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As the worlds of email and storage get even more entwined, startup Zimbra readies its own take on the "archiving plus email" trend. This week, the startup added archiving and e-discovery features to its core email messaging product, the Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS).

The software, which runs on commodity Linux servers, uses an agent to draw emails from Exchange or Domino servers, archives the data, and searches it. "It's designed to do indexing on everything that goes through your live mailbox," says Scott Dietzen, Zimbra's CTO, adding that the software can search over 200 content types, from Word documents to Adobe attachments.

The exec says running email archiving and e-discovery software on a standard Linux server could help firms lower their storage costs. "It doesn't need expensive SAN or NAS to be deployed, he says, adding that the software will also work with storage devices from the likes of EMC and NetApp.

On the downside, Zimbra's facing a competitive and changing market. Recent weeks have seen a slew of consolidation in this space, as more and more software firms look to offer email archiving and e-discovery combos. (See Autonomy Acquires Zantaz for $375M and Google Plucks Postini.)

Last week, Autonomy parted company with $375 million to acquire archiving specialist Zantaz. That was followed by Google's acquisition of software vendor Postini for $625 million. (See Autonomy Acquires Zantaz, Zimbra Unveils Archiving, and Google Acquires Postini.)

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