Browse Prior Art Database

Method to save storage space consumed by electronic mailboxes Disclosure Number: IPCOM000233887D
Publication Date: 2013-Dec-26
Document File: 8 page(s) / 71K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Method to save storage space consumed by electronic mailboxes using content aware deduplication.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 26% of the total text.

Page 01 of 8

Method to save storage space consumed by electronic mailboxes


MTA: Mail transfer agent.

MDA: Mail delivary agent.

MUA: Mail User agent.

GUI: Graphical User Interface.

TUI: Textual User Interface.

Breif summary of email ecosystem:

>>What happens when a user sends an email.

A user composes an email using a MUA and specifies the receivers of the email. The MUA submits the email to a MTA which processes the the email headers and routes the mails to other MTAs which are serving the recipients.

When an email reaches the MTA of a receiver it is passed on the MDA which stores the email in the user specific mailboxes.

The receiver's MUA contacts the MDA and displays the email content to the receiver. MUA also provide facilities to download and store the mails on user's local storage.

>>Entities which are of interest in the scope of this disclosure are the MDAs and the MUAs.


MDA stores the emails received for a user in mailboxes which consume space on the server.


MUA are agents used by the end user to interact with MDA and MTA.

They let the user compose an email and specify who is/are the intended receivers, they also let the user retrieve emails from the MDAs and present them in a GUI or a TUI.

They also allow the user to take action on received emails such as reply(reply to all if the email was setn to multiple people), delete, forward etc. Some systems also provide advanced functions like archiving.

MUA also allows the user to download emails from the server and store them at client(user PC).

MDAs uses some techniques to save storage space on the server which include:

1. If an email is addressed to multiple users in the same domain the email is stored only once only pointers to this instance are stored in the individual mailboxes, which reduces the space consumption at MDA.

2. Similar kind of storage saving are achieved by saving the attachments only once.

3. Systems also use block level de-duplication, which divides data in equal sized blocks(irrespective of the type of data); find duplicate blocks and store only one copy.

Drawbacks in current solution:

Block level de-duplication is not content aware and will not give the best results when compared to a content aware method.

In the existing solution the only the email as a whole and/or the attachments are de-duplicated. While emails still contain duplicate data in email threads.

In case of a email discussions an email is replied to multiple times by different users and a chain of emails is formed often containing the previous email as quoted text.

Consider this scenario for threee users: User1, User2 and User3 who are exchanging emails in the following order.


Page 02 of 8

Stage1: User1 sends

to User2 and User3.

Stage2: User2 replies to all (User1 and User3) with

and body of email from User1 quoted in the reply. Stage3: User3 replies to all (User2 and User3) with

and body of email from User2 quoted in the reply.

All the Users have configured there MUA to download al...