Hosted E-Mail, IM Service Providers Offer Archiving

Postini and MessageLabs launch managed e-mail and IM security and archiving services for compliance-conscious companies.

Managed e-mail security and management providers are launching new services to help businesses archive electronic communications as they seek to comply with regulatory and legal requirements.

Postini Inc. of San Carlos, Calif., on Wednesday launched a hosted service to enable the capture, storage, discovery and deletion of e-mail and internal instant messaging traffic.

The Postini Archive Manager is integrated with Postinis e-mail and IM security and management services, so IT administrators can set policies once through a single management console, Postini spokesperson Andrew Lockhart said.

Pricing is on a per-user/per-year basis, starting at $120 per user for one year of service.

Meanwhile, Postini rival MessageLabs Ltd. earlier this week announced that it had inked a partnership with e-mail archiving specialist Fortiva Inc. to provide a hosted e-mail archiving service for discovery, regulatory compliance and e-mail storage management. The MessageLabs Recover service, currently in beta testing, is set to launch early next year.

"It was the strength of Fortivas policy engine and their encryption model we found very attractive," said Mark Sunner, chief technology officer of New York-based MessageLabs.

"They really have a deep knowledge and very sophisticated engine for various types of legislation. We like the encryption model because they have a decryption key on their site. So even though the data is backed up in our infrastructure, we ourselves would never be able to gain access to that. Those things become very important when you get into legal discovery, especially when you have things off-site."

MessageLabs will also charge on a per-user, per-year basis, although exact pricing has not been determined yet. The company also plans to offer services for instant messaging in the future.

For those companies that consider hosted services, MessageLabs and Postini both said managed services bring benefits by eliminating the need to deploy or configure software or manage storage over long-term retention periods.

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"If you do this yourself, youve got to not just deploy a large storage system, but it has to be redundant across multiple sites. That kind of setup, even for a large enterprise, is very complex," Sunner said.

Both MessageLabs and Postini have a distributed data center architecture.

The e-mail archiving market worldwide is predicted to grow tenfold to $4.5 billion by 2009, according to industry research firm The Radicati Group, in Palo Alto, Calif.

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