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Solix archiving takes files, databases, email to the cloud

The new Solix archiving product is the result of close development work with Microsoft. SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving features a focus on unstructured data.

Solix Technologies is seeking to make the archive process easier by taking the software-as-a-service route.

Launching today, SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving -- hosted on Microsoft Azure -- offers archiving for databases, file servers and email, as well as application retirement.

"Everyone knows they need to archive, but it's kind of like going to the dentist," said John Ottman, executive chairman of Solix, a data management company based in Santa Clara, Calif. "No one wants to go to the dentist."

Though enterprise is in the name, the Solix archiving product is geared toward any business, Ottman said. Every company needs compliance, for example.

"The cloud has changed the game when it comes to archiving," Ottman said, noting its ease of use and cost as benefits. "It's not complicated. [Archiving is] an old idea that has been refreshed by the cloud."

Archiving used to be something that only big companies did, Ottman said.

Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said SMBs could use SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving because "demand is everywhere."

"This is very much forward-looking," Mueller said. "You want to move your archive to the cloud."

Files, email and databases, oh my

Everyone knows they need to archive, but it's kind of like going to the dentist. No one wants to go to the dentist.
John OttmanExecutive chairman, Solix Technologies

Ottman called the explosion of data growth a "crisis," and he said it's important for organizations to get many uses out of their data.

SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving is built on the vendor's Common Data Platform big data application framework. The product, dubbed "archiving as a service" by Solix, also provides infrastructure optimization, reporting, analytics and low-cost bulk data storage, according to the vendor.

Pricing for the SaaS product starts at $3,000 per month, per application. It's in beta now, with general availability expected in the next few months.

The Solix archiving goes beyond structured data -- for example, for unstructured data in NoSQL databases.

The unstructured data focus is "absolutely vital" -- it's growing much faster than structured data, Mueller said.

Ottman stressed the accessibility of the data even though it's archived. Text search can retrieve a range of file formats, including documents, images and videos, according to Solix. Other features include retention management, legal hold, information lifecycle management and metadata management.

File servers are a key use for the Solix archiving.

"Every company's got tons of them," Ottman said of file servers. "No one's really archived them before."

The database archiving manages data as complete business objects, which are snapshots of transactions, according to Solix. The objects include transaction-level details and metadata.

The email archiving helps with compliance and governance. Solix supports such email platforms as Office 365, Microsoft Exchange and Gmail.

Diagram of SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving for email
The email archive process of SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving helps to ensure compliance.

As part of the application retirement process, Solix creates a copy of legacy applications' data, validates the retired data to ensure it has moved in its entirety, then removes it from the source, according to the vendor.

SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving stands out in the number of data sources it supports, Mueller said. That's important for enterprises, which often have data spread out on numerous platforms. The scalability of a cloud infrastructure is also significant.

Competition comes from cloud backup vendors such as Asigra, Mueller said.

Microsoft teams up with Solix

Solix worked closely with longtime partner Microsoft on its archiving product. Paul Maher, general manager of industry experiences at Microsoft, said teams from the two vendors have met multiple times, going back six to nine months.

Microsoft provided guidance and best practices for building on the Azure cloud.

Maher said he likes the Solix archiving product's security, scalability and compliance capability, as well as its targets of email, file and database archiving, and application retirement.

"They picked the right areas," Maher said. In addition, "they have the ability to adapt and evolve the solution."

Maher said SolixCloud Enterprise Archiving is an especially good fit for highly regulated industries, such as financial services, or any other organization whose data volumes are rapidly growing.

"The timing is right," Maher said.

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