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Start-up Mimosa Systems has released an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-archiving e-mail backup software package for Microsoft Exchange customers.

NearPoint is the first product to arrive from Mimosa, which started back in 2003 on the back of $6.5m in venture capital. The software runs on a server appliance and constantly monitors all of the information being created, changed and deleted in an Exchange database. With a special type of continuous, real-time backup technology on its side, Mimosa believes it can provide better, cheaper e-mail archiving and compliance tools than large vendors such as Veritas, EMC and CA.

"This is the one solution I know of that integrates together a number of different data management functions in one solution," Mimosa's CEO T.M. Ravi told The Register in an interview.

Many of you are probably thinking that plenty of complex software packages exist for managing data in myriad ways. The distinction, however, that Ravi is making revolves around the way NearPoint can handle archiving, compliance, disaster recovery and backup tasks all in one product. He argues that a company like Veritas would require a customer to purchase anywhere between two and four products to handle all of these tasks whereas NearPoint does this all from a single, common console.

In short, the NearPoint server captures an initial picture of an Exchange database and then proceeds to copy any changes made to that database by monitoring the Exchange transaction log files. "This allows us to maintain a near real-time copy of the information," Ravi said.

Unlike some e-mail archiving products, NearPoint can stretch beyond just mailboxes to record Exchange calendar, contacts and notes data as well. By recording all database changes, it also goes beyond simply archiving old messages. The NearPoint software actually tracks every single change made to message such as which users read or changed the message or even if they just put it in a different e-mail folder.

Mimosa made sure that the end user and administration interfaces for NearPoint will be familiar to Exchange users. And, if an administrator allows it, an end user can pull up archived messages from a standard Outlook search.

Mimosa hopes to attract small- to medium-sized business with NearPoint and eventually make its way up to larger companies.

"In my experience, Fortune 500 companies tend to buy from Fortune 500 companies," Ravi said. "We are going after the mid-market right now."

The NearPoint software starts at $9,995 and then scales up depending on the number of users. On average, Mimosa believes the NearPoint packages will cost close to $35 a mailbox, which it reckons is at least one-third less than similar products from the large vendors. ®

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