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Mimosa Offers Archiving, Data Protection to SharePoint Users

Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration suite is one of the fastest growing software products in the market today, but it is creating challenges for storage administrators. As more enterprises use SharePoint "farms" to hold and share information, IT departments are looking for ways to protect, search, index, and recover the content, and control the amount of storage capacity it consumes. Mimosa Systems jumped into that market this week by adding SharePoint archiving, data protection, and e-discovery capabilities to its NearPoint archiving system.

"SharePoint has become the lightweight content management system for 'the rest of us' because it enables groups to easily share information with version control, and because elements of it are free as parts of Windows. So groups within companies have created SharePoint sites without going through the IT department," says Barry Murphy, director of product marketing for Mimosa Systems. Microsoft says there are 85 million licensed seats of SharePoint at 17,000 customers.

The fast growth and use of SharePoint has caused problems, he says, because SharePoint sites can consume lots of storage capacity and there are few connections between SharePoint sites, making replication and disaster recovery difficult. Plus, the lack of a central repository for documents or other forms of information raises compliance and e-discovery issues. "A document may live on a SharePoint site in the finance department as well as SharePoint sites in other departments and each will have different retention and legal hold policies. It creates an e-discovery nightmare," Murphy says.

Mimosa added features to NearPoint that allows an IT department to capture all of the content on SharePoint sites or farms, which are collections of sites. SharePoint stores much of its content in SQL databases, so NearPoint captures documents, document libraries, database content, front-end servers, configuration databases, administrative databases, search databases, and anything else necessary to permit full archiving and recovery. NearPoint also will find documents that exist within different libraries and SharePoint sites. It does a full capture of all content at the onset and then an ongoing capture of any and all changes, Murphy says. That allows storage administrators to use NearPoint to do a full recovery if a SharePoint site crashes or an item-level recovery if a single document or piece of content is lost.

Mimosa is pushing NearPoint as a unified repository to archive content from Microsoft Exchange email systems, file systems, and SharePoint, using its global single instance data reduction to conserve storage capacity and simplify management. "You can put a legal hold on a document across all the systems. Nobody else offers that," Murphy says. Mimosa is charging $40 per user if NearPoint for SharePoint is purchased on a standalone basis or $24 per user for customers of other Mimosa products.

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