EduCom stores e-mail the EAS way

Ottawa software developer Educom Training Systems Inc. recently released Exchange Archive Solution (EAS), an enterprise intelligent storage management software product.

According to EDUCOM, EAS is the premiere archive and restore software for Microsoft Exchange, and automatically manages the archive, retention and disposition of e-mail and attachments based on a company’s corporate e-mail policy.

“We approached archiving e-mail from a business requirement rather than just trying to solve a technical solution,” said Andrew Moffat, CEO of Educom. “Our value proposition is that people now intelligently manage the intellectual property that resides inside their mail storer.”

Educom said EAS is designed to manage the movement of e-mail from on-line to near-line, then to off-line storage. EAS can also restore archived e-mail, and ensures the user always has access to messages and associated attachments throughout the message’s life cycle.

“When we move (an archived message) off to the storage area network (SAN) or whatever file server you’ve got, the users cannot delete or modify it,” Moffat said. “We consider this a corporate repository. What (users) can do is restore it to Microsoft Exchange and they can forward it and do things they normally do. But, once it has been archived, it is part of corporate record until record managers determine it should be disposed of.”

Moffat explained that corporate records managers are able to determine archiving policies as well as the length of time e-mail messages stay archived.

“We built our own script language which allows people to have almost an unlimited number of variables on how they would like to archive messages,” Moffat said. “We can set up different priorities. The archive rule may be that anything over six months would be stored. But there may be a priority rule that says anything over 2MB is immediately archived.”

Moffat said EAS is suitable for companies handling a lot of e-mail traffic or sensitive e-mail messages.

Moffat assured that not all e-mail is automatically archived.

“One of the things that we pride ourselves in is that we come from a records management background and privacy is very important to us,” he said. “Because of our scripting language, we can actually state that in our organization, anything that is in the personal folder or anything that is subordinate to the personal folder will not be archived. Even if it is done on a corporate basis, there is the opportunity to provide privacy.”

Moffat said messages are restored using a stub containing as much information as the user wants, or users can access their archived messages through the Web client by doing a full-text search.

“If you need to get access to a stub or message, you can access all archived e-mail through the Web client,” he said. “Even though you are keeping Outlook nice and clean, you can always restore an archived message back to Outlook.”

According to Bob Zimmerman, research director of storage for Giga Information Group in Santa Clara, Calif., the hierarchical storage management in which archiving is built is not a new technology, however, he added that e-mail archiving is a relatively new feature dating back approximately two years.

“The volume of e-mail is going up exponentially,” Zimmerman said. “The ability to get it off my desktop, my mail server and put it somewhere else, close enough that I can get it back if I need it is a very powerful function that is probably necessary for some environments.”

Educom’s Exchange Archive Solution is available now and is priced at US$20 per license. Educom is on the Web at