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Issue of September 2005 

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Case Study


ACNielsen South Asia used an e-mail archival solution to gain better control over its large store of mail relating to each project that sometimes stretches over a year. by Soutiman Das Gupta.

Bhushan Akerkar

ACNielsen South Asia provides market research, information, analysis and insights to the consumer product and service industries. The company has a large client base and works simultaneously on a number of vital projects.

The duration of some of these projects is a couple of quarters, while of many others, more than a year. During this period, the organisation sends and receives several business-critical e-mail messages every day.

“Our e-mail infrastructure holds our most important intellectual property and is as important to us as water is to a household,” says Bhushan Akerkar, the company’s Executive Director for Information & Systems Technology.


ACNielsen has about 800 user IDs, and each receives an average of 40 e-mail messages per day. This adds up to a daily traffic of 32,000 e-mail messages. When a project lasts over 12 months on a normal course or due to an extension, the number and volume of e-mail messages that need to be archived and retrieved for reference is huge.


The company uses MS Exchange 2003 for its corporate messaging infrastructure. The solution is useful for storage and archival of mail, but the organisation needed more features to sustain its dynamic environment.

The company found that after deploying about 300 IDs on the mail server, the performance requirements for all the IDs could not be met by the solution. Users needed to retrieve old e-mail and sort them quickly. They also needed large storage space in each mailbox.


The extra needs prompted the company to seek a solution that would provide it the required flexibility. After evaluating a number of products, it decided to use Legato’s E-mail Extender archiving software. The solution promised to allow the company archive e-mail messages that are associated with personal folders in Exchange called .pst files.

The .pst files are often difficult to back up because they are spread across numerous storage media throughout an enterprise. When files get too large, the data can become inaccessible.

Datacraft India was chosen as the systems integration partner for the e-mail archival project.


The company has now allotted 200 MB of e-mail storage to each of its users. Some people who work on special projects that are lengthy or extended beyond a certain number of months are provided mail storage on a separate server with a size of 1 GB for each mailbox.

“When the mailbox size exceeds 200 MB, the archive is automatically moved to a separate server with a higher capacity. This move is entirely transparent to users who can find and retrieve e-mail in the usual manner,” explains Akerkar.

ACNielsen can now archive and retrieve its e-mail in a more organised manner, and extending the mailbox size is simple. “Even if the mail server is down, users do not experience breaks in their functions because the e-mail is kept in an archival server,” informs Akerkar.

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