A Backseat To Backup No Longer: Archiving Infiltrates E-mail Policies - Page 2

 By Jacqueline Emigh
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Archiving Software Capabilities Are Expanding...

Some ARM (archiving and record management) products -- although not all -- now claim to automatically enforce archiving policies. For example, Assentor, a product initially targeted at financial firms, scans both e-mail and attachments for breaches in corporate policy, as well as for language violating regulatory requirements. Assentor is aimed at compliance with SEC Rule 17a-3, 17a-4 and NASD Rule 3010(d).

In addition to migrating mail and attachments to archive media, eManage, another product in the category, is meant to capture e-mail into a Microsoft Exchange-based repository and analyze the content to assure corporate policy compliance. The product is certified to the DoD 5015.2 Electronic Records Management standard.

Other emerging features that are starting to appear in some (but not all) archiving products include instant messaging (IM) archiving and quarantining of noncompliant messages, for example.

Some products -- including both eManage and TrueArc for Microsoft Exchange -- are specifically designed for Exchange/Outlook environments. "By itself, Exchange has limited ARM functionality. On the server side, it has a mailbox tool that can purge old records [and] a message journaling service that keeps a copy of all e-mail," Nelson noted.

"On the client side, Outlook allows users to archive their messages as well as search the message repository. When they're archived, the messages are moved to personal folders that can be stored locally or on the network. However, this practice doesn't alleviate the overall storage problem. Personal folders are difficult to manage, and this circumvents an organization's centralized administrative functions for messaging," she argued.

Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) does provide some classification, search-and-retrieval, and e-mail purging functions. "[But] these apply only to live [as opposed to archived] data," Nelson pointed out.

Another third-party offering, KVS Enterprise Vault, attempts to provide policy-based archiving to content originating on either SharePoint or Exchange servers. "For the foreseeable future, leading messaging vendors like Microsoft and Lotus will leave the [archiving] area to third parties," Nelson predicted.

...While the Number of Vendors Is Shrinking

Although the capabilities of archiving software tools are increasing, the number of vendors is shrinking, leaving administrators with fewer product choices overall.

At least four company acquisitions have happened over the past year alone. In January, Zantaz completed the acquisition of iWitness. Last October, SRA sold its Assentor Solutions Division to iLumin. Meanwhile, for its part, IXOS Software has acquired two smaller archiving vendors: Obtree and PowerWork.

Despite the recent consolidation, the future for ARM looks bright indeed. As companies begin to add archiving to their e-mail policies in earnest, and as archiving software tools continue to expand in terms of capabilities, look for archiving to take a backseat to backup no longer.

» See All Articles by Columnist Jacqueline Emigh

This article was originally published on Feb 28, 2003
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