ComArchiving: Exchange Archiving Made Simple

We recently learned about ComArchive. It’s a very simple and attractive approach to archiving.

Functionality:

  • Works with Exchange/Outlook 2003/7/10.
  • Archive maintained on-premises or in the cloud.
  • Has Outlook plugin–to access the archive, users click on Archive button.
  • Browser access also available.
  • Everything is archived and users can’t delete material from the archive. So when users delete messages from their live Exchange store, they can still retrieve the deleted material from the archive. Hence no retention policies apply; users can delete material from their main mailbox whenever they want.
  • Search works across messages and attachments in the normal fashion.
  • Administrators can search across multiple mailboxes.
  • Storage can be split across different types of cost/speed repositories.
  • Administrators can determine one very basic retention policy: Delete all material over X years.
  • No legal holds necessary, because everything is kept. Searches aren’t tracked or auditable.
  • Very simple to install; very simple for users.
  • One IT person is in complete control.
  • All access controls based on Active Directory permissions.

Company and Financials:

  • Pricing starts about $30/user for perpetual licenses; 18% maintenance.
  • Cloud pricing example: 150-employee organization maintains half a terabye. Cost is about $1/user/month.
  • Product first shipped in 2006.
  • Company is privately held and Ferris Research estimates revenues at $2.5M to $3M annually.

Comment:

  • The philosophy of keeping everything forever makes sense, notwithstanding the valid concerns of legal teams. Ultimately, this is what most organizations will end up doing, because….
  • The cost of storage is too cheap, and the cost of determining and implementing a retention policy is too great. A lot of past material is valuable in e-discovery when you’re the good guy. Plus a tiny proportion of past material ends up being useful for other reasons.

David Ferris

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