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EMC overhauls data archiving product line

The new EMC SourceOne family includes a replacement for EmailXtender and beefed up e-discovery tools, with integration of DiskXtender and other types of content archiving to follow.

EMC Corp. is overhauling its content management and archiving (CMA) product lines with today's introduction of SourceOne, a group of archiving and e-discovery tools to manage data in multiple repositories.

The initial focus of SourceOne is primarily email archiving with the following products:

  • SourceOne Email Management, which replaces EmailXtender for email archiving;

  • SourceOne Discovery Manager, an add-on to the Email Management product that performs discovery and legal holds on email archives; and

  • SourceOne Discovery Collector, an appliance that automates data collection in multiple repositories for e-discovery purposes.

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SourceOne Email Management supports a new distributed hardware architecture that spreads processing load over multiple server nodes. "Worker nodes" run behind a master server that handles scheduling. Email Management also supports more email clients than EmailXtender, which supported Exchange and Domino.

Discovery Manager can be used to place litigation holds on data collected by SourceOne Email Management. It also provides chain of custody information, and can be used to cull files for litigation support.

Discovery Collector searches and indexes files "in the wild" on laptops, desktops, network-attached storage (NAS) systems, and other application and content management repositories. The appliance also moves data required for litigation support to a separate EMC storage repository for processing. SourceOne Discovery Collector supports more than 200 types of content.

Entry pricing for 1,000 mailboxes on Email Management is $50,000. Each custodian requires an additional $30 license for Discovery Manager. EMC will also be making an open API available later this year so partners can add meta data for tagging in Discovery Manager.

Early adopter cuts email storage, speeds recoveries with archiving

Tom Leizear, IT director at Access Intelligence in Rockville, Md., said he was EMC's first customer for SourceOne Email Management when it was rolled out to early adopters last year.

Leizear said he adopted email archiving to try to reduce approximately 500 GB of production email data storage. So far, he has trimmed one 185 GB information store by 60% and is adding a second storage group to archiving policies.

"We've used it already to recover mail," he said. "Instead of restoring an entire storage group, we can find the individual mailbox in the archive."

Leizear said he isn't running anything more than the base product, and added that he evaluated hosted email archiving offerings before going with software from EMC.

"They're not the cheapest people in town," he said of EMC. "The functionality they offer is huge, and I have wondered if we over-bought."

However, Leizear said he chose to go with an in-house product despite higher costs up front because he worried that the hosted service would become more expensive as his data grew.

Further integration of archiving products to come

Leizear said he'd like to see EMC add support for end-user access to the archives through mailboxes in SourceOne – similar to a feature that Symantec Corp. offers with Enterprise Vault. An EMC spokesperson said that feature will be in Email Management when it goes GA later thismonth.

There's also integration work that still needs to be done by EMC. "Where's the integration between these products, between Discovery Collector and Discovery Manager, for example?" asked Brian Babineau, a senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

An EMC spokesperson said end users can search the archive through a Web portal. Although SourceOne Discovery Collector and SourceOne Discovery Manager are separate products, "over time I wouldn't be surprised to see them much more tightly integrated," said Whitney Tidmarsh, chief marketing officer for EMC's Content Management and Archiving Division.

Tidmarsh said EMC will move other products into the OneSource family, including its DiskXtender file archiving application and parts of the Documentum suite that archive specific applications.

Other archiving vendors such as Mimosa Systems Inc. have already folded in file archiving with email archiving and moved on to application-specific archiving for SharePoint. Tidmarsh said EMC will have a SharePoint archiving module this year and the DiskXtender overhaul will come in the next 12 months to 18 months.

"[EMC is] one of the first to go through an application makeover of a legacy product in order to support new performance requirements and new content," ESG's Babineau said, pointing out that Mimosa Systems didn't have to overhaul a pre-existing product.

Laura DuBois, program director, storage software at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, said SourceOne is an improvement over a previous attempt by EMC to offer email archiving through Documentum, and customers will likely prefer the software-based approach as the market moves toward a more federated approach to content management. This will also probably require product makeovers from other archiving vendors as well, she said.

"Customers are shifting away from a dedicated archiving appliance to systems that can be targeting multiple, different types of workloads," DuBois said

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