EMC (NYSE: EMC) today unveiled a new e-mail and instant messaging archiving platform that the company is positioning for a new era of e-discovery and regulatory compliance.
The new data archiving architecture, SourceOne, replaces the company's EmailXtender platform. Future versions of the new platform will focus on Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) SharePoint, file archiving, enterprise applications like SAP, XML and other content types, said EMC product marketing director Sheila Childs.
Childs said a new archiving architecture is needed for the critical tool that e-mail has become. A decade ago, she said, "No one really thought that e-mail would become truly mission-critical."
Now, she said, e-mail is often viewed as a "record of communication between litigants."
To build an archiving architecture to meet e-discovery and compliances needs, EMC built a new platform from the ground up and turned to partners StoredIQ, Kazeon and ISYS for help.
EMC is also tailoring SourceOne's marketing message for the tough economy, claiming that the solution can pay for itself in a year, as customers save on personnel, administrative, storage, backup and e-discovery costs, thanks to deduplication, retention and disposition features.
A Gartner report a year ago found that as much as 90 percent of stored data is redundant or out of date, driving up the cost of legal review needlessly.
One early adopter, marketing firm Access Intelligence of Rockville, Md., claims EMC SourceOne cut mailbox size by two-thirds and backup and recovery times by 80 percent during the first 40 days of production deployment.
EMC SourceOne can operate on a single server and scale as needed in a distributed architecture. Products include: SourceOne Email Management, which archives e-mail from Microsoft Exchange, IBM (NYSE: IBM) Lotus Notes/Domino, SMTP and instant messages; SourceOne Discovery Manager, which provides discovery search, collection and production; and SourceOne Discovery Collector, which can collect and manage data residing "in the wild" on desktops, laptops, CIFS, NFS, NAS, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and other content management repositories.
Analyst Charles King of Pund-IT wrote in a research note today that EMC's new archiving offerings "are as timely as they are well considered. The new solutions features and capabilities offer companies the tools they need to effectively manage their e-mail content and comply with discovery requirements today. More importantly, EMCs SourceOne solutions provide customers the flexibility, scalability and availability necessary to meet the new content sources, changing regulatory and governance requirements and unexpected discovery demands they are bound to face in coming years."
Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC), the number two storage software vendor behind EMC, said in a statement that there are more than 40 email archiving software products vying for market share, and claimed its Enterprise Vault "already delivers what EMC is promising with SourceOne."
Entry pricing for 1,000 mailboxes on EMC's Email Management is $50,000, and each custodian requires an additional $30 license for Discovery Manager.
In other news, EMC said it plans to announce on April 14 "new ... capabilities that enable you to bridge the divide between physical and virtual environments."
Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Babineau noted that at EMC's analyst day last month, the company said it would "invest R&D dollars to continually connect the physical and virtual worlds so customers could move forward in their quest to build the best possible infrastructure while preparing that infrastructure for more flexible compute architectures such as cloud. We cannot speculate on what EMC's announcing, but whatever it is, we would hope it follows along the lines of what was said to the Street in March."
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers said in a research note that he thinks EMC will announce a new high-end Symmetrix array, the DMX-5, codenamed "Tigon."
"This event is being touted as being a landmark announcement, which revolves around EMC's virtual data center (and we believe evolving cloud) strategy," Rakers wrote. "This leads us to believe that this is likely the 'DMX-5' announcement. While details are limited, we believe EMC's new high-end arrays could expand the company's push of SSDs into enterprise applications (a potential STEC positive), as well as tie into the company's internal/external cloud strategy... We expect EMC to continue to tie its storage/data management strategy in with VMware's virtual strategy (new vSphere) and Cisco's push toward network convergence."
Registration for the event can be found here.