The SharePoint module works similarly to Mimosa's email and file archiving applications. It identifies files to be archived according to user-set policy, leaves stub files on the primary storage repository and then migrates the data to the customer's archive. The software module can run on a grid of servers.
NearPoint for files, Exchange and SharePoint can be purchased and run separately or together through the same management console. Existing policies can also be applied to SharePoint items. Customers can manage multiple SharePoint farms through one NearPoint console, but different geographic locations must be managed separately.
As with the file and email archiving software, NearPoint performs file-level single instancing on the SharePoint data. It can be used to recover a single item down to the document level within SharePoint, a complex and hierarchical application that stores documents in libraries, sites and farms.
SharePoint normally demands that items be recovered to the same site they originated from, but Mimosa Systems allows single items to be exported outside the original application. This also means that, theoretically, NearPoint could be used for everyday data protection and restoration of SharePoint documents; however, Mimosa Systems' president and CEO T.M. Ravi cautioned that "it's not a full-fledged backup app" because
Brian Babineau, senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said SharePoint has become a critical application in the enterprise for document management. A recent ESG survey of 1,000 worldwide IT decision makers found that 25% have deployed SharePoint and another 25% plan to deploy it soon. Of those who have deployed it, 52% deem it one of their organization's top five IT initiatives.
"This is not just another app," Babineau said of SharePoint. "This is something people are betting the farm on."
However, data protection has been lacking for SharePoint, especially at a granular level. "Mimosa has the advantage of the data protection angle," Babineau said. "It can be used for both archiving and operational recoveries."
Babineau suggested that Mimosa Systems should expand its end-user portal to the archive so that employees at companies that have deployed NearPoint can directly access file and SharePoint archives as they do Exchange archives through Outlook.
"The eDiscovery module allows legal counsel to search across all archived repositories," he said. "They should extend that unified access to employees as well."
Ravi said the cloud is next on Mimosa Systems' agenda.
"We're able to move data between different cost-profile devices within the grid," he said. "For very old content, we're looking at how to extend it up to low-cost, cloud-based, storage-and-search query federation across local and cloud repositories."
The SharePoint module is priced the same as other NearPoint modules: $40 per standalone user, and $24 per user as an add-on to a previous NearPoint product.