By Ann Silverthorn
—Today, Iron Mountain Digital launched a new digital service dubbed Total Email Management Suite. Three components make up the suite: active archiving, business continuity service, and security service.
"E-mail is a vital core application, but it brings with it a lot of tensions and challenges," says Sean Hegarty, senior product manager, eRecords, at Iron Mountain Digital. "E-mail servers are exploding and organizations are imposing mailbox quotas, which causes users to create .pst files. Then businesses have no idea how to get access for discovery purposes, new compliance regulations, and litigation issues. E-mail also has to have high availability to ensure communications with partners, suppliers, and customers."
The Active Archiving Service for Email component manages e-mail storage, retention, and legal discovery. With user-defined policies, it moves data off the Exchange server, but users can still access their e-mail files.
"Active Archiving Service for Email leaves a stub on the Exchange server, so a 10MB file is now about 10KB," says Hegarty. "The storage footprint on the Exchange server is reduced by about 80%, and users can still double-click the e-mail to retrieve it."
The Active Archiving Service for Email, delivered via a partnership with MessageOne, is available on its own or as part of Iron Mountain's Total Email Management suite, which also includes Continuity Service for Email and Security Service for Email.
A retention-management feature enables management and auditing of e-mail retention policies and support for litigation holds. The e-discovery feature allows legal counsel and other authorized users to search selected mailboxes or across an entire population. End users can work in their familiar e-mail environments, which is fully integrated with Outlook.
"Iron Mountain has a good history of managing paper records and has now moved into electronics records management," says Brian Babineau, a senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group. "The company has been archiving data for financial services for more than three years. The next step is offering customers that aren't in the financial services vertical archiving, securing, and protecting of their data without having to bring those services in-house."
Continuity Service for Email can be activated following a network interruption, facilities outage, or other event that disables an organization's primary e-mail system. The end users affected are transparently transitioned to a standby system. When the primary service comes back up, the messages that were on the standby system are brought back to the primary system.
Security Service for Email automatically eliminates spam, viruses, and unwanted content from the e-mail environment. All primary inbound traffic is routed through the managed service where it is cleaned and sent on to the Exchange server.
"A few other companies are doing just the mailbox management and archiving piece, some just the e-mail security piece, and others just the disaster-recovery piece," says Babineau. "That's good for Iron Mountain because it creates an opportunity for a comprehensive message-management product that spans security, data protection, and archiving."
Babineau says that bringing in the security, archiving, and data-protection aspect will be more of a trend than individual vendors coming out with just mailbox management or mailbox security.
"Mailbox management is a high-value [service], even more so than message security at this point," says Babineau. "Zantaz is offering mailbox management as a service. SunGard offers a portfolio of solutions on the message management side. Iron Mountain will be competing with companies that sell e-mail archiving as a product rather than as a service, such as EMC, IBM, and Symantec.
Total Email Management Suite can be purchased as a suite for $6 a month for each mailbox or by each component. The Active Archiving Service for Email and Continuity Service for Email cost $4 and $3.50 per month, respectively. Security Service for Email costs $1.50 per month per mailbox.