Email Archiving Blitz Wraps Up 2007

Suppliers eye compliance opportunities and the challenges of Microsoft Exchange

December 20, 2007

5 Min Read
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Could 2008 be the year when users finally get to grips with email management? Vendors, seeking to tap into IT customers' struggles with Exchange and a constantly shifting regulatory climate, clearly hope so.

The last month has seen a flurry of announcements from suppliers looking to help streamline and secure corporate email. Here is a rundown:


The managed services specialist overhauled its flagship EMS system this week, focusing on Exchange and e-discovery.

MessageOne is now claiming that it can speed up firms' e-discovery efforts through a new managed service called Quick Start. The offering is essentially data capture software that removes the need for journaling, a feature of Exchange that sends a copy of every message off to an archive.

By bypassing the time-consuming journaling process, users can quickly capture data from specific mailboxes, setting up an archive in as little as one day, according to Paul d'Arcy, MessageOne's vice president of marketing. This is a stark contrast to typical archiving projects, which can take 30 to 60 days to set up, he adds.Exchange can indeed pose big challenges for users, says Ferris Research analyst David Sengupta. "With Exchange 2007, there's a lot of complexity," he says. "Some people would say that it's the most complex version of Exchange that has been released."

The analyst describes Quick Start as an "interesting approach" to the complexities of Exchange, but warns that, by bypassing the journaling feature, MessageOne is swimming in somewhat uncharted waters.

"Microsoft has essentially designed journaling to support third-party vendors, so anyone who does not do journaling is not playing along with the scenario Microsoft has designed for them," he says.

In addition to its Exchange upgrade, MessageOne has also enhanced the ability of EMS to import messages from .PST files and legacy archives.

Pricing for the Quick Start offering starts at $1,000 per month for up to 150 users. The monthly list price for the EMS managed service starts at $3 per user.Mimosa
Archiving and storage management specialist Mimosa is also jumping on the Exchange bandwagon, recently unveiling a disaster recovery solution specifically for Exchange environments.

The Disaster Recovery Option for the vendor's NearPoint archiving software enables users to recover their Exchange services to either a local or remote server in minutes, according to the vendor. This aims to give users swift access to their email messages in the event of a disaster.

The NearPoint Disaster Recovery Option is available now, priced at $5 per mailbox. Pricing for the core NearPoint software starts at $40 per mailbox for 2,000 mailboxes.

Another vendor getting in on the Exchange act is e-discovery specialist Kazeon, which overhauled its Information Server software last week.

Specifically, Information Server Version 3 includes native connectivity to Exchange servers, Symantec Enterprise Vault, and SMTP-based Internet email journals."We have created more delivery options," says Steve d'Alencon, Kazeon's vice president of product marketing. "We have added a connector to an Exchange server that allows customers to rapidly find email stored in that live Exchange server."

Other enhancements to the product include an optional feature called Information Center, which lets users search across multiple instances of Information Server. "This is useful for companies that have a distributed environment with multiple locations," says d'Alencon. "It allows the customer to create clusters of Information Server instances and do federated searching and reporting across them."

Pricing for Information Server 3, which is available now, starts at $80,000. Pricing for Information Center starts at $100,000.

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MPC Computers

Hardware vendor MPC computers took the wraps off its MailFrame email archiving appliance yesterday. The device can connect to any email server, including Exchange and Lotus Notes, according to the vendor.Acting as an intermediary between the email server and users' storage, MailFrame makes copies of emails and stores them on users' existing storage infrastructure.

Pricing for the MailFrame device, which is available now, starts at $8,000 for 500 users.

Security specialist Mirapoint is also focusing on email. Earlier this week the vendor announced its RazorSafe device, which it is touting as a way for users to securely archive and index their email data. Connected to an email server, the appliance offers up to 3.7 Tbytes of storage, according to the vendor.

Mirapoint is also pushing the RazorSafe device as a way for administrators to manage email across their infrastructure, citing its ability to connect to both primary and secondary storage.

Aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses, pricing for the RazorSafe device, which is available now, starts at $19,995 for 1 Tbyte of storage.Despite the efforts of the vendors listed above, technology is only one part of the email management equation, particularly with regard to the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).

A survey of over 100 firms by Osterman Research, released earlier this week, suggests that many users are still dragging their feet when it comes to the FRCP amendments, which force firms to make electronic documents readily available in the event of a dispute. At issue are the policies required to govern email retention. More than half of the users surveyed have no such policies in place.

"What I have found, in many companies, is that the IT staff find themselves in a quandary. For them to implement the right solutions they have to understand what the company's retention management policies are," says lawyer Howard Nirken, a partner at Austin, Texas-based Dubois, Bryant, and Campbell.

Bottom line? New email management and archiving wares are abounding, but IT managers will need to do their homework to make the best use of them.

How are you coping with the FRCP amendments? Why not tell us about it on the latest Byte & Switch poll.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Ferris Research

  • Kazeon Inc.

  • MessageOne

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Mimosa Systems Inc.

  • Mirapoint Inc.

  • Osterman Research

  • MPC Computers

  • Symantec Corp.

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