E-mail Archiving

Network Attached WORM Optical Meets SEC 17a-4 Regulatory Compliance Requirements

These regulations cover all financial services providers and establish the protection and privacy of customer's personal financial information. In addition to document and messaging protection and privacy, these laws also require these organizations to have Archive and Disaster Recovery media controls in effect.

The United State Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation 17a (Section 17 CFR 240.17a-4) standardizes record keeping for investment banking and financial advisory activities. The regulation states that every advisor shall preserve, for a period of not less than three (3) years (and for the first two (2) years in a highly accessible place), originals of all communications received and copies of all communications sent, with attachments, by such financial advisor, broker or dealer (including interoffice memoranda and communications) relating to such business.

There is a fair amount of confusion about these regulations. Click here to read the official regulations. As a public service, StorageQuest has attempted to boil down the highlights of SEC Regulation 17a-4:

  • Broker/dealers are required to archive the electronic communications of licensed professionals for at least three years. The regulation specifically applies to email and instant messages.
  • Unlike NASD Rule 3010, which applies only to external communications, this regulation applies to both internal and external electronic messages.
  • Archived messages must be stored in two separately maintained online archives. In other words, broker/dealers must keep two copies of each message in an online archive.
  • A third copy of each message must be stored on permanent, IN A NON-REWRITEABLE, NON-ERASABLE MANNER, such as Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) technology.
  • Archived messages must be serialized meaning that each message is assigned a unique, consecutive identification number. This provides a means to ensure that no messages have been deleted.
  • The archiving system must have the capacity to readily download indexes and/or the messages to an acceptable medium for regulators.
  • The broker/dealer or its "storage medium vendor" must attest to the SEC that the broker/dealer's archiving process meets the conditions of the rule.
  • The broker/dealer must designate at least one third party who has access to and the ability to download information from the archives to an acceptable medium for regulators.

How MSM Addresses E-mail Archiving for SEC 17a-4Compliant Storage

StorageQuest's MSM series of network attached appliances unify optical storage providing organizations with an integrated approach to streamlining compliant E-mail archive storage and reducing costs in FIVE ways:

1. Unified Storage

The MSM network appliance with Web-based management provides file-sharing and management from anywhere on the network. Investments in the build-out of storage area networks and infrastructures, to better manage information and storage costs, are fully leveraged through the MSM. By enabling any optical storage library to easily integrate into the corporate infrastructure, it allows any application fast and easy access to compliant storage resources.

2. Open Storage

The MSM utilizes industry standards such as: Universal Disc Format (UDF), Linux, TCP/IP, NFS, CIFS, HTTP, SNMP, SCSI, Gigabit Ethernet and iSCSI. Complete system transparency is achieved through the use of UDF which is fully supported by all major operating systems including: Windows, MAC/OS and UNIX providing a completely open and transportable archive solution. Information stored through the MSM onto optical media can be read by any of the aforementioned operating systems as a standard operation - no special drivers or additional software to purchase. Your archived data is free from vendor "lock-in" as nothing is proprietary. The MSM provides total freedom of choice for compliant archiving regardless of Vendor, Format or Media.

3. Simplified Storage Management

The MSM provides total management for all of your optical library resources through its powerful, yet easy to use, Web-based management and control system. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) guides you effortlessly from the installation of the optical library to configuring it and managing it from anywhere on the network or in the world! Truly a Plug-n-Play experience as within minutes applications are archiving and retrieving data from anywhere on the network.

4. Complete Storage Support

The MSM supports the complete range of optical media formats including: WORM, Magneto-Optical (MO), DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, CCW,CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW as well as the latest advances in optical storage such as: Professional Disc for Data (PDD) by Sony and Ultra High Density (UDO) by Plasmon. The MSM also supports a wide range of optical libraries including: HP, Plasmon, IBM, Sony, ASACA, Pioneer, JVC and Kubota. A bright future in optical storage is assured as StorageQuest is working closely with industry visionaries such as InPhase Technologies' 3D Holographic Storage and the Blu-ray Disc consortium. By providing our unified storage solution as these products come to market, it insures a compliant archiving roadmap for many years to come.

5. Low Cost Storage

The MSM lowers the total cost of compliant archival storage in several ways: Through its simple Plug-n-Play appliance model systems administrators can easily install, configure and manage optical library systems. There is no need for high level technical resources to be employed to support an MSM Archival system. The MSM enables the sharing of the optical storage resources throughout the network, amortizing the archival costs across many applications, thus lowering the total cost of ownership for compliant storage within the enterprise. The MSM lowers costs through the utilization of low cost optical storage. For example: a DVD-R library system using the UDF format enables any data archived on inexpensive DVD-R media to be read on any Windows, MAC/OS or UNIX system directly. Today's systems have DVD drives already installed so there is no additional hardware or software to purchase. This totally open architecture greatly reduces long term storage costs and management, while eliminating the need for costly and risky data conversations from one system to another.


For all questions regarding government laws & regulations seek legal counsel. The information on this site is not a legal opinion or legal advice.