Mimosa Battles Symantec

Early-stages archiving vendor Mimosa is successfully competing with the archiving market leader, Symantec Enterprise Vault. Ferris has been watching the battle over the last few months; illustrations can be seen here, here, and here.

It appears that Mimosa is gathering momentum and taking plenty of deals from Symantec. In 2008, Mimosa has been expanding its product line, adding new partners, and talking about new customers.

Vault's Achilles' heel is its aging architecture, which relies on Exchange journaling for data capture and AltaVista for indexing. Search for e-discovery purposes is often most unwieldy. Mimosa has a more modern architecture that leverages Exchange transaction log files and does not use journaling. Mimosa also captures more mailbox information, as compared with journaling, which provides a much richer environment for email discovery.

... David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Posted September 8, 2008 at 1:16 AM | Permalink

    Hi David,

    some thoughts:

    EV does not rely on data capture through journaling per se. It uses Exchange journaling for, guess what, Journaling!
    (For mailbox archiving it uses MAPI to the mailbox, for Sharepoint it is Web-Services, for File-Archving CIFS, …)
    With Exchange 2007 Microsoft has enhanced Journaling to serve even the largest organizations with complex requirements like having different settings for employees that have to be journaled according to German and French privacy laws.
    You can do this very elegantly with the new Journaling engine that sits on the Hub-Transport and allows very granular rules.
    With log-shipping you listen to the database engine, not the MTA, which gives you less options for different settings per user.
    So for international companies with larger sites outside the US, Mimosa will give you a hard time solving the contradicting privacy and retention laws.

    So, while I like and understand the idea of using log-shipping for near-realtime backup, I don’t see the point what makes it a better protocol for archiving. Mimosa are the ONLY people using it, with the risk of a complete failure with every Exchange service pack. Believe me that a lot of people at Microsoft are really unhappy about this interface. MS wants their large customer to use Exchange 2007 with SMTP journaling. Go and ask!
    If MS changes the model one day (and they will!) by introducing a better interface to access items in the store, the EV team has to rewrite an archiving task, while Mimosa might need to redesign their whole product.

    EVs architecture is NOT aging it is MATURING :-). It has been well designed in the first place and updated with every major version. I think it is fair to say that the EV team has taken a lot of tough decisions to redesign some product areas and to embrace new market requirements. (Check out Provisioning groups, Roles-based administration, Reporting engine, etc.)
    Archiving software is not always about having the latest bells and whistles, how could you do that in a market with a 25+ year product lifecycle (If you do it right!). AltaVista works for 100.000+ user accounts and has done so for 10 years. The issue is not about finding a better engine than AltaVista, but the engine that is still considered one of the best in 10 years time.

    With all the acquisitions in the search engine space, it is better to stay at the sidelines for another year or two with a well working product and to wait for the dust to settle. Other vendors have changed indexing technologies several times in the last few years and as a customer I consider this a “worst-case” scenario. So rather change once in every 15 years, than change every 3 years for the latest engine for your marketing PDFs and PPTs.

    If you are a small company with few customers you can drive innovation. Once you have hit 1000 customers you have to go back and fix a lot of glitches that don’t really add a lot to the feature list, but make your installed base happy. So your momentum slows down, the more customers you have, the more lines of code you have to work through and the more detailed the requirements get.
    So for me it is interesting to see where Mimosa is when they have their 5th birthday. I doubt that they are in better position than the EV team when they celebrate the 10th birthday next year (Compaq Enterprise Vault hit the street in 1999).

    Mimosa has a great story for mid-market customers to do Exchange archiving and backup in one product. If you already have a working backup solution for backing up Exchange, this story becomes less attractive. Right now they are a one trick pony: Apart from the archiving/backup integration I haven’t seen any real USP. Still the software seems to be well crafted compared with a lot of the mee too offerings in the lower end of the market.

    Outside the US, which only accounts for half of the overall market, storage is a key driver and Mimosa is a train wreck in this respect. Log-shipping captures simply too much information and too redo the storage model is a huge piece of work for any vendor. So while I can understand your remarks about Mimosa winning some deals from Symantec in the US, I don’t hear that a lot in Europe. Mimosa is pretty invisible over here…


    Daniel Maiworm
    vcare Infosystems

  2. Brad Janes
    Posted March 27, 2009 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    Mimosa has several capture methods ie journaling feed,MAPI and transaction log shipping. Compant is responsive and aware of new techologies and provides options for customers

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