E-Mail Archiving From A-Z12:00 AM EST Mon. Aug. 13, 2007
E-mail growth is starting to affect the ability of IT departments to continue to prop up e-mail applications like Exchange, unless they look to their solution providers for help with e-mail archiving, said Keith Norbie, director of the storage division at Nexus Information Systems, a Plymouth, Minn.-based solution provider. "The weight on top of Exchange is to the point where the legs are going to break," Norbie said. "People are loading so much crap on Exchange e-mails, public folders and PSTs (Personal Storage Tables), that it's about to cave in."
This means that the time of evangelizing these solutions has passed, said Dan Carson, vice president of marketing and business development at Open Systems Solutions Inc. (OSSI), a Willow Grove, Pa.-based storage solution provider that uses Symantec's Enterprise Vault, formerly known as KVM, and EMC's EmailXtender e-mail archiving applications. "One- to one-and-a-half years ago, there was a lot of missionary work going on, but there wasn't a lot of sales activity," Carson said. "But in the last six to nine months, we've seen a big uptick in activity of customers going ahead with archiving. Maybe three to four times the activity of last year."
Analyst firm IDC expects that 97 billion e-mails, including more than 40 billion spam messages, will be sent daily worldwide this year. Business e-mails will generate about 5 exabytes of data this year, nearly double the amount sent in the past two years, IDC said. That's leading to a fast-growing e-mail archiving market. In addition, analyst firm Radicati Group estimates that market to hit $6 billion in 2011, up from $1.3 billion this year.
Customer acceptance of e-mail archiving is actually higher than for most new technologies, said Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Cleveland-based storage solution provider that works with Zantaz, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based developer of e-mail and compliance software, which last month was acquired by Autonomy, Cambridge, England. "There's a huge demand," Knieriemen said, adding that every one of Chi's customers is addressing or trying to address two issues: "First, they have collected so many e-mails and are trying to find ways to manage them; the second is compliance, because financial regulators and HIPAA all have rules for archiving e-mails."
"This is definitely a growth space," Open Systems' Carson said. Customers realize their users are keeping a lot of e-mails, including just to keep an attachment, and they are keeping multiple copies," he said. "As more and more companies struggle with compliance and storage retention, it becomes an issue. A lot of customers are going back to look at retention policies based on recent events—either legal issues at their own company, or after reading about similar companies."
Next: Application Choices And Policies
Which application to use depends on the customer environment, Norbie explains. Nexus works with several e-mail archive products, including Enterprise Vault, EmailXtender, and software from CommVault Systems, Oceanport, N.J., and C2C, Reading, England.
For many companies, using e-mail-archiving software from their backup software vendor is an easy add-on. "CommVault's Archive line is an easy add-on to CommVault Galaxy," he said. "But if you are looking at the highest functionality, you need to go with Enterprise Vault or EmailXtender. But you lose the easy snap-on capability."
What really separates the men from the boys in e-mail-archiving software is the ability to do offline vaulting for mobile PCs, an important capability that Enterprise Vault and EmailXtender offer, Norbie said. "If you are a reseller and walk into an opportunity where you see a lot of mobile users, and you don't offer that capability, you don't have access to half their mail boxes," he said.
Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider that recently added e-mail archiving to its storage practice, said that new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) laws are forcing customers to implement an e-mail-archiving plan and stick to it to be able to produce documents in the event of litigation.
However, Kadlec added, it's not just archiving that's important, but the policies that customers need to put in place, especially when it comes to PSTs. "If you get too strict on deletions, the users will copy their PSTs to a CD and take it home," he said. "That's a potential business issue for customers. If you tell people they have to delete e-mails after 30 days, the salespeople will copy the PSTs to a CD. You need to be able to enforce a policy."
And it is an area that solution providers must continually review their offerings, Kadlec said. "E-mail for electronic discovery is absolutely not the only issue," he said. "Instant messages and voicemails now also need to be accounted for. Voicemails can be saved as MP3 files. We don't touch voicemail. But IMs are something we are addressing with the customer in addition to e-mail archiving."
Talking Up Solutions
The way to get customers interested in e-mail archiving is to talk solutions, Kadlec said. "When we bring it up, it differentiates us from others who sell just hardware or software," he said. "If I have Enterprise Vault, Hitachi's HCAP [Hitachi Content Archive Platform], the professional services to set it up, and other parts of the solution, the customer can see how much the entire solution costs. Then they can go to their CFO with the entire solution instead of just going in with Enterprise Vault."
As part of its overview of e-mail archiving, the CRN Test Center focused, not on any one market segment, but on a range of products, including software, hardware and managed services.
Major hardware vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and EMC bundle software solutions with hardware. HP's StorageWorks Reference Information Storage System (RISS) and HCAP from Hitachi Data Systems are larger storage solutions that can archive all types of reference information. These systems are large and comprehensive, but are overkill for solution providers looking at only e-mail archiving. As a result, such products were not included in the CRN Test Center overview.
