Mimosa Covers Email

Startup applies CDP to Exchange for a range of functions

May 26, 2005

3 Min Read
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Startup Mimosa Systems Inc. has unveiled a continuous data protection (CDP) product to manage email on Microsoft Exchange servers.

The problem is straightforward: Despite new regulations, growing litigation, and the sheer volume of email in many organizations, software hasn't kept up, not even from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim.)

Mimosa is one of a small number of players that see the gap as an opportunity. Its NearPoint package applies CDP to email, first by creating an archive for Exchange. When disaster hits, IT managers can quickly retrieve folders, messages, mailboxes, and other Exchange elements, instead of hunting their way through whole databases using MAPI. Search functions designed to be "Google-like" help with compliance and legal discovery and ensure the mail server isn't consumed with lots of duplicates, old data, and other flotsam that can burden storage.

Since NearPoint also tracks email transactions and matches those to a running log to enable recovery from any point in time, it can follow a trail of changes, such as those that might be made furtively by guilty parties covering their electronic tracks. Capice?

Mimosa's CEO T.M. Ravi, a startup veteran who also worked at Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA), says NearPoint is just the start of a series of products the company hopes to provide for CDP-based management of unstructured data. "Email is our first effort. We are looking at other areas, such as collaborative documents," he says.Mimosa isn't alone. While CDP is still relatively immature technology that lacks major vendor support (see CDP: Calling It Right), at least two other startups are applying it in ways similar to Mimosa's. Storactive Inc. claims a raft of customers for its LiveServ product. Another startup, Lasso Logic, was still in the early stages of getting its product out at press time (see Lasso Joins CDP Roundup).

Mimosa compares with these in description and pricing. Storactive's LiveServ, for instance, is described as starting at $39 per mailbox on its Website. Mimosa says $35 per mailbox for a 2,000-mailbox installation is the low end of its range.

As to other differentiators, it's simply too soon to tell, though CEO Ravi claims his product is distinguished by its granularity. The market for email CDP is still so new that he should have plenty of chance to back up his claim -- or not.

At least one analyst says the differences between Mimosa and Storactive are generally ones of focus. Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group says Storactive's general appeal will be to administrators, while Mimosa is tipped a bit in favor of end users -- though he notes there is overlap, so that both products have elements that will appeal to either group. One thing, though: "There's no doubt that Storactive and Mimosa are ahead of Microsoft by at least a year, if not more," Taneja says.

Mimosa is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and was founded in 2003. It has $6.5 million in venture funding from August Capital, Clearstone Venture Partners, Dot Edu Ventures, and Lighthouse Capital Partners.Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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