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EMC extends EmailXtender to SourceOne

Start of general content archiving services platform

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EMC today announces its SourceOne product for archiving e-mails. This will be the foundation for a general content archiving services platform along the lines that Mimosa and Mimecast are currently developing.

The idea is that e-mail usage is growing and growing and .. you get the idea. It's generally delivered and administered by multiple e-mail servers which are hard to manage, consume lots of storage and make looking for specific emails as hard as searching for needles in multiple haystacks.

It makes sense to combine all these email islands into a single logical repository, and suck off the older e-mails in an automated fashion to cheap bulk storage, leaving stubs behind. But it's not just e-mails that are growing in size; think of the SharePoint data and general unstructured file usage. Also legal raids on businesses, AKA eDiscovery demands - requests doesn't seem the right term at all - aren't restricted to e-mail. Another thing to bear in mind is that deduplication can reduce the amount of storage needed and it works better if it has a larger domain of content to work in.

What is needed is a layered approach with content-aware applications using a set of content repository platform services, such as storage tiering, content movement policies, indexing, search, deduplication, eDiscovery, legal hold tagging, retention policies, access policies and so forth, which deal with the data and store it on storage devices. This is what Mimosa, with NearPoint, and Mimecast are both putting in place. They started with e-mail services, as EMC is doing, and have added or will add SharePoint data and general unstructured content.

We could think of SourceOne as EmailXtender morphing into a content lifecycle management product, or an information lifecycle management (ILM) platform. It comes from EMC's CMA (Content Management and Archive) group, the Documentum team, which indicates where it is going. We can assume that EMC intends to develop this into a general content management and archiving suite.

Basically e-mails are transferred, either automatically by policy or by users directly, from primary storage in production environments into a mail archive, single-instanced at the file level, indexed and made searchable for eDiscovery requests. Transferred mails have a stub, short-cut is EMC's term, left behind so that they are still visible to users and can be fetched from the archive if required.

IT departments using it should see significant reductions in mail storage in production environments, leading to lower cost and, hopefully, faster backups and restores. Mail is captured, in real time if needed, and copied to the archive. It is de-duped at file-level, indexed, compressed, and can then be progressively removed from production storage according to global, group or per-user policies, with other policies covering retention. Users can access mails either in production environment storage or in the archive.

With product environment mail storage being reduced, user quota management becomes simpler.

There are several SourceOne products:

- SourceOne Email Management for - Email/Instant Message archiving
- SourceOne Compliance Archive - optional archive repository for integrated content and legal hold
- SourceOne Discovery Manager - discovery and legal hold for SourceOne email archives
- SourceOne Discovery Collector – indexing appliance to automate collection

More products will follow both this year and next. For example, we might envisage a SharePoint product and another version looking at general unstructured files. Adding block-level deduplication could also be on EMC's roadmap.

SourceOne pricing is based, unsurprisingly, on a per-mailbox concept, with $50,000 getting you a SourceOne Email Management license for up to 1,000 mailboxes. ®

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