Sun Microsystems and StorageTek have pooled software, hardware and professional services in a UK initiative to tackle the daunting task of managing the lifecycle of enterprise emails.
The archiving infrastructure software combines Sun's SAM-FS Solaris archive/retrieval file system with StorageTek's Email Xcelerator suite covering management based on content, regulatory compliance and archiving rules.
To complete the offering, which will be tailored to each user, the two companies will provide hardware, operating software and professional services.
Launching the initiative in London this week, Gary Rider, general manager for StorageTek UK, said: "Everything is coming down in price: bandwidth, computing and storage.
"But the amount of data and the value of data is going up, increasing the storage management costs."
Using figures from analysts IDC and Gartner, Rider pointed to a dramatic rise in total digital storage from seven exabytes (a billion billion bytes) in 2000 to 99.5 exabytes by 2005, of which 79.5 exabytes is replicated. Yet only 10 per cent is required online.
Conversely, emails are frequently deleted by staff simply to conserve disk space, potentially creating contractual, legal or technical problems for their employers, he said.
Charles Andrews, Sun's UK solutions sales director, said: "Sixty per cent of emails are business critical with some mission critical.
"But time, cost and quality are variable factors, so an information lifecycle management system is needed."
Andrews identified five targets for an effective email archiving strategy:
- Reduced email deletion by end-users
- Reduced management and storage costs for historical data
- Improved user productivity
- Improved return on investment for new applications
- Capability to meet new regulatory requirements.
Graham Titterington, senior analyst at Ovum, explained that there is a good market opportunity because email is a big part of companies' storage problems.
"But the biggest problem is spam and junk mail, so the biggest return on investment will come from good filtering tools," he said.
Titterington added that the most benefit would be gained from organisations where lots of people worked to a similar process model, with archiving policies that could be widely applied.
The infrastructure and professional services will initially be supplied directly by Sun and StorageTek, which already have a joint marketing agreement, but a channel strategy is also being prepared.
A nuclear strike has been considered, but Bruce Willis is nowhere in sight
Spray-on antenna could enable seamless integration of antennas with everyday objects
Parker Solar Probe, TESS and GOLD missions will deliver exciting data, claims NASA
But deep learning pulls ahead for complex tasks