Tangent Delivers Solid E-mail Archiving for Compliance

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

Compliance mandates create burdens for many businesses; solution providers can ease some of those burdens with Tangent’s DataCove E-mail Archiving appliance.

Government bailouts, e-discovery requests and new laws are sure to impact the compliance market. Add to that yet another case of the White House loosing e-mails, along with the financial markets subjected to audits and data preservation comes to center stage in the world of compliance. Tangent is hoping to get a piece of that compliance market pie with the DataCove E-mail Archiving appliance, a device that does what the name implies – archives e-mail.

With the arrival of 2009, regulatory compliance for e-mail archival has changed. New federal and state regulations require schools, government offices and organizations of all sizes to archive and store e-mail to be in compliance with legal e-discovery requirements. While compliance requirements consist of much more than just e-mail preservation, one cannot ignore the importance of capturing and archiving e-mail traffic in an organization. Those e-mails can be critical for defending a company in a legal case or for proving that proper procedures and communications were followed. In other words, archived e-mail can be used to exonerate a business.

Tangent approaches the issues surrounding e-mail archiving in a very logical fashion by going with an appliance based solution. It may be an oversimplification, but the DataCove appliance basically works with the location’s e-mail server and captures all incoming, outgoing and local e-mail traffic. That traffic can then be stored to WORM media, which prevents tampering with the original content. The device can use journaling technology to accomplish that or even work as a company’s SMTP server to ensure all e-mail conversations are captured.

For many businesses, e-mail may only be one part of the electronic conversation picture. DataCove addresses that concern by incorporating technology to capture instant messaging traffic and archive all conversations that happen via IM. Instant messaging is becoming increasingly popular in the business world and can create some serious problems when it comes to compliance – it only makes sense to capture all of that data, along with e-mail.

While gathering and preserving all the data is very important, that data can be rendered useless if it is difficult to retrieve. DataCove fully indexes all of the data captured and incorporates a powerful search engine that makes retrieving conversations a snap. Administrators can use the search capability to create reports, which can consist of pretty much anything out of the data store. For example, in a legal e-discovery request, one may need to find any and all information pertaining to a particular company or client name. DataCove is able to return that information using advanced indexing combined with intelligent filtering.

All DataCove appliances come with a Sony AIT Worm Tape Drive, allowing administrators to archive e-mail off of the box. The data on AIT tapes can be reloaded on to the device if e-discovery is required on older data. Tangent offers several versions of the DataCove appliance, with the major difference between each being capacity and performance. The entry-level appliance is designed for as many as 700 users, has a 320 GB SATA drive with RAID 1 and 1 GB memory. The top of the line unit supports up to 15,000 users and has a RAID 6 enabled SAS drives with a total capacity of 7 TB. All of the units feature 256-bit AES encryption. Those looking to test the product can take advantage of Tangent’s free 30-day evaluation program.

While the capabilities of DataCove are very impressive, solution providers will be equally impressed by the ease of setup. Administrators have to simply plug the device into the network and run a browser-based setup wizard. The unit offers several different configuration scenarios and is easy to configure with Exchange, Groupwise and Lotus Notes, especially when journaling is enabled.

Installers can also configure the unit to work with an SMTP server to capture e-mail, but that setup will require a bit more manual configuration and, perhaps, some technical support. The included documentation doesn’t do such a good job when it comes to figuring out a non-standard installation.

Using the appliance proves to very easy – administrators using the browser-based management interface can perform searches against all e-mails and IMs using various parameters, which include sender, recipient, subject, dates, attachments or body text. All searches can be saved and scheduled. End users can perform their own searches from their e-mail client. Although the searches can be quite sophisticated, they are surprisingly easy to use.

Solution providers will find a well-thought-out partner program that caters to VARs in the compliance market. The company offers their partners free tech support, marketing incentives, training and decent margins. Service contracts and support contracts round out the mix and provide recurring revenue for partners.

With compliance becoming ever so important, Tangent has hit pay dirt with the DataCove appliance, which makes it very easy for solution providers to get involved with what may become a very lucrative niche.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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