Tacit Acquires AttachStor's E-mail Management Software


Tacit Networks is planning to unite WAN-based file sharing with e-mail management via its acquisition of the intellectual property and patents of Attachsoft, Tacit officials said Thursday.

Tacit develops technology that allows file sharing to be done over WANs without the performance degradation normally experienced when sharing files over long distances, said Noah Breslow, vice president of marketing for the South Plainfield, N.J.-based company.

The typical protocols used in file sharing within an office building do not work well over a WAN, forcing businesses to use such technologies as replication to share files, said Breslow. Tacit provides appliances that can be mounted at each remote office of a corporation and tied to one or more servers where the files can be centralized for sharing at local network speeds, he said.

Attachsoft, more commonly known as AttachStor, has technology for cutting the amount of space taken up by e-mail attachments, Breslow said. Attachments can account for up to 90 percent of storage space used by e-mails, especially when users send multiple copies of attachments.

AttachStor technology searches e-mails for redundant copies of attachments, strips them from the e-mails and stores them separately from the e-mails. E-mails sent with those attachments are then embedded with a link to the attachments, cutting the amount of space used by e-mails, said Breslow.

By purchasing AttachStor, Tacit plans to use its file sharing network technology for e-mail attachments, which can then be stored on a Tacit server and accessed at high speed over long distances, Breslow said.

Tacit is currently looking at whether the AttachStor technology will be offered as an add-on to its WAN file sharing technology or will be more tightly integrated, said Breslow. Integration of the two should be completed some time in 2005, he said.

Both Tacit and AttachStor are private companies, and officials of Tacit would not reveal the value of the acquisition. Breslow said Tacit bought only the intellectual property and patent portfolio of AttachStor and hired some of that company's engineers, but did not buy the entire company. As a result, he said, AttachStor is expected to close its doors as a separate entity.

Tacit currently has 14 customers for its file sharing technology, which went into general availability last summer. The company has been selling it on a direct basis, but is now in the process of signing up systems integrators and OEMs, said Breslow.