RealTime IT News

New Tool May Put File Archiving in Reach

Mimosa Systems is debuting a new file system archiving tool today that promises to improve retention, retrieval and recovery processes for archiving files, e-mail, instant messaging and content housed on back-up tapes.

It's called NearPoint File Systems Archiving (FSA), which the company claims will boost storage efficiencies and cut costs. How so? The system keeps just one "global" instance of a document for e-discovery and retention purposes, and lets enterprises move user files off high-cost arrays, according to the five-year-old Santa Clara-based data management solution provider.

NearPoint FSA is Mimosa's latest addition to its product line focused on email information archiving, e-discovery, regulatory compliance, business continuity, and storage optimization.

Good file archival could be a huge boon for companies juggling increasing data loads and storage requirements. As user files are typically strewn across desktops and servers, file archiving traditionally ends up on costly front-line storage for a few reasons. For starters, there is a need for quick access. Moving files to cheaper storage boxes can be a real time-sink in enterprise costs.

Third, enterprises are trying to eschew today's usual file archiving approach of "stubbing," for an improved system. The technology, which basically creates a file extension object of a file, is susceptible to corruption. In order to avoid file loss , enterprises traditionally keep files on front-line storage, usually the most expensive in a system.

Mimosa's stubbing technology, however, not only eliminates the corruption issue, but offers greater archiving flexibility, according to the vendor.

NearPoint FSA lets enterprise set policies to crawl file shares for archiving documents to cheaper storage based on various criteria including size, age, access date and type. Users can use a stub, not use a stub or use an URL tag without impacting information accessibility or availability. Administrators can then leave the much smaller stubbed files on the file system. That provides close access while also freeing up storage resources.

"Archiving files with stubs is one of the rare technologies that delivers both business and technology benefits as it helps enterprise meet compliance needs and also leads to lower-cost storage benefits," Brian Babineau, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group, told InternetNews.com. "It's inefficient and expensive to save all unstructured information on primary file servers," he added.

Good file archival will only become more important, given predictions about data growth. A recent ESG study found that businesses' archived data could exceed more than 30 petabytes by 2012, or more than 30 million gigabytes.

It's not surprising then that today's $1.7 billion market for e-mail archiving will triple by 2012, according to one study.

According to research firm IDC, Zantaz is the current global market leader in content archiving and electronic discovery solutions. Yet as Zantaz has just 25 percent share, there is plenty of room for big competitors such as Symantec and HP, and startups to grab customer base.

Such an open industry bodes well for enterprises as competition drives innovation, say industry watchers.

"They're [Mimosa] a fresh new face that's getting good traction as they have a secret sauce," Carolyn Dicenzo, a Gartner analyst, told InternetNews.com.

Not only does Mimosa's technology provide file archiving capabilities, the tool also provides continual data protection (CDP) for Exchange environments, explained the analyst.

"For those in the mid market who don't have a recovery or CDP tool, that's a differentiator," said the analyst.