Connected To Acquire Archive-It

Connected, a Framingham, Mass.-based developer of software for automating the protection, archiving and recovery of data software, is paying an undisclosed sum for all the assets of Archive-it, a U.K.-based provider of tamper-proof e-mail archiving solutions, said Greg Nicastro, vice president of corporate development at Connected.

E-mail archiving has come to the forefront recently thanks to new government regulations in the wake of several high-profile corporate scandals, which were fueled in part by archived e-mails or the lack of them. Industry observers and solution providers have said e-mail archiving is becoming a true storage-management pain point, hence storage vendors' interest in that space.

Connected's acquisition of Archive-it follows moves in the last two weeks by storage vendors Hitachi Data Systems and StorageTek to OEM and resell e-mail archiving solutions from Ixos Software. EMC last month followed an earlier acquisition of Legato with last month's acquisition of Documentum, which also gives the storage giant e-mail archiving technology.

Michael Fanelli, western regional manager of Sales Strategies, a Metuchen, N.J.-based solution provider, said the acquisitions show how much storage is becoming focused on the e-mail archiving space.

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"E-mail is just so damn big," Fanelli said. "Even with all the e-mail archiving capabilities coming to market, there will have to be a way to reduce storage issues related to e-mail. Managers will have to put policies in place. Otherwise, the e-mails can come back to haunt them with litigation."

Nicastro said Connected looked at several possible solutions to bring to market that would complement its data-protection applications and services, which are sold to customers ranging from individuals to 600 of the Fortune 2000 enterprises.

"We saw e-mail archiving as one possible business for us," Nicastro said. "We decided to do an acquisition because it would bring us into this market the fastest. And we liked Archive-its technology and people. For Archive-it, we bring financial resources and market access they did not have."

Archive-it's MailStore v2.1 offers e-mail archiving technology with full security features, such as 256-bit encryption that can be offered as a service, said Nicastro. The application also includes audit trails of e-mails, e-mail search and recovery capabilities, and automatic application of retention policies. It can be sold as a service or as a stand-alone application.

"It is a highly scalable solution that can support an ASP with thousands and thousands of mailboxes," Nicastro said. "It works with the smallest customers to the largest."

MailStore currently is being sold through indirect channels with the ability to securely archive e-mails generated by Microsoft Exchange, said Nicastro. Modules for Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise are expected to be available by year-end or early next year, he said.

Connected plans to rename MailStore as Connected ArchiveStore/EM, said Nicastro. Over the long term, the application will be integrated with Connected's PC and server backup applications, he said.