Overtone reduces e-mail archiving overhead

By Ann Silverthorn

—Overtone Software claims it can reduce total overhead costs of e-mail archiving by 30% to 50% by not using the journaling feature in Microsoft messaging environments. Traditional approaches to compliance require journaling (copying) of all messages to an additional mailbox.

Overtone's ManageTone for MS Exchange works with Exchange 2000 and above. The real-time e-mail archive solution uses the customer's current infrastructure and platforms to achieve compliance with government and corporate regulations.

The Overtone approach captures all the event notification on each e-mail, without turning on journaling. Based on the event notification, the Overtone server can process requests through the event notification, without "crawling" the Exchange server. When the data is out of the Exchange server and converted to an open file format such as XML, IT administrators can use a search engine such as Google or AltaVista to find a particular e-mail. In contrast, some other e-mail archiving solutions convert e-mails to a proprietary format.

Policies can be set so that, for example, if a document hasn't been viewed in 90 days, it is sent to secondary storage. Policies can also be based on the size of the e-mail.

"It's seamless to the end user," says Greg Hilsenrath, vice president of business development at Overtone. "When we take the data out of the Exchange server, we replace it with a stub. You can customize the policies per user. For instance, the president of the corporation and his/her staff might not want be regulated as to the capacity of their mailboxes."

ManageTone's management reports feature enterprise reporting and search capabilities. It produces reports and performs audits for any storage device on which the e-mail resides.

Overtone counts among its customers the US Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), the IRS, and the USDA. Competitors include vendors such as Veritas/KVS, CommVault, and Zantaz (see Zantaz opens e-mail APIs ).

ManageTone is priced from $10 to $40 per mailbox, with cost dependent on the number of mailboxes a company has.

Overtone was founded in 1998 and currently employs aprroximately 50 people.

This article was originally published on August 25, 2005