KVS extends framework for content archiving

By Heidi Biggar

With business partner and competitor EMC at its side, KVS, a provider of e-mail archiving and content management software, earlier this week announced version 5 of its Enterprise Vault software.

With this release, KVS claims to have improved the flexibility of its content archiving platform and extended the reach of its platform to types of unstructured data beyond e-mail, including file systems, instant messages, and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server documents.

"E-mail is a natural first step, but customers and regulators need more," says Mary Kay Roberto, senior vice president at KVS. "E-mail has been the cornerstone of this market, but now we have to do the same thing for other types of unstructured data."

Roberto says that increasing dependence on electronic equipment, the need to be able to scale as information stores grow (while maintaining appropriate access to that information), and the need to share this information are driving the evolution of the e-mail archiving market segment, which to date has generally been viewed as a niche market.

To meet end-user demands, KVS revamped its platform to include a modular archiving framework that allows users to piece together content archiving systems that are tailored to their particular risk levels, IT budgets, storage optimization requirements, as well as other compliance and operational requirements.

This new approach groups various services together into modules, which represent layers (the Enterprise Vault Repository, Content Sources, Open Storage Layer, Universal Access Layer, etc.) in the overall software framework.

New to release 5 is Archive Explorer, a front-end application that provides users with a single folder-based view of content for access to archived content of all types; extended storage support, which allows users to set policies that dictate backup and migration requirements as files age (to optimize efficiency and lower storage costs); and enhanced file-system archiving support for both compliance and recovery purposes.

KVS also added support for non-Outlook and clientless operation as well as Microsoft Office System 2003; quotas to warn users of any potential limitation issues; and APIs to facilitate integration with a variety of third-party applications and improve search and classification/categorization capabilities. It also streamlined its Compliance and Discovery Accelerators to improve the recovery speeds of regulatory compliance- and litigation-related content.

Of the Enterprise Vault release, Tom Heiser, a senior vice president at EMC, says it addresses both end-user and EMC needs. Of particular interest to EMC, says Heiser, is the enhanced support for file-system archiving and new native migration capabilities, which will allow users to set policies within Enterprise Vault to move data from a primary storage repository to EMC's Centera, a data repository for fixed content such as e-mail.

According to a recent Gartner Research Magic Quadrant, KVS is the leading vendor of e-mail active-archiving products. Legato is seen as a leading challenger in this space with its EmailXtender product family. As such, KVS and EMC, through its acquisition of Legato last year, are both competitors and partners in this market segment.

KVS is a four-year-old start-up based in Arlington, TX. The company claims to have shipped more than 4.5 million licenses of its Enterprise Vault product.

This article was originally published on March 31, 2004