Storage Soup

May 21 2007   1:15PM GMT

Don’t like your email archiving system? Service providers are standing by…

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Managed service provider RenewData briefed us today on its launching of a data migration service specifically for transferring email archives from one archiving product to another while maintaining a legal chain of custody.

Renew has partnerships with EMC, Symantec and CA (for the former iLumin product), which allow its proprietary data migration software to bypass the archiving application and extract data directly from the archive for quicker transfers. According to James Smith, vice president of enterprise solutions for RenewData, the company had already begun offering these migration services on an on-demand basis for customers and Smith says Renew has performed dozens of migrations already — the formal packaging and marketing of the service is what’s new.

There were no firms willing to speak to the press about their use of the service, but the fact that Renew anticipates a market for such a service is interesting evidence of the influence that e-discovery and email archiving in particular have in the storage industry of late. It’s difficult to tell what it means at this point if there’s a large market for assisted migration between email archiving tools–would it mean that users are not making the best choice of archiving systems the first time? Or would it mean that email archiving systems are not delivering on their promises?

The bottom line is that this service is anticipating at least some market because in many ways email archiving, as well as migration between archives, can be a painful and proprietary exercise. According to Smith, the service can be used to create a “baseline” copy of data in intercustodial deduplicated format. The service can also export to “standard” formats such as HTML or XML. However, most often the service has been used to migrate from one proprietary archive to another, according to Smith.

“Very few products out there archive the pure message file,” he said. “They put it in their own format so that it’s more painful to migrate away.”

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