Based on market feedback, technology evolution, and customer demand, 8x8 is introducing an enhanced range of media storage and archive options for voice, meetings, and screen recordings by its customers.

With an initial release in November 2020, this new offering provides a comprehensive range of time-based storage options that includes both hot (instant access) and cold (deferred archive access) retrieval.

Significantly, this provides an aligned storage methodology for 8x8 X Series that spans both its Unified Communications (X1-X4) and Contact Center (X6-X8) solutions.

Previously, UC customers were limited to capacity-limited storage, with excess usage billed per Gigabyte above each user’s assigned allocation (from 1GB to 10GB, dependent on license type). CC customers benefited from a different time-based scheme (from 10 to 400 days) but lacked a robust longer-term storage mechanism.

Given their individual requirements for record-keeping, regulatory compliance, or industry sector best practices, both 8x8 UC and CC customers can now select the combination of hot and cold storage that meets their business needs and data retention policies. This now extends to pre-paid, long-term archival for up to 10 years, if required.

Solution highlights:

  • 30-days’ hot storage is now included with all new X Series user licenses for voice calls and meeting recordings for UC (X1-X4) and CC (X6-X8 and CC Standalone)
  • Extended period (130 days) hot storage for calls and meetings is included with premium UC licenses (X3-X4)
  • 30 to 130 days’ upgrade licenses are available for X1-X2 (for UC calls) and X6-X8/standalone (for CC calls)
  • If you purchase CC Screen Recording, storage is not included, so you'll also need to order the hot and cold storage licenses that you need.
  • Cold storage for each media type is available as an optional add-on license in annual increments up to 10 years:
    • During the first phase of release, this option is available for CC applications only, where the demand for formal long-term data retention policies is most acute.
    • The next release phase is planned for early 2021, when cold storage will also become an available option for UC customers.
  • A full range of billing options, aligned with those now available for its market-leading X Series portfolio, are available, from a monthly subscription to a multi-year pre-paid subscription.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I order these new storage options?

A: By default, all orders for new customers are enabled with the new media storage plan. As outlined above, dependent on the type of X Series user license ordered, 30 or 130 days’ hot-storage for voice calls and meetings is included as standard. Extended-period storage options, including long-term archive, can be ordered as optional add-ons.

Q: Does this announcement mean that I need to plan to migrate my existing recordings?

A: There’s no data migration involved, as there’s no change to the cloud storage services (CSS) repository used by 8x8. This is predominantly a commercially-driven release to provide customers with more affordable and flexible access to media storage.

Q: How much time do I have to move to the new plan?

A: In fact, there’s no urgency at all. Existing customers can continue to use their current-licensed media storage capabilities, as well as adding further licenses using the existing range of SKUs during their current contract term.

Unless there’s an urgent business requirement, we’re recommending that existing customers wait until their contract renewal date.

Q: Do meeting recordings also encompass screen recording?

A: No they are considered separate. Meeting recording is an element of the 8x8 Unified Communications (UC) experience, which enables multi-party video-based meetings that can include shared content and chat interaction. Whereas screen recording is specific to 8x8 Contact Center environments, where all of an agent’s in-call, on-screen activity is captured for monitoring, compliance, and training purposes.

Q: The new time-based plans for UC recording storage are a better match for my needs than the current capacity-based offerings. Is there a way to change to the new plan right now?

A: Yes, you’ll be able to do that by mid-December. Initially, we’re focusing on prioritizing the activation of these storage plans for new customers. Once enabled, the ‘switching’ process is automated within 8x8 business systems. All you need to do is to order at least one of the new storage add-on SKUs and that will trigger the change.

Q: Can I add one of the new ‘cold storage’ options to my system and keep my current ‘hot-storage’ entitlement?

A: It’s not possible to mix-and-match the previous and new storage plans on the same system. In this example, when the new cold-storage licenses are purchased, the storage plan is converted to the new plan, with the relevant 30/130 day hot-storage retention period.

Q: What happens to my existing recordings when I move to the new storage plan?

A: In order to provide a smooth transition between old and new plans, and to avoid the inadvertent deletion of recordings, the retention period for existing UC and CC recordings is set to 90 days. Any new recordings will be subject to the new storage retention policies defined by the system administrator. This 90-day 'grace-period' provides ample time for customers to consider the best combination of hot and cold storage for their ongoing business needs, including the ability to extend up to 130 days' hot storage and up to ten years' cold storage, subject to license availability, as per the phased release plan.

Q: What’s the difference between time and capacity-based storage?

A: Capacity-based storage is not time-limited, but customers will accumulate add-on charges, once the allocated per-user storage space is exceeded. With time-based storage, there are no capacity constraints, but there is a defined retention period for the recorded media. At the end of that period, the media is deleted. Under the new storage plan, customers that wish to retain their recordings for a period longer than 130 days, can opt to archive ‘cold’ storage, which is available in annual increments up to ten years.

Q: What’s the difference between hot and cold storage?

A: Hot storage is provided by the standard media repository that has been available to 8x8 users for some time. Recordings are accessible for instant-playback from within the 8x8 user interface. Cold storage uses a new service, which provides a resilient, secure, yet low-cost environment for the retention of data for extended periods. If cold storage is enabled on your system, once the designated hot-storage retention period for a recording expires, the media is automatically archived.

Q: How do I retrieve a recording from cold storage?

A: Users with access to the 8x8 Admin Console for their system, have access to an indexed list of all recordings, hot and cold, for all users. Once they have located the archived recording(s) required, they can initiate the retrieval process, which has a 12 hour SLA. Once a recording has been restored, the admin receives an alert that the file is available for playback or sharing from within the Admin Console. Note that retrieved archives remain available for seven days and are then automatically returned to the cold-store.

Q: Are the storage periods fixed and is it possible to define different storage policies for different groups of users?

A: Within the licensed maximum periods of 130 days (hot) and ten years (cold), a system administrator can create custom storage policies. For UC users (X1-X4) it is possible to assign a different policy to individuals or groups within the user base. However, for CC users (X6-X8 or standalone), as licensing is based on seat concurrency, rather than named-users, it is only possible to define a single policy that will apply to all active users.

Q: Is there an on-line location, where I can manage all of my media recordings?

A: License assignment, storage profile settings, and management of recordings and archives can be self-managed via each customer’s 8x8 Admin Console portal. End-users have instant access to their hot-stored media recordings in the same way as before, including via the 8x8 Work (formerly Virtual Office) app.

For more information, please contact your local 8x8 contact or consult the 8x8 KnowledgeBase.