A New Option for Zimbra Users

Zimbra added a new tune this week with the introduction of a new module: Zimbra Archiving & Discovery, an optional add-on for Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) designed to better facilitate organizations' compliance efforts.

This time it's all about archiving. The messaging vendor turned on the Zimbra Archiving & Discovery module this week, and you don't need Zimbra Collaboration Suite to sample it.

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In a nutshell, Zimbra Archiving & Discovery is packaged as "a virtual mailbox to hand off to legal," Scott Dietzen, Zimbra president and chief technology officer, told ServerWatch.

Zimbra Archiving & Discovery claims a low total cost of ownership through its use of hierarchical storage management (HSM) and automated content aging. Only a single archive copy of each message is saved -- including those bound for multiple recipients -- and it is data is moved to less-expensive media as it ages. Users can also set aged-based retention policies to delete archived content on expiration.

Search capabilities on Zimbra Archiving & Discovery conform with those on other Zimbra products. "Search results are grouped similar to the way they are in the mailbox structure," Dietzen said.

This is largely because Archiving & Discovery is integrated into the ZCS platform, it uses the same tools and Ajax-based administrative Web client and follows similar paradigms. For example, when searching within the archive, results are grouped in a manner similar to that of the mailbox structure. Likewise, the Tags, Flags, and Conversation views found in ZCS are also available in the discovery mailbox.

With this module, Zimbra is also expanding its reach. Enterprises that wish to use Zimbra Archiving will not face the choice of forgoing it or migrating their mail server. Zimbra Archive works with any messaging server, including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise. It also offers end-user self-archiving from Outlook, Apple and other desktop applications.

While it faces no direct competition, EMC, Network Appliance and Symantec are stepping onto the field.

Zimbra Archiving and Discovery uses an Ajax-based administrator interface to deliver visual cross-mailbox and cross-folders search. Searches can be run on any subset of mailboxes.

Advanced Search is done through a visual search builder. Search criteria include senders, recipients, dates, attachment types and content, and searches can extend to inside attachments. Zimbra Archiving & Discovery recognizes and supports more than 200 types of indexed attachments.

Admins can specify who has access to the archive and can set it up for specific subsets of users or all.

Archiving expands the message envelope and indexes headers; however, message content and attachment updates to end-user mailboxes or changing membership of mailing lists does not impact it, Dietzen said.

Zimbra Archiving and Discovery is available immediately. The capability was actually included in the most recent version of the ZCS software; however, with the exception of a few select customers, it has not been turned on, Dietzen said.

He added that the pricing model for Zimbra Archiving and Discovery is derived from that of the live mailbox. Enterprises can opt to turn on the module by purchasing an add-on license with Zimbra Collaboration Suite Network Edition. Licenses are sold in blocks of 25 mailboxes priced starting at $24 per mailbox per year.

This article was originally published on Jul 12, 2007
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