Based on proven and popular enterprise technology, ArchiveOne Express is an affordable and very easy to use message archiving tool. It integrates seamlessly into existing email setups, requires minimal management, and is a good buy for small businesses looking to add archiving to their Exchange server.
Rapid deployment; seamless client integration with minimal user training required; local PST discovery/management; compatible with all current versions of Exchange; no database dependencies.
Local PST discovery takes a while to master.
£ 24.75 + VAT
Server with 2GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 10GB free disk space, plus space for archive repositories; can be installed onto the Exchange server or separately; supports Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007 on Windows Server 2003/2008; IIS Web Server required; client support for Outlook and Outlook Web Access; support for BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile devices; management via MMC snap-in
Developers often add 'Express' to product names to signal that that they're cut-down or simpler versions of an enterprise application, repackaged for the small business. This is exactly what C2C has done with its popular Exchange archiving add-on, now available in a fat-free Express edition aimed at companies looking for basic message archiving for up to 200 users.
Based on the same core technology as enterprise versions of ArchiveOne, the new ArchiveOne Express includes the ability to archive public folders, plus local message stores (PST) discovery and management. However, according to C2C, it's a lot quicker to install and much easier to manage.
Like other versions it can also be used with any release of Exchange from 2000 upwards. It took no more than 15 to 20 minutes to install using one of our test servers, in our case, running Exchange Server 2003.
The speedy install was largely down to wizards that stepped us through the installation and subsequent configuration required to get started. However, another factor is that, instead of having to set up complex archiving rules, you start out with a simple choice between archiving based on message age and mailbox size, an approach that really does reduce the amount of work involved. We tried both in turn; from the MMC plug-in used to manage ArchiveOne Express, we simply selected the mailboxes we wanted to manage and scheduled the pre-set archiving jobs created during the setup process.
For the most part we took the offered defaults, which further speeded up our deployment. Plus, unlike a lot of other archiving programs, there's no need for a supporting database, as any accessible network storage can be used to hold the archived files, including network-attached storage shares.
On the downside it did take a while to get to grips with some of the terminology, and the accompanying documentation didn't explain everything as clearly as we would have liked, particularly how to go about including users' PSTs in the archiving process. A separate agent needs to be run on each client to facilitate this, but it took a lot of time, and trial runs, to work out exactly how to get it working.
Another claim is that ArchiveOne Express users need "zero training". This is because you carry on accessing mail in the normal manner using either Outlook, Outlook Web Access or a mobile client such as a BlackBerry or Apple's iPhone. More than that, archived messages are still listed but, instead of the normal content, you get a link to the archived message in the associated repository. Click on this and the content is displayed via a browser and, if wanted, can be taken out of the archive and moved back to the normal Exchange mailbox store.
New folders are also added to the Exchange mailbox to enable users to browse and search the archives for information and, on the whole, we found it all pretty self-explanatory. Whether or not that justifies the "zero training" claim is debateable and, in our opinion, users are likely to need some hand-holding, at least to begin with.
Exchange administrators, on the other hand, should have little difficulty working out how to use the software and, having got the basic archiving to work, we found a lot more that we could do with ArchiveOne Express. For example, it's possible to specify more detailed criteria when deciding what to archive, including who messages are from or addressed to, and whether or not there are any attachments, their size and so on.
Archiving messages in public folders is another option, together with the ability to use ArchiveOne Express for regulatory compliance with legal hold and so-called Bates stamping (where each message gets a unique date/time stamp) built-in. However, you need to be using the Exchange journaling option to automatically keep copies of all incoming and outgoing messages, and fully exploit these capabilities.
Another benefit with ArchiveOne Express is that, as with other archiving tools, the C2C software can significantly enhance Exchange server performance. It can also help to reduce storage costs as older messages get moved out to cheaper disks. Backup is still required and isn't included in the product, although C2C does offer a hosted disaster recovery service called ArchiveOne CloudDR that can be used to protect archive repositories against local outages, data corruption and the like.
We were very impressed with ArchiveOne Express, which is priced to appeal to small business buyers, but still employs proven enterprise technology to archive messages in a straightforward and seamless manner. It's quick to install, lives up to most of the claims made for its ease of use, and represents good value for anyone looking for basic yet robust Exchange archiving.