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Lucid8 Fills Database Holes

Lucid8 announced GOexchange 3.1, a product that aims to help enterprise Exchange customers cope with the increasing amounts of data stored in their e-mail servers -- and the potential increase in corruption as a result.

GOexchange provides management and maintenance for Microsoft 5.5, 2000 and 2003. The latest release adds a graphical interface, new configuration features and centralized management. And it allows administrator to schedule maintenance jobs server-by-server, so they occur automatically.

The problem, according to CEO Troy Werelius, is that Microsoft Exchange Server databases -- like all complex database systems -- slowly degrade over time. Deferred maintenance can lead to errors, warnings, database fragmentation and even system crashes.

Werelius considers backups reactionary. "By using GOexchange, you assure the health of the database up front, rather than hoping you can get it back later." He said the smaller database resulting from GOexchange maintenance also saves time and storage space when the company does back up the e-mail.

GOexchange's maintenance routine includes rebuilding the information store indices, reducing the mailbox and public information store size and removing hidden errors, warnings and inconsistencies.

According to IT research firm Meta Group, close to 20 percent of unplanned Exchange downtime is due to corruption of the database or Active Directory.

"It's possible to do what GOexchange does manually," said Meta Group analyst Matt Cain, "but you have to be a wicked smart Exchange database guy to do it properly."

According to Cain, Lucid8 is alone in providing this functionality. "It's one of those rare cases where they have something unique and valuable," he said. "Their biggest challenge is getting the message out and the distribution they need. My sense is that, if you can get in front of mail managers and pitch this, they would certainly consider it."

Indeed, Lucid8 also announced a co-marketing agreement with Zantaz, a vendor of digital archiving, compliance and discovery management software.

Zantaz will offer customers GOexchange in addition to its own products. Lucid8 hopes to forge similar deals with other archiving companies, with plans to provide integration with all the major vendors.

"We solve one of their number one issues," Werelius said. "All these companies know they can't make the database smaller. And if that data goes bad, they're done. [GOexchange] adds more value to the client."

Microsoft is working on SQL Server 2005, in advance of Longhorn, and released a community technical preview in October. While Microsoft said the new product will have improved business intelligence, management and extraction transaction and loading , Werelius isn't worried that it might include Lucid8-type functions.

"Microsoft will make some huge moves into that space in the future but not right now," he said. "In the meantime, this problem won't go away. It will only get worse."

And anyway, he added, "with Microsoft, even if they came out with something incremental, they always leave those little holes."