Name of Project: Clackamas Education Service District
Type of Project: New Archiver Implementation for Governmental Agency
Clackamas Education Service District is an independent government agency that specializes in providing leadership and services to teachers and students in 10 school districts in Clackamas County, Oregon. The education service agency — which is one of 19 Educational Service Districts in Oregon — services over 55,000 students.
As the major service provider for its member districts, Clackamas ESD provides not only internet service and support, but it also manages student information systems, as well as district financial systems. The ESD also handles archiving for some of its school districts.
In 2015, Clackamas ESD set out to find a new archiving solution.
Server & Database Administrator Tim Gross said the reason Clackamas ESD needed a new archiver was because it was getting ready to deploy archiving for a fourth school district and it was clear that their then-current archiver would no longer suffice. Not only was it severely lacking in terms of performance, but the support that came along with it was unreliable.
As a result, Gross said he set out to find a solution that could handle not only the increased data load of the additional district, but also one that was affordable and reliable.
In searching for a new archiver, Gross said he evaluated his options in the following areas:
- COMPLIANCE – Complying with email retention requirements in Oregon can be complicated. Compliance laws in Oregon make it imperative that any archiving solution comply with a massive list of specific retention policies related to types of records and communication. As such, Gross said he needed an archiving solution with the flexibility to handle these many different requirements and multiple retention timelines.
- PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS – Clackamas County is no stranger to public records requests and neither are its school districts. Oregon allows anyone to file a public records request, but it also requires that a government agency satisfy the request within set amount of days — which Gross said can be a tight turnaround when you factor in the time it takes to search for the information, and have it reviewed and approved by the county’s legal staff. As a result, Gross said he sought out an archiving system that could conduct a quick and seamless search, was exportable and easy to hand over to legal for review.
- MIGRATING DATA – The process of swapping archiving solutions requires the migration of all the old data into the new archiver. This can be cumbersome — unless the new archiving system can export the data for you and then partition it into the appropriate departments.
- USER EXPERIENCE – An archiver that is hard to manage can cause some serious headaches and lead to unnecessary down time. Gross said not only was the old archiver difficult to manage, but also its upgrades were not intuitive and would often break. The next archiver, according to Gross, would need to be user-friendly and simple to manage. The last, and perhaps most daunting challenge, according to Gross, involved having confidence in the archiver itself.
“Confidence is crucial when it comes to email archiving,” said Gross. “Knowing that your archiver is capable of searching and capturing all of the information you need it to is imperative.”
After coming across Intradyn through an extensive web search, Gross said he reached out to set up a time to talk with a sales representative and then set up a 30-day demo of the email archiver.
“It was really helpful,” said Gross, adding that the demo allowed him to test out the archiver’s capabilities compare to the existing solution.
The next step in the evaluation process was to show Intradyn’s solution to stakeholders at each of the school districts. Gross said having representatives from Intradyn on hand to help provide information and answer questions was critical.
The response from stakeholders was incredibly positive, said Gross. Almost immediately after the presentation, Gross said he was given the OK to implement Intradyn’s archiving solution.
Clackamas ESD has been using Intradyn’s archiver since February 2017 and Gross said the results thus far have been promising. The archiver has satisfied all the concerns Gross said he had with compliance, satisfying requests, user experience, migrating data and more. Most importantly, Gross said he doesn’t have to dedicate part of his day to ensuring the archiver is working properly — it’s a “set it and forget it” type of solution.
“I’m really pleased with the ability of this product,” said Gross.
One of the most impressive aspects of Intradyn’s archiver, according to Gross, has been its ability to handle the influx of data thrown its way. Gross said he was throwing upwards of six million imports at a time, not to mention the day-to-day archiving.
“It handled it well,” said Gross. “It did a really good job of throttling itself so it didn’t overwhelm the CPU and memory.”
With presumably more districts implementing an archiver in the future, Gross said Intradyn’s ability to scale its solution was also a factor in the decision-making process.
“Scalability is incredibly important,” he said.’
As it is with any software, Gross said Intradyn’s solution is not without its bugs, but the support he has received has been second to none.
“The tech support has been really good,” he said, adding that he has never had to wait more than an hour or two for a return call from someone at Intradyn.
“Having that kind of support makes my job easier,” said Gross.