IBM, Microsoft market joint email archiving product

IBM and Microsoft have agreed to jointly market an email archiving package for pure Windows installations.

The email archving product, which does not have a specific name, is based on Windows Server and IBM hardware, software and partner services, such as IBM's CommonStore email archiving software, said Gordon Arnold, IBM's technical strategist for storage software. It supports Microsoft Exchange and IBM Domino, he said.

In a time when users have been increasingly concerned about meeting compliance standards for email, this is a way for resellers and medium-to-large IT departments to meet those needs without very much work, said Amy Wohl, an analyst for Wohl Associates.

The installation is similar to IBM's DR550 product and includes the Write Once, Read Many (WORM) capability in the DR550 called System Storage Archive Manager (SSAM), Arnold said. It performs functions such as data retention rules and compliance and can support a large number and variety of storage devices on which the data is written, he said. The difference is that the DR550 is Unix-based, and because this system is based on Windows Server so it can be used in pure Windows environments, he said.

The base system comes with 4TB, expandable to 56TB, Arnold said. However, through SSAM, the archiving system could theoretically support petabytes of data, he said. It can be configured on blades or on a 2U (3.5 inch-high) server, he said.

As part of the agreement Microsoft, through its business partners, will recommend the package and IBM will have access to Microsoft's partner network to market and install it, Arnold said. It will be delivered through the VAR channel, he said.

The package will be available before the end of the year for a representative price of US$55,000, which includes US$33,000 for storage and US$8,000 in services, Arnold said. However, resellers could customize it for different prices, such as by using less expensive storage or putting two 2U servers in a lockable rack for higher availability, he said.

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