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Iron Mountain wins email archiving test

All four participants offer enterprise scale tools

By Logan G. Harbaugh, Network World
February 21, 2011 12:00 AM ET

Network World - In the opening round of this two-part series, we tested seven leading e-mail archiving products. This time, we're applying the same test methodology to four additional products.

Our participants in round one were Barracuda, Deepinvent, GFI, Jantheon, Metalogix, RedGate and Symantec. Our second group consists of ArchiveOne Enterprise from C2C, NearPoint 4 from Iron Mountain, DataCove from Tangent and ZL Unified Archive from ZL Technologies.

Our decision to split the test into two parts was simply a way to accommodate all the vendors who wanted to participate.We decided that a single, 11-vendor test was too unwieldy.

Barracuda came in first among the seven products in Round One, followed closely by Symantec and GFI. Iron Mountain wins Round Two, with Tangent coming in a close second.

If we combine the scorecards from both tests, Barracuda comes out on top, followed by Iron Mountain and Tangent.

Among the four vendors tested this time around, all are enterprise-focused, although C2C has an Express version for 200 users or less, and the DataCove appliance is available in versions from less than 700 users to more than 7,000.

They are all scalable, supporting separate archive and database servers, with sophisticated policy engines that allow for creating policies that can meet the needs of many different types of regulatory, corporate or industry archiving requirements.

See how we conducted our tests

They all support single-instance storage, which means that only one copy of any given message is stored - if multiple users receive the same message, a link to the message is stored, which saves space over keeping multiple copies.

All provide auditing features to track who has searched for or accessed archived messages. Stubbing removes attachments and stores them on the archive server, using less-expensive storage, and restores them if a user attempts to access them.

All these products also allow archiving from one version of Exchange and restoring to another, which can make migration to a new version of Exchange easier and faster, and provides a way to back out if the migration doesn't work for any reason.

C2C and ZLTechnologies are software-only products; both offer cloud features, and can run in a virtualized environment. Iron Mountain (formerly Mimosa) sent an appliance but also offers software-only and hosted/cloud versions. The Tangent DataCove is an on-premise appliance. With cloud versions, the software or appliance can archive messages to an off-site system hosted by the vendor, reducing the storage you have to buy, and generally providing the service at a low price with great reliability and fault tolerance.

Installing an e-mail archiving solution is a complex process, and there are many aspects of a system that are impossible to determine from the marketing data, and beyond what we can list in this review. All of the software vendors offer 30-day free trial versions, and we strongly recommend using them.

The first step in choosing a system is to determine which of the basic e-mail archiving functions of compliance, fault tolerance or e-discovery are the most critical to your organization. Compliance with industry or government standards such as Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act, Payment Card Industry and Sarbanes-Oxley is a complex goal, fraught with pitfalls, since different standards may have conflicting requirements.

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