GFI: Good fit for mid-sized companies

Between disaster recovery, compliance with legislative requirements and the need to meet e-discovery demands, enterprises should have some level of email archiving in place. In addition, companies may need to archive other files, including Office documents, SharePoint, instant messaging, blogs and other social media.

Company: GFI MailArchiver 6 $9 to $29 user.



GFI has been offering a variety of email-related products for many years, including anti-spam and anti-virus, telephony and fax integration and more. MailArchiver 6 offers a scalable application with a relatively sophisticated feature set at a low price. Features include flexible compliance policies, excellent auditing functions, the equivalent of stubbing for transparently reducing the size of mail stores, but without leaving stub files in Exchange. There's also support for SQL Server and multiple servers for larger installations, excellent Active Directory integration and role-based administration.

Avoiding the 5 Traps of eDiscovery

Installation is straightforward, with an option to use an integrated Firebird open-source database or a separate SQL Server database, depending on the size of the installation. There are some prerequisites - .Net, ASP.Net, IIS, Internet Explorer and Exchange Server MAPI Client/CDO 1.2.1, but the installer will tell you if something needs to be installed. Importing the initial mail store is simple, and setting up the Exchange server for archiving is well documented. One unique feature - MailArchiver can integrate with GFI's FAXmaker to archive faxes as well as e-mails.

Searches are easy to set up, and the Outlook agent makes it simple for users to find and restore e-mails. The test searches were quick, and the search interface allows for complex search criteria without unduly complicating the basic functions.

MailArchiver provides a simple migration path from one version of Exchange to another.

The policy wizard makes it simple to build flexible retention policies for any sort of requirement. Legal holds are easy to set up once an e-discovery search is started. If SQL Server is used, MailArchiver uses the built-in auditing functions to build audit trails for access of data, including access by users to their own mailbox archives. Content policies are not included in MailArchiver, although other GFI products do include that functionality.

Separate roles, such as an auditor role, are not specifically defined within MailArchiver. Instead, any Active Directory user or group can be granted rights for specific tasks, or rights to the mailboxes in a specific group, yielding a granular management structure. It supports compression of the archive, but not deduplication.

MailArchiver is a product that can scale well from a basic archive with a single small server to multiple servers and hundreds of users. With excellent integration with Exchange and Active Directory, it will be a good fit for Windows admins looking to leverage their existing network architecture. With a relatively low price and relatively easy setup, it's a good fit for mid-sized companies, and also a reasonable fit for smaller enterprises.

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