their archived communications.

To limit liability, and the cost of discovery, in this type of situation, most companies will establish an “Email Retention Policy”. That is simply a formal document that states how far back in time the company will keep emails. If such a policy is in place and published to employees, the company is not liable to produce anything older than the retention date.

In conclusion, not limiting email retention and not imposing mailbox limits are expensive. Companies that are not proactive in establishing policies executing them find that out the hard way.

SolarWinds Virtual Manager 4.0

Are you thinking of running your VMware virtual infrastructure on Amazon’s EC2 public cloud service? You might want to look at SolarWinds’ Virtualization Manager 4.0. An integrated virtualization manager, it tracks compute, network, and storage resources used to let you predict capacity limits and help you with your planning. It can even estimate what it will cost you to run in EC2, Amazon’s Pay-As-You-Go cloud capacity.

Virtualization Manager is a low-cost, easy-to-use comprehensive package that boasts Capacity Management, VM Sprawl Control, Performance Monitoring, Configuration Management, and Chargeback Automation in its listing of features.

Note that this product only works for the VMware environment — Hyper –V (Microsoft) or open-source hypervisor platforms are not supported.

Solar Winds VM began shipping in early June. It is available as a virtual appliance. Cost is $2,995 for fifty powered-on VMs under management. Downloadable as a free trial from http://www.solarwinds.com/products/virtualization-manager/.

Firefox 4 tops 7 million downloads

Mozilla’s newly released Firefox 4 hit 5 million downloads its first day, and has already topped 7 million.  That’s way ahead of Microsoft’s recent rollout of IE9.  Microsoft may have shot themselves in the foot by not supporting Windows XP with IE9, thus limiting potential users.  Firefox and the soon-to-be-released Google Chrome 11 continue to support Windows XP.

Download Firefox 4 here

Is Apple throttling web apps?

Tests indicate that iOS uses multiple techniques to hamper performance of web apps launched from the home screen of an iPhone or iPad.  Web apps launched directly from the Safari browser run about twice as fast as when launched from the home screen.  Is Apple trying to force users to use the App Store, so they get their cut, by making web apps appear to perform poorly?

Read more here

VMware View client for iPad

VMware has released a new VMware View client for iPad.  It’s available for free in the App Store:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vmware-view-for-ipad/id417993697?mt=8

VMware View Client for iPad features include:

• Secure, Instant-on Windows Desktops – VMware View Security Server support for PCoIP allows for a simple, secure remote connection and authentication to a user’s Windows desktop over a WiFi or 3G network. Reconnecting to a View Desktop(2) is made even easier with the ability to select and connect to a list of recently connected desktops.

Modern Desktop Experience – The new VMware View Client delivers Windows-based virtual desktops while taking advantage of the superior user experience provided by PC-over-IP (PCoIP) display protocol, creating a highly responsive and flexible user experience.

Intuitive, Multi-Touch Support – Custom gestures on the new VMware View Client enable quick and easy navigation around the virtual desktop by taking advantage of iPad’s Multi-Touch display. An innovative on-screen track pad lets users leverage a more traditional mouse interface with the iPad’s keyboard for efficient text input.

Device and iOS Support – Support for the iPad Keyboard Dock and Bluetooth keyboards makes text input even easier while the iPad VGA connector allows you to connect to an external monitor. VMware View Client for iPad supports iOS 4.2 and iOS 4.3.

Charity scams on the rise in the aftermath of Japan quake

Within hours of the earthquake & tsunami in Japan, online scams were popping up on various social media sites, claiming to be charitable organizations, or to represent valid ones like the Red Cross.  In addition to falsely soliciting donations via Facebook and email, these fraudulent “charities” are also used to spread malware.

So please be careful when you go to donate to a cause or offer assistance, and be sure the organization is valid.

More info: http://www.securityweek.com/massive-influx-scams-surrounding-japans-earthquake-and-tsunami-expected

That new 4G phone might not be as fast as you think

Recent testing indicates that AT&T may be capping speeds of its 4G devices (see article: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2381578,00.asp)

With the standards for 4G being ill-defined at best, carriers can legally get away with marketing 4G devices that are actually slower than 3G on the same network.  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2381915,00.asp

So buyer, beware!  That new mobile phone or tablet might not be as zippy as the advertisers would have you believe.

Adding Public Folder Calendars to Your Outlook Profile

Here is a simple walk through on how to add public calendars to your outlook profile.

Within your outlook, go to the bottom left corner and click on the Folder List button (figure A). This will bring up additional folders that you do not normally see (Figure B).

If you expand public folders, you will see all of the public folders for your organization. These are all hosted on the Exchange server. If you would like to add a calendar to your profile you would browse down to the calendar and add it to your favorites.

In this case, you would expand Public Folders > All Public Folders > Calendars. Inside the calendars folder is the list of available calendars. Right click the calendar you want and select add to favorites. You will see the ‘add to favorites’ dialogue, and you just click add.

Once you have added the calendar to your favorites, you should be able to go to your calendars and the calendar you just added to your favorites should be listed under “other calendars.”

You should be able to repeat this process for any other public folder calendars that you want to add to your outlook profile.

Port Mobile/home phone numbers to Google Voice

Google is currently in the process of testing the ability to port over your mobile/home numbers into their Google voice system. It is a $20 fee payable through Google Checkout. At this current time, this function may not be available to all users as it is still in the testing phases.

All you have to do is log into your Google Voice account, check under the phone settings and see if there is a “change / port” option available (See below). Some users may or may not have this feature at this time, so if you are interested check back often.

One of the things you need to watch out for if you decide that you want to try this service is the early termination fees from your carriers. If you have a mobile phone, most likely they will hit you with early termination fees if you decide to cancel your contract.

Give Google Voice a try if you would like:

http://www.google.com/voice

UPDATE: This may not be possible for land lines as of yet.