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Enter the Messaging Archiver

A number of companies now offer message-archiving programs. Many of these, like Mimosa, are tied to a specific email application, such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino. Some of them are more general, and some backup software has message archiving built in.

Archiving applications differ considerably in their approaches to storage management, discovery, and compliance. Some products are strongly directed at a particular one of the three, such as compliance, and some try to cover all the bases, with varying degrees of success.

Products also tend to be influenced by their backgrounds. Symantec’s Enterprise Vault comes from VERITAS, a leading backup company recently acquired by Symantec. Open Text Corporation is in the document-management software business, and their approach reflects that reality.

Of course, where you start tends to be reflected by your attitudes toward certain key issues. Open Text’s Rabe stresses the importance of fully integrating email archiving as part of an enterprise-wide records-management system. Symantec’s Mehta, on the other hand, believes that the sheer volume and other characteristics of email require a separate management architecture. Of course, these kinds of beliefs strongly influence the design and feature sets of the products.

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