EMC Merges Email Archiving With E-discovery

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SourceOne family aims to solve information management and retention challenges via an integrated approach to archiving and compliance.

EMC has updated its email archiving software, replacing EmailXtender with what it described as a next-generation integrated information governance platform, called SourceOne.

SourceOne combines email archiving for Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange with e-discovery and regulatory compliance. Most importantly, according to EMC’s SourceOne product specialist Gareth Meatyard, it is “new software, not just a rewrite”, and was designed to be “highly scalable, resilient and reliable”.

He added the SourceOne is built around a repository and the concept of worker services, such as data import, indexing, journalling and search. These can all run on a single machine for smaller organisations, or can be divided up and run across multiple servers in large set-ups.

In addition, servers can be reallocated to new tasks as the nature of the workload changes, allowing the organisation to better handle peaks – such as when EMC’s own archiving service needed to ingest 60,000 Microsoft PST files, Meatyard said. Tasks are allocated to servers from a centralised queue, so if one server fails, another can be allocated.

EMC claimed that SourceOne –  which is a product of the EMC software group that used to be Documentum and was developed under the codename Janus – could save customers over 50 percent in TCO (total cost of ownership) and achieve payback in as little as 12 months.

“We have massive information stores that contain emails with large file attachments,” said Tom Leizear, director of IT at Access Intelligence, an early SourceOne adopter. “During the first 40 days of production deployment, we saw a 66 percent reduction in mailbox size. In addition, we were able to reduce backup and recovery time from two and a half hours to 30 minutes.”

Part of the TCO saving will come from SourceOne’s integrated nature, Meatyard said, arguing that if an organisation needs archiving, compliance and e-discovery, it makes sense to build them all on a single foundation.

“Archiving used to be a ‘nice to have’ when everybody believed storage was cheap,” he added. “TCO is more of an issue now, plus demands to scale further and do more with less. More and more now we have to keep information over a longer time.”

The main SourceOne archiving platform uses techniques such as single-instancing – saving only one copy of an item that’s stored in multiple places – to drive down the cost of backup and recovery, Meatyard said. The second product stream covers compliance, e-discovery and disclosure.

“The first product is SourceOne Email Management, which is everything you need to do email archiving at a single price,” he noted. That price is likely to be around $50 (£34) per seat for mid to large organisations, according to EMC sources.

“The second product is SourceOne Discovery Collector, which can pull information in from file systems and business applications such as SharePoint, and the third is Discovery Manager, which is aimed the compliance officer or internal counsel and uses additional message metadata to provenance data from the archive and tag it according to its relevance to the discovery process.”

Meatyard said that, in accordance with EMC’s ambitions to become a software company as well as a hardware supplier, SourceOne can run on any underlying storage. It requires Microsoft-based servers, he said.

SourceOne Email Management and Discovery Collector are available now. Discovery Manager is still in final trials with early adopters, and is set for general release within three months.