On November 28, 2011, President Obama signed the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records,which is designed to reform records management policies and practices within government agencies. The memorandum provides two important commitment timelines:

  • December 31st, 2016 – U.S. Federal agencies will manage both permanent and temporary email records in an electronically accessible format.
  • December 31st, 2019 – U.S. Federal agencies will manage all permanent and temporary electronic records in an electronic format.

To help agencies meet this directive, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provided guidance in the form of the Capstone Approach, which specifies a framework for agencies to meet the obligations outlined in the presidential memorandum. Agencies may choose to implement a Capstone Approach or may meet the requirements of the directive in another manner.

dcVAST believes that Veritas Enterprise Vault 12.1 can help federal agencies ensure they are compliant with the Presidential Memorandum on Managing Government Records directive using a Capstone approach (and can apply to any approach taken to meet the directive).

Implementing a Capstone Approach with Enterprise Vault 12.1

Assign permanent account status. Enterprise Vault supports assigning a “Record Type” for email based on users and groups. For email, provisioning groups can be configured with an associated default retention schedule and record type. Enterprise Vault also supports capture of file content based on the “permanent account” ownership. For file servers, this may be performed based on location (e.g. home drives belonging to each user), by determining ownership on shared drives with Veritas Data Insight, and by leveraging metadata values (created by, modified by) in SharePoint.

Capture Content. NARA notes email may be captured by either journaling or mailbox archiving, and Veritas Enterprise Vault supports both methods. Enterprise Vault implements NARA’s Business Process and Workflow Automation in the form of email journaling. Journaling captures all email in target accounts that have been enabled for journaling, independent of user actions with no user intervention and no data loss. Mailbox archiving archives content after it has reached the end user’s mailbox. While automated archiving initiates once mailboxes eclipse administrator-defined thresholds, such as percentage of mailbox full, users may still be enabled for manual archiving

Classify content. Archived data can be classified according to metadata, the type of file, and by the content of the file. Classification in Enterprise Vault can be done automatically, using rules defined by the organization. Predefined rules identify common types of data such as social security numbers. Once data is classified, retention policies can be applied to determine how to archive or purge the files. Classification isn’t permanent; if the rules around data retention change, files can be reclassified.

Search content. Because agencies need to be able to retrieve all relevant data in response to inquiries, Enterprise Vault makes the archived data easy to search and access. Optical character recognition (OCR) makes images searchable along with text records. End users can search archived data from their email applications, file servers, and browsers similar to searching active data.

Discover content. Complex information retrieval requests can’t always be satisfied by a simple search. Enterprise Vault integrates with Veritas Data Insight and eDiscovery tools to allow sophisticated analysis of archived data to identify relevant records.

Manage retention. Archival storage doesn’t need to grow indefinitely. Files can be marked for temporary storage only, with gated deletion policies verifying that the rules haven’t changed since the deletion date was defined. Items tagged as requiring a legal hold won’t be deleted until the hold is lifted. 

Export. Ultimately federal records become the responsibility of NARA. Enterprise Vault makes it easy to export archived files and transfer them to NARA for long-term management. The set of records exported can be selected based on any property, such as date or file owner.

Expert Assistance from dcVAST

dcVAST is a Veritas solution provider with expertise in the entire line of Veritas data management applications. Our Veritas services can help you develop your strategy and assist with implementation and monitoring. For organizations that want an even higher level of support, we offer managed Enterprise Vault, where our expert staff takes over the management of your data archiving process. These services satisfy your legal responsibilities for data retention while allowing you to focus on your core mission and deliver services to the public. Contact us to learn more about Enterprise Vault and how dcVAST can help you utilize it effectively.

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