Archiving & Backup

CHUV: Universitätsspital verwaltet E-Mail-Archivierung effektiver mit Enterprise Vault

Vaud University Hospital (CHUV) deals with more than one million emails every month and this requires a significant amount of storage space. To free up more space and to streamline messaging system management, the head of the IT systems department chose Symantec Enterprise Vault™. In only a few months, more than 1 terabyte of space has been freed up. Moreover, automated archiving functionality saves users from the hassle of having to manage their own mailbox.

One of Switzerland’s Largest Hospitals Manages its email storage more effectively with Symantec Enterprise Vault. Source: CHUV

An archiving solution adapted to even the largest of IT networks

CHUV is one of five university hospitals in Switzerland, alongside facilities in Geneva, Berne, Basel, and Zurich. This university hospital is an important referral unit for the Vaud region as well as for a large part of French-speaking Switzerland. It has approximately 40 sites and more than 8,000 employees, who treat more than 40,000 hospital patients each year. If the medical service has to be of the highest standard for the patients, the same applies to the IT service. Almost 130 IT technicians manage the existing complex IT infrastructure. The messaging system consists of four servers and hosts approximately 12,000 email accounts. Each month, more than one million emails are exchanged.

Prior to using Enterprise Vault, email archiving caused complications for both the IT department and the employees. For one thing, controlling the amount of data meant that the IT system had to limit the size of mailboxes, which made the lives of many users that little bit more complicated. Users also had to manage their own archives by copying them onto a DVD. These operations were not only complex and costly; they also prevented the implementation of an archiving policy. “We quickly became very limited by this old-fashioned way of doing things,” says Stéphan Misteli, head of IT infrastructure at CHUV.

The CHUV IT department therefore worked towards a solution that focused on the ability to automate archiving policies, with the principal aim of reducing the amount of data, preventing the messaging servers from overloading, and freeing users from the constraints linked to the system in place. On the recommendation of one of CHUV’s suppliers Infoniqa, which itself uses the same solution, Enterprise Vault quickly stood out as the ideal solution to respond to the Hospital’s IT needs. Furthermore, the IT managers were particularly aware of the leading position Symantec enjoys in analyst rankings, such as the Gartner Research Group’s Magic Quadrant. “As a leader in terms of its performance and extensive strategic vision, Symantec is miles ahead of its  competitors,” says Stéphan Misteli.

A discreet, seamless migration

Working in close collaboration with Infoniqa, the Symantec software installation partner, the deployment of Enterprise Vault has been gradual and structured.

The archiving process began after an initial study of the IT environment and identification of the technical constraints. The new archiving system was first implemented on around twenty of the IT department’s workstations. It was then deployed to 150 workstations used by the IT team and the training department.

Simultaneously, the automated archiving policy was established for the remaining users. As CHUV’s IT system does not allow any interruption of service to occur during the day or at night, the decision was made to use a background archiving system so that the messaging software performance would not be impacted.

In only five months, 6,000 mailboxes have been archived, freeing up almost 1 terabyte of storage space. This is the equivalent of one of the four servers comprising the messaging infrastructure being made available.

Now that the installation phase is complete, the archiving policy is applied daily, which automatically reduces the volume of data and ensures compliance with the regulations in force. “The IT teams are very satisfied with the migration of the product, which progressed without a hitch,” concludes Dominique Hofer, Exchange messaging manager.

Potentially limitless mailbox size

For the user, the archiving process is still easy to use and ensures all emails are continually accessible, even though there is no longer a limit on the size of mailboxes. The average size of mailboxes has actually been reduced by 50 percent―which is all due to the automated archiving policy. Stéphan Misteli explains, “Thanks to Enterprise Vault, the number of emails is virtually infinite. The problem of having too many emails no longer exists.”

A key advantage of the solution is that it does not intrude on the user’s environment. An item that has been archived stays in the Outlook mailbox, and only a very small arrow in the message icon indicates that this item has been placed in the archive. It is still entirely and immediately accessible. “One of the strengths of Enterprise Vault is that it is incredibly discreet. Messages that have been archived are accessible with a simple doubleclick. The software is practically invisible to users,” explains Dominique Hofer.

Finally, the Enterprise Vault software has new search functions, which allow users to find their emails immediately.

The benefits are also clear for the words of support received from the users. Questions about deleted messages―which used to crop up at least once a day before Enterprise Vault was installed―are now a thing of the past. The IT support department is therefore saving several hours each week in email management time and resources.

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Oliver Forster
Senior Consultant | Product Manager

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