The Vault Is Dead: Why On-Premises Email Is History

Customers are increasingly trading in their old, bloated, expensive on-premises email archives for cloud services. Over time, these last-century technologies will take their place in the history of computing – the world, technology and the needs of customers have simply moved on.
Old, bloated and expensive on-premises email archives are being swapped for for cloud services.

Early adopters of email archiving have been staring angrily at their on-premises vault and watching it grow since the end of the last century. As wholly on-premises installations, these solutions were designed to alleviate the long-term email storage problems associated with Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and their rampant PST generation habits. IT departments quickly found that storing email on the primary mail server and stubbing it back to end users’ in-boxes meant their Exchange environment was more stable and efficient.

About 20 years ago, when the concept of an email archive first emerged, IT professionals couldn’t predict what an email archive of the future would look like. They certainly had no idea how large an email infrastructure could get. As users continue to send and receive massive amounts of email, and as attachment sizes continue to grow, old vaults have reached their storage capacity and as a result, demand more new hardware to manage the overflow of data.

The scalability of on-premises archives has been doomed from the beginning, as its growth is at the mercy of allotted IT budgets. IT teams have run out of patience trying to support this now vintage solution.

Then there’s the actual effectiveness, utility and usefulness of on-premises vaults. Historically, email archiving has been the domain of the IT administrator, and in some instances, legal counsel or compliance teams. Generally, the vault would have been deployed to solve either a storage management problem on Exchange, or a compliance and e-discovery problem affecting the business. Neither of these scenarios has any direct benefit for employees whose email is being stored after all – and it is these people who are demanding more of these solutions in today’s corporate environments.

The cloud has become the standard for new archives. The rare ‘greenfield’ email archiving sites where businesses are just setting out on their email retention journey are predominantly in the cloud. Why would you install a cumbersome, expensive and time-limited on-premises archive today, when there are many simple, scalable, innovative cloud alternatives.

Using the cloud for email archiving gives you significant competitive advantages, like:

- More frequent innovation, technology enhancements and features

- Faster upgrade cycles

- Perpetual storage

- No longer tied to the LAN

Then, of course, you have the needs of employees to consider. Never before have they demanded access to so much information, on so many devices, from so many different locations. The rise of consumer cloud and BYOD coupled with the collapse of the network perimeter means employees can’t be chained to their corporate networks anymore. On-premises archives simply don’t support this modern, on-the-go style of working. But in the cloud, access is ubiquitous, data is within reach, and mobile devices are supported. Keeping employees productive and in touch with their corporate memory on a mobile device is hard to do without a cloud archive that can deliver personal archive content through an app.

So there it is. You’re likely tired of your historic enterprise email vault because it’s old, cumbersome and no longer serves a relevant purpose. You’re likely sick of continuing to sign checks to the vendor for yet more storage. It is an expensive habit you surely want to break. The good news is, there is an alternative in the cloud that brings you up to date – and leading industry analysts agree. I recently discussed the benefits of the cloud over on-premises email archiving with Gartner Research Director, Alan Dayley.

Click here to watch the webinar.