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Linux Box Developing New Alternative Email Archive

The Linux Box, an 11-year-old open source software development consultancy, has moved into beta on a new, customizable email archiving system aimed at mid-range enterprises.

Instead of producing a one-size-fits-all email archive, as offered by the usual-suspect international vendors, Linux Box's Enkive email archive allows IT managers to tailor-make their long-term email storage to fit the company's specific requirements.

"When we talk to people, we're finding out that they want it their way," Linux Box CEO Elizabeth Ziph told The Station. "For instance, a person the other day told us, 'But I don't want to take all the email and archive it. I want the option to decide what gets archived and what doesn't.'"

Enkive captures email messages as they arrive or are sent to ensure they are retained before a worker can delete them in an email client. It permits recovery of email in full support of an organization's retention policies. Search and recovery of email from Enkive occurs in real-time -- in minutes, rather than in days.

The code for Enkive is open source and freely downloadable. Linux Box makes its living on handling the customization. Enkive uses Alfresco's popular open source framework for document and record management. It also offers a full reporting service and flexible audit policy so decision makers can know who has accessed what in the archive and when.

Typically, email archiving products automatically ship all emails to a separate holding area, or archive, away from the normal production system. After a specified period of time -- such as six months or 1 year -- they go into that large pile, no matter what type of email file it is -- whether it has an attachment or attachments, is an HTML or text file, whether it is business-related or not, or what the topic might be.

"What these people want to do is say, 'I do want some control, I want to use it differently. Most packages won't let you do that, but ours will, because we customize it for you," Ziph said.

"That's the beauty of open source. Our niche is to find companies who has [email] policies that are not run-of-the-mill policies."

Customized email archives can better handle regulatory compliance and storage issues, Ziph said, because it is much easier and faster to find specific email documents in a such a system.

An interesting alternative to the usual suspects, methinks. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...