Several of the products, such as archiving solutions from Fortiva, MX Logic and ArcMail, take advantage of SMTP journaling to receive e-mails from the mail server because it has the least impact on the mail server. Mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino support journaling. IT departments also like journaling because the archiving product then operates outside the e-mail stream. If the archiving solution goes offline for any reason, it doesn't interfere with e-mail delivery.
ArcMail Defender Email Archive Solution was the only hardware appliance the CRN Test Center engineers examined. A sleek 1U unit, Defender targets its archiving solutions for the small-to-midsize business (SMB). A typical SMB generally is not running a SAN or other large-storage solutions that could be used for archiving. With that in mind, Defender captures a copy of all inbound, outbound and internal mail, applies data compression, and securely writes the data to its on-board storage.
Defender starts with 500 GBytes of disk space and scales to up to 12 TBytes. The total disk storage in its entirety is not available for archiving: The XPS110 1-TByte box the engineers looked at allowed only 35 percent of total disk space, or 400 GBytes, for actual archiving. The proportion available jumps for higher-end models: The 8-TByte U380 unit offers 8.7 TBytes of archiving space, or 78 percent of the total.
The appliance is managed through a console accessible from anywhere on the network via a Web browser. The Web browser is also used to access the archive interface. The Web-based software lets users search through e-mails and attachments as well as download files from the archive. Defender allows searches on sender and recipient names as well as on the file name that was attached to the e-mail. It can also perform indexed and full-text searches on the body of the e-mail and on attachments.
Being Web-based, ArcMail Defender is independent of specific e-mail platforms. SMB customers can conceivably swap out the e-mail platform, or upgrade it, without affecting Defender. Defender works by turning on SMTP journaling on the mail server, and it has the ability to import PST files or download the contents of existing e-mails on the mail server through IMAP as part of a one-time import of pre-existing e-mails.
Next: SaaS Solutions
The CRN Test Center also examined a handful of archiving solutions that were offered on a software-as-a-service platform.
E-mail archiving as a service makes a lot of sense, especially if a smaller business customer has limited physical space or capability to implement a full-blown archiving solution. A SaaS solution also takes the data off-site, which is a plus for companies concerned about disasters and data loss. For solution providers, it's a one-time sale that brings in recurring monthly revenue.
The Fortiva Archiving Suite from Fortiva is e-mail-archiving software that's accessible via a Web-browser. Users log in to their company's site with Fortiva to access all archived messages. It supports only Microsoft Exchange, but also integrates with Windows Active Directory, making management a bit easier. Fortiva targets midmarket customers with 1,000 to 25,000 e-mailboxes.
Fortiva uses journaling to automatically archive all messages. Attachments are converted to small .HTML files. Fortiva also has a policy engine that can define retention policy and enforce it on all archived messages and allows the IT staff to customize policies as needed.
Another SaaS product CRN Test Center engineers looked at was the archiving solution from MX Logic. The product is split into two offerings: the MX Logic Archive Storage Control and the MX Logic Archive Compliance Control. The Archive Storage Control product is the basic archiving service. The e-mail server journals all messages and writes to MX Logic's servers. For a few extra dollars a month, customers can choose to have the Archive Compliance Control solution, which adds on a compliance-monitoring tool to the basic service. The compliance-monitoring component allows the IT staff to define business rules that are applied to messages. The rules identify messages that violate policy, such as inappropriate language.
MX Logic makes downloading archived messages simple. The messages are downloaded to the desktop as a Zip file containing individual .EML files, which can be imported into an e-mail client, such as Thunderbird, Outlook Express or to a text editor.
MX Logic supports a variety of mail platforms, as long as it has the ability to turn on journaling, including Exchange, Domino, GroupWise and mail servers running on Linux. MX Logic charges a flat monthly fee per GByte per user, but the final allocation can vary, according to the company. In addition, on the anniversary of the contract, the storage quota increases.
Iomega took a different approach to the e-mail-archiving space. The San Diego-based company handles branding and sales for an e-mail-archiving solution from Postini, which complements Postini's OfficeScreen suite of e-mail security and antispam software offered as a SaaS. The archiving add-on, Iomega OfficeScreen Managed Message Archiving Option, can be configured to archive inbound messages, outbound messages, or both, and can track domain traffic. The Iomega OfficeScreen ManagedE-mail Security and Spam Defense (Powered by Postini) also offer reports so that the IT staff can examine archive statistics.
Next: More Software Solutions
To round out the product overview, the CRN Test Center analyzed software solutions from Mimosa Systems and Symantec. The software solutions generally sit on a server in an environment with a NAS appliance, SAN array or RAID array.
