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Oracle Adds Email Archiving

Enterprise software supplier Oracle has officially entered the email archiving market with a new product that builds on unstructured data management features in the vendor's database.

Oracle Universal Online Archive and an accompanying software package, Oracle E-mail Archive Service, enable IT managers to organize, archive, and search email from Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes, and SMTP-based email systems.

Both products are based on (and require) Oracle 11g, the vendor's structured enterprise database, and require Oracle Fusion Middleware on top of that. But they offer distinct functions (even though there is a bit of overlap):

  • Oracle Universal Online Archive contains a "high volume data ingestion engine" that streamlines the input of data from SANs, email systems, enterprise content management systems (like EMC's Centera), and other disk-based data sources. The package applies de-duplication (single-instance storage), data compression, data partitioning, database and file-level encryption, and hierarchical storage management for an 11g-based archive.
  • Oracle E-Mail Archive Service, which is an enterprise package and not a hosted service, performs email "stubbing," in which the email message and attachments are stripped from the mail system for storage in the archive, leaving a reference stub in the email system. The E-Mail Archive Service also performs its own single-instancing and applies classification criteria for use by the archive.

With this product, Oracle will compete against IBM and EMC in content management, as well as against Symantec, Mimosa, EMC, and others in email archiving. According to Michelle Huff, director of product management at Oracle, a key differentiator is the ability to integrate archiving with the enterprise database. Oracle also allows data to be stored in multiple places but managed centrally.

"There is an adapter for linking to our Universal Records Management system for unstructured data. The value is that the system is federated, allowing you to store data in Sharepoint, file systems, or email, while providing centralized management," she points out.

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