Zimbra Archiving & Discovery has Launched!

This morning, we announced the general availability of our Zimbra Archiving & Discovery product. It leverages many of Zimbra Collaboration Suite’s capabilities including: comprehensive indexing of messages and over 200 different attachment types (for speedy searches), cost-effective storage layering through HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management) and attachment management, and a AJAX interface (allowing administration over the web).

The Zimbra Archiving and Discovery solution will work with an existing Zimbra solution or it can run as an archiving solution that runs alongside an existing messaging system.

We created Zimbra Archiving and Discovery after hearing from Zimbra users that journaling or creating backups of all end-user messages is not enough. The importance of regulatory compliance and e-discovery has grown over the last few years and basic journaling and backups are not enough to meet these new requirements. It is more important that the solution offer easy-to-use discovery capabilities available over the web so that organizations can get to the information they are looking for quickly and at a relatively low cost.

Zimbra’s archiving solution expands envelope information, resolves distribution lists, aliases and BCC’ed recipients to store a point-in-time copy of each message sent and received by each user mailbox archived.

Of course, just like ZCS, only one copy of each expanded message is stored in the end-user archive mailboxes to conserve disk space and reduce storage costs. Along with it, the solution indexes headers and content of the message and attachments for speedy discovery. Not all user mailboxes have to be archived – for example Zimbra administrators can choose to archive mailboxes of only the one department.

The solution provides integrated web-based cross-mailbox discovery capability that is built into the administrative interface. Administrators can now use the AJAX admin interface to perform searches. (See screenshot of the updated admin interface that includes the cross mailbox discovery module.) This interface offers administrators the ability to select a temporary target mailbox where results from the search will be stored – a mailbox that can be shared with authorized experts from the HR, IT or Legal departments within or outside the organization without the potential risk of a security breach that the archived mailboxes themselves may be manipulated within or outside the organization without the potential risk of a security breach that the archived mailboxes themselves may be manipulated.

Another part of the solution is the ability for administrators and other authorized users to be notified when the discovery process is completed. Although our solution does not laboriously search through all messages during discovery (just through the Lucene indexes), sometimes even a search through a multi terabyte index may take some time. By opting to receive a notification when the search process is completed, administrators can kick off multiple discoveries simultaneously and return when completed. Plus with notifications it’s easy to keep colleagues inside or out of the organization informed of the status of the process.

When building the search query the administrator is able to control which mailboxes will be searched…

by looking up the users in the global address list…

and by using “Advanced Search” to narrow the search by date, domain or other parameters.

Once the Discovery process has been completed, authorized users may login (again over the web) into the target (discovery result-set) mailbox to view results of the cross-mailbox query. They can also use the Zimbra end-user AJAX interface to further manipulate messages and conversations in this mailbox. They may tag or flag certain conversations, further filter
through the results by running a local search, move some or all of them into a subfolder or delete those messages that are no longer relevant.

Needless to say, there’s more to do and a lot of ideas in the works. So stay tuned for more. As always we would love to hear what you think and how we could improve the product. feedback@zimbra.com or leave a message in our forums.

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