Mirapoint Inc. expanded its messaging offerings with the release of its Mirapoint Internet Directory appliance last week.
Internet Directory, a combined hardware-software offering thats compliant with LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) Version 3, adds directory services to Mirapoints messaging offerings. It manages user information such as user name, password and mailbox location.
Internet Directory will be used, mostly by ISPs (Internet service providers) and other service providers, in tandem with the Sunnyvale, Calif., companys other products: Internet Message Server, for message storage and delivery; and Message Director, for message routing and security.
Internet Directory is based on Mirapoints MessageBase message store, which combines a file system and a database. Company officials said it simplifies the complex use and integration of LDAP directories for other applications via a common subscriber base and has a built-in schema for Internet messaging that allows it to scale up to millions of users.
Internet Directory also features advanced transactional replication, bulk import/export, integrated database backup and restore, support for internationalization, data storage, and management and provisioning tools.
Austar United Broadband, a regional ISP in Australia with more than 80,000 customers, has deployed Mirapoints Internet Directory.
"Our requirement [was] for a centralized repository to store authentication information pertaining to our ISP customers," said Dean Walters, technology and infrastructure manager for Austar, a unit of Austar United Communications Ltd., of Sydney. "Internet Directory provides a single point for data servicing our authentication systems authorizing [point-of-presence] connections and e-mail access."
"Directories are the key underpinnings of collaborative technology," said David Ferris, president of San Francisco-based electronic messaging market research company Ferris Research. Ferris said Mirapoint needed Internet Directory to round out its offerings.
"This is quite attractive to a certain class of service provider, probably the smaller ones with less support staff," Ferris said. "It allows them to minimize integration efforts and get to market faster."
"Low cost of management attained through the use of consistent management interfaces across the products is a definite advantage," Austars Walters said. Implementation of Internet Directory has been simple, with few integration issues, he added.
"The tightly integrated software/ hardware solution provides a highly efficient processing platform supporting large volume traffic," he said.
Ferris said some of Mirapoints competitors, such as iPlanet and Openwave Systems Inc., already have directory software as part of their messaging offerings.
But Mirapoint is the only one to offer an integrated hardware/software appliance, or "black box."
Prices for the Internet Directory, also known as the DS300, start at $21,000 plus fees of less than $1 per user, according to Mirapoint officials.