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IBM, Microsoft strike e-mail archiving deal

Tiered archive offering will be sold alongside Windows Server, according to co-marketing agreement announced this week.

Microsoft is teaming up with IBM to offer e-mail archiving products to help its customers manage spiraling quantities of data.

As part of a co-marketing agreement, IBM will offer an archiving service bundled with Windows Server.

The offering revolves around IBM's CommonStore e-mail archiving solution, its System Storage Archive Manager software and its System Storage disk storage system. It is intended to help organizations store e-mail in the most appropriate format. IBM offers a tiered system of storage across both disk and tape.

The volume of corporate e-mail has quadrupled in five years, according to analyst group IDC, with sales of e-mail-archiving solutions projected to reach $1 billion in 2010.

IBM says demand for archiving is led by the need for operational efficiency, business continuity and the need to recover e-mails in the event of legal action.

"We're confident that this agreement will expand both companies' reach in the e-mail archiving space," said IBM's storage vice president Kristie Bell.

"Unlike certain solutions offered by competitors, this solution enables customers to deploy their archiving solution on a Windows platform instead of introducing other operating-system environments to manage," Bell added.

IBM has already integrated its e-mail archiving solutions with Lotus Notes.

The company could not confirm whether it had similar partnerships or agreements for open-source operating systems.

The Microsoft-IBM bundle will be launched in the first quarter of 2007 with a list price starting at $53,000. IBM will supply additional professional services.

Richard Thurston of ZDNet UK reported from London.