Email Archiving Made Easy: Success with Retain



Chicago’s trademark specialty law firm Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP is especially mindful of the need to produce email in the discovery process.

Because email has become one of the primary means of communication in the business world, when a legal issue comes up, it is one of the first things that needs to be reviewed. As a law firm, Pattishall wants to make sure that their emails and attached data are properly archived and are easily retrievable. While their employees may want to keep all of their email in their inboxes forever, it simply isn’t practical when nearly every email has attached documents. For that reason, Pattishall sought archiving software to provide quick access to old email messages and to support their retention and email retrieval policies. Ultimately, they turned to Retain.

The Archiving Challenge

Dale Qualls, Director of Information Technology for the company, explained that although they have about 90 users, the vast amounts of data sent through the mail server have bloated their storage requirements to nearly 200GB.

He explained that recent United States Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) make it imperative that email be produced during the discovery process. Gone are the days when the burden of pulling material out of the archives fell to the one requesting the discovery information. When the data is requested from your company, your company has the burden to produce the data. And there are specific rules on how that data must be preserved, as well as how it must be presented. Discovery data must be portable so it can be imported into litigation support software, indexed, and referenced. Emails must be produced not only in an archived or printed format, but they must also be provided in a readable format that is mutually agreed upon. Retain manages all of these requirements in one unified archive solution.

Qualls stated, “What’s nice about the Retain product is that everything is stored in a central database. That makes everything easy to back up and it’s simple to pull data back out.” Another plus for Dale is that Retain supports SQL databases and in addition to secure storage—with messages being archived using AES encryption—EMC Centera, and Netapp Snaplock storage is supported.

Implementing an Archive Solution

At first, he purchased another archiving application. But he had to purchase another copy of Windows Server and virtualize the software. As he watched the application run slowly and inefficiently, he became convinced that there had to be a better option. Dale installed an evaluation copy of Retain on an it on a virtualized SLES (Suse Linux Enterprise Server) and was thrilled with how efficiently it ran. He also had the portability he wanted, as well as the speed and reliability of the virtual machine. Because Retain also runs on native Linux, there was a cost savings since Linux is an excellent, low-cost operating system that works well. And Retain runs on any platform, so you have the choice.

“Set It and Forget It”

Pattishall’s Director of IT is confident with how the well firm’s data is archived. He doesn’t worry about a Windows server crashing and taking everything with it. For him, Retain is a “set it and forget it” solution. Dale stated, “…one of the things I like best about Retain is the easy web interface. It’s smooth and easy to run through. It gives good feedback on how a job is progressing. Not only that, but GWAVA has true experts in email security working on their products.”

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For more information about the need to archive and monitor electronic data or for information on any of the GWAVA solutions visit

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