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Archive and backup old emails

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussions' started by johnburk, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. johnburk

    johnburk Well-Known Member

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    In the last 6 years I have seen client emails boxes grow rapidly. By law in my country it is mandatory to keep emails, invoices and other administration for at least 7 years, due to possible tax audits.

    I currently have clients with 5GB and larger emailboxes. With a total of 110GB of mailboxed that are up to 7 years old, it is really a huge burden on the backups. Making weekly backup and saving for 26 weeks results in results 2,9TB of data, adding all the additional backups and data and you need a few TB’s for old emails that are not even used anymore.

    Is there a way to archive emails that are older than 2 years, so that they are only backuped once every 3 months, rather than every week?
     
  2. johnburk

    johnburk Well-Known Member

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    Any suggestions on this?

    A manual way is to use horde to move all emails in folders. For example:

    2005
    2006
    2007

    Then archive those emails, download them and backup them. Then delete them from the server.

    But is there a way to say

    Backup everything weekly, but exclude emails older than 2 years, except once every 12 weeks?
     
  3. johnburk

    johnburk Well-Known Member

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    I think the only option is to download the old folders and delete them from the server.
     
  4. horustwohawks

    horustwohawks Member

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  5. cPanelTristan

    cPanelTristan Quality Assurance Analyst
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    The existing thread talks about sending a blind carbon copy for incoming and outgoing emails which differs from trying to backup and archive old email data.

    Whatever method you employ for old email data, you'll have to base it on the timestamp for the mail entry. There is no way within the existing backup scripts to backup data that is only a set date or time. The incremental backup feature does only back up changed files or folders, but it seems to me that you don't want to backup the data after the initial backup for those 2 years or older but back them up and move them to storage possibly? If so, there's a discussion on using find to move files from one location to another location that are over 30 days old (you'd have to reconfigure to move those that are 365 x 2 for 2 years):

    How to move files older than 30 days

    You'd also need to have it match the pattern for /home/*/mail/*/*/*/cur location where the * each represent a wildcard. Determining what command to use would be something you'd have to configure via testing purposes. I'd start with a test machine to run the command you are going to try until you find the proper way to handle it. To get you started for the finding the files portion, this command would find any emails (files) in cur folder under an email user's account that is 530 days old or older:

    Code:
    find /home/*/mail/*/*/cur -type f -mtime +530
    What I find interesting is that any such system would exist to preserve emails that are 7 years old, since if you have clients capable of using email and cPanel, they can remove any emails they want to remove at any point of time. How can you ensure that such clients would maintain emails that are up to 7 years old on any machine?
     
  6. horustwohawks

    horustwohawks Member

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    I have been looking for a proper email archiving solution lately. We need to be able to reliably audit all sent and received email. Seems you would really need to use a dedicated service, like postini or similar, to have a properly manageable and searchable archive. I have seen some cron-job writeups, but none I have seen have enough 'order' and 'protection' to be viable, not to mention providing reports if/when an audit need strikes.

    What's nice about services like the postini one (that's Googles, while other leading vendors seem to be Webroot, McAfee and ZixCorp) is that you can set it and forget it until you need it. You users can go ahead and send and delete and move stuff all they want ...while you maintain a very auditable email communications situation over time.

    It would be nice if something simple was developed for cPanel to give you the option to simply select to "archive selected email accounts" to a folder right there on your server, and/or to a selected ftp location, including then a tool for bringing up an interface for searching and printing out a (search result) report.

    Perhaps its outside the scope of a cPanel-centric service, howeveer, email archiving seems to be becoming a greater and greater issue during the last couple years (or is it just me?).
     
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