By Mike Jude, Contributor
Service provider takeaway: Service providers have a number of options to choose from as a base for email archiving services. Find out the pros and cons of five email archiving tools.
Email archiving services are an increasingly straightforward endeavor for service providers. There are many new email archiving tools that allow service providers to quickly set up email archiving schemes with remote management capabilities on customer premises -- or to add those onto existing storage service offerings. Although these tools are making the delivery of email archiving services more routine, it is still important for service providers to package them in the context of good data management with particular attention to data safety and integrity, along with customer training and support.
The following five email archiving tools are either new offerings with significant capabilities or existing offerings with upgraded capabilities that make them attractive in a service provider portfolio.
Sunbelt's Exchange Archiver for Microsoft Exchange is a very clever package that offers email archival and management and seeks to optimize storage of the archival data. This optimization makes it attractive to small businesses that want to minimize storage resources dedicated to email archives. The package is also a worthy add-on for service providers that want to offer archive management for email on top of other storage services with a low incremental cost. And Sunbelt addresses the evolution to mobility by offering features that can manage the email generated by BlackBerry devices.
AXS-One provides an extensive lineup of email and data archival management software. Unlike many other solutions, the company's AXS-Link series provides archival for most of the major email platforms as well as many CRM and database systems. This makes the products very appealing for service providers who want to address enterprise email archival needs as well as conventional storage archival. Since the AXS-One solutions are scalable and modular, they offer an easy path for growth that can accommodate a variety of enterprise environments on a common platform.
ZyLAB's ZyImage Information Access Platform provides email archival tools for enterprise-class requirements. Since ZyImage is based on a data archival platform, it is ideally suited for service providers who want to extend archival into the email world. Two nice features: ZyImage has built-in OCR for bitmapped attachments, and the product is certified by the Department of Defense and supports the agency's 5015.2 RMA, which positions it as a solution for governmental agencies.
Symantec Enterprise Vault provides a near-complete archival capability for both email and instant messaging. It works with the two primary corporate email systems: Outlook and Lotus Notes. For multiple customer accounts, Enterprise Vault may not provide the best basis for service offerings, since it does not play well across environments that contain different email formats. It does, however, provide a basis for building support services for large enterprise accounts where the email environment is more homogeneous. Enterprise Vault enables both on-site and remote management.
Barracuda Message Archiver is a fully configured email archive appliance. The advantage of this approach is that it is simple and comprehensive; it can easily be sold to a customer as an on-site, customer-managed solution. While this product works well for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the tool would be less ideal for enterprises since an appliance doesn't scale as easily as a software-based solution. Nevertheless, Barracuda Message Archiver enables service providers or their customers to begin email archival management with a nominal investment and significant ease of use.
About the author
Mike Jude, a senior analyst at Nemertes Research, is an expert in business process analysis and optimization. He is also co-founder of Nova Amber, a consulting firm specializing in business process implementation and technology.