Sherpa beefs up Exchange archive software

With government compliance mandates expected to grow, Sherpa adds search and management capabilities to its Archive Attender Exchange archiving application.

Sherpa Software Group LP has expanded its archive management and improved the search functionality of its Archive Attender software for Microsoft Exchange.

Archive Attender moves and copies Exchange mailboxes, PST files and public folders. New features in Version 3.5 include expanded stub management, multiple archive creation capabilities and archive limitation settings.

The increased stub management functionality includes auto-aging, updating and restore capabilities. Storage administrators can now set stub auto-aging policies so links can be changed after pre-set time periods to comply with email retention policies. Admins can also set policies to update, generate and restore stub links. Adam Carcella, product manager for Sherpa Software's Archive Attender, said the new stub management features are "a way for administrators to more closely manage stubs on the Exchange side."

Jerome Wendt, president and lead analyst at Austin, Texas-based market research firm DCIG Inc., calls stubbing a useful way to manage older email data. "Stubbing is one way that they can take advantage of [storage capacity] by archiving older data," he said.

However, with expected increases in the number and scope of government compliance mandates, stubbing may be too simplistic. "Whether or not [stubbing] is the appropriate strategy going forward under the new administration is a matter that's somewhat up for debate," Wendt said. "There are still some concerns out there about long-term stub management."

Archive Attender now allows admins to break up archives into smaller segments and automatically create distinctively named archive locations for easier management and disaster recovery.

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"The [disaster recovery] aspect of archiving is a big focus these days," Sherpa Software's Carcella said. "Admins want to make sure they're backing up their archive location, and we do that pretty simply."

Archive Attender 3.5 can save keywords and criteria from completed searches, which Wendt said is important in e-discovery situations. "You want to be able to document what searches took place [and] when you did the search to respond to an e-discovery or legal hold request," he said.

In Wendt's view, Sherpa is a good solution for companies looking to archive email for the first time. "For companies that are just getting into email archiving for the first time, it's more than suitable," Wendt said. For larger enterprises, however, a more robust solution such as Symantec Corp.'s Enterprise Vault, would be more appropriate. Carcella said Sherpa's target market is organizations with 500 to 2,500 users. Its main competitors in that space are Estorian Inc.'s LookingGlass interactive message management product and ZL Technologies Inc.'s ZL Unified Archive.

Pricing for Sherpa Software's Archive Attender starts at $16 per seat.

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