Mimosa NearPoint for Microsoft Exchange Server is not just an e-mail-archiving application; it also handles eDiscovery, recovery, disaster recovery and storage management. While NearPoint can work with either local or network storage, Mimosa suggests a SATA RAID array for best performance. Instead of relying on Exchange's recovery methods, NearPoint manages every aspect of Exchange mailboxes, including messages, contacts, calendar items and tasks. Unlike ArcMail, Mimosa is tightly integrated with Exchange and Outlook. Management takes place through Outlook using NearPoint organizational forms. CRN Test Center engineers liked the "stub files" NearPoint creates as it moves large attachments to archive.
CRN Test Center also reviewed a demo from Symantec for its software-based solution, Enterprise Vault, which integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Exchange, Domino, SMTP mail, instant messaging and SharePoint.
Six Key Players In E-Mail Archiving
|COMPANY: ArcMail Technology
401 Edwards Street, Suite 1601, Shreveport, LA. 71101
PRODUCT LINE: ArcMail Defender E-mail Archive Solution is a hardware solution for Exchange and Domino servers. Defender captures a copy of all inbound and outbound mail and securely writes the data on its built-in disk storage. The appliance is managed through a console accessible from anywhere on the network via a Web browser. Defender specifically targets small and midsize businesses.
CHANNEL POINTS: ArcMail sells exclusively through the channel. While it's free to join, partners can also choose to participate in reviews and beta testing programs. ArcMail offers 40 percent off of NFR demo units and ad-hoc incentives for rebates. Free training is offered annually. Higher program levels are reached through sales and marketing campaigns.
60 Adelaide Street East, 9th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3E4
PRODUCT LINE: Fortiva Archiving Suite is a SaaS platform designed to fully integrate with Microsoft Exchange Server and Windows Active Directory. Fortiva takes advantage of Exchange journaling to automatically archive all internal and external communications and converts attachments to small .html files. Fortiva reduces load on the Exchange server and utilizes stubs to allow end-users access to attachments.
CHANNEL POINTS: Fortiva is 100 percent channel, but its three-tier channel program is currently recruiting only platinum-level partners. The company offers initial training to its partners, with delta training every six months. Assistance and reimbursements, marketing and advertising is on a case-by-case basis. Recurring revenue from SaaS/On-Demand.
10955 Vista Sorrento Parkeway, San Diego, Calif. 92130
PRODUCT LINE: Postini developed and runs this service; Iomega handles the branding and sales. The archiving feature, Iomega OfficeScreen Managed Message Archiving Option, is an add-on option offered for the core product, Iomega OfficeScreen Managed Email Security and Spam Defense-Powered by Postini. The service can be configured to archive inbound, outbound, or both communications.
CHANNEL POINTS: Pricing is based on the retention term per Gbyte of storage. Postini has minimum purchase and revenue requirements, shutting out SMB VARs. Iomega has no minimum order levels and benefits for members in its iPartner program. VARs can expect margins of 25 percent or more. Iomega will train and enable VARs to provide support.
|COMPANY: Mimosa Systems
3200 Coronado Drive, Santa Clara, Calif. 95054
PRODUCT LINE: Mimosa NearPoint for Microsoft Exchange Server, Version 3.0 is the company's software-based e-mail archiving solution being released this month. All partners can download and remotely install NearPoint to manage the evaluation process. Mimosa NearPoint's eDiscovery features achive all Exchange data, including public folders, offline PST files, calendars, contacts and notes.
CHANNEL POINTS: While Mimosa has no distribution partners, it does have more than 100 members as first-tier resellers in its Mimosa Partner Advantage Program, a three-tiered program. All deals for fewer than 1,000 mailboxes are exclusively fulfilled by partners and registered deals are protected for 120 days. Margins range from 15 to 35 percent.
|COMPANY: MX Logic
9781 S. Meridian Blvd., Suite 400, Englewood, Colo. 80112
(877) 695-6442 (MXLOGIC)
PRODUCT LINE: MX Logic Archive Compliance Control delivers storage, retrieval and surveillance as a managed service. MX Logic Archive Storage Control is a managed service for storage only. All messages are scanned for viruses and filtered for spam before delivering a copy to the customer and the other to the archiving system. Message Archiving also scans all inbound, outbound and internal e-mail.
CHANNEL POINTS: While there's no fee to join the program, there is an annual revenue commitment. Also, technical certification is required for partners in the F3 tier in order to offer support. F1 tier can only sell the solution, and F2 can both and bill the product. MX Logic generates leads that are turned over to partners. Margins are from 25 to 55 percent.
20330 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, Calif. 95014
PRODUCT LINE: Symantec Enterprise Vault is a software-based solution that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Exchange, Domino, SMTP mail, instant messaging and SharePoint. The system can archive more than 300 types of files, voicemail and fax images. A copy of all e-mail messages sent and received are retained for a certain period of time to meet regulatory and legal retention requirements.
CHANNEL POINTS: Symnatec has four program levels and partner types. Benefits include prelease and beta programs, postsales support and dedicated account reps. Tech support is available via Web, phone and face-to-face. A Partner Enablement Manager helps with postsales and installation. Partners also get automated leads and have access to training.