Athena Archiver Software Edition

Email Archiving Software

Mail Server Questions

What mail servers will Athena Archiver work with?

Athena Archiver will work with Exchange 2000/2003, PostFix, SendMail, and Lotus Notes.

How does the product integrate with Exchange? Does it modify the data store? Does it rely on Exchange's journaling?

Athena Archiver can use a plug-in for capturing emails on the exchange server or use Exchange journaling.

Does the system work with multiple mail servers, or does there need to be one instance for each mail server? What about a mail cluster?

Yes, Athena Archiver works with multiple mail servers quite easily. The mail gets captured on each mail server or cluster and sent to an Athena server or cluster of Athena servers.

What is the process for moving existing mail to the archive once the product is installed?

Athena Archiver has a migration tool to import from Exchange’s Information Store or import directly from PST files. For Unix-based servers a migration utility is used to extract the email files out of mailboxes.

What happens if the mail server crashes?

The email gets queued on the backup mail server until the primary mail server comes back online. Once the email gets delivered to the primary mail server, it is archived normally.

Outlook Questions

How does the product integrate with Outlook?

There is full Outlook integration available in the form of an addin. The addin allows the entire archive to be accessible from directly from Outlook´s folder hierarchy.

Does the software leave links (stubs) to an email from Outlook?

Athena Archiver has an advanced storage management system, which gives the full advantages of message stubbing without any of the disadvantages. Stubbing has a fundamental problem of not being able to utilize the fast searches of the archive system. In addition, searches are incomplete, because the entire email is not stored locally. Athena Archiver provides a complete search interface to the entire archive, while retaining the storage benefits of stubbing.

If a link (stub) has been deleted by the user from Outlook, what methods remain to retrieve an archived email?

Stubs have many issues such as this fatal flaw. Stubs are easily deleted, causing incomplete searches and confused users. In Athena Archiver, an email cannot be deleted manually, but only through policies set by senior management. Emails are fully accessible from Outlook as if it was a folder in Outlook.

Storage Management Questions

What are the possibilities for places to store email? Does the product support any Hierarchical Storage Management mechanism?

Athena Archiver works with any existing NAS or SAN storage system. Instead of spending more money on additional storage, you can easily leverage your existing investments with Athena Archiver. Email archives can be replicated to remote locations through encrypted SSL connections, VPN´s, or local shares. Athena Archiver can also save data to DVD´s for offline storage.

Does the product rely on a database, and if so, are there any other options except SQL Server

A database is used for sharing startup settings for the system. The primary storage of the email archive is saved on a custom file based architecture, which doesn´t have the overhead of a traditional database.

How does Athena Archiver save storage space?

Most email archivers save attachments as a single instance. In Athena Archiver, large email bodies are also saved as a single instance. This provides an additional 30 or 40% savings in storage space.

Is the email archiving process automatic, or user-initiated?

All emails are automatically archived unless a policy specifies otherwise. Everything is automated.

When does an email get archived?

Emails are archived as soon as they are received or delivered to a user´s mailbox.

Is email archived directly from users' mailboxes, or is it being captured on the way to/from the Exchange server?

It´s caught on the way to/from Exchange.

How does Athena Archiver do backups?

Backups can be done with any traditional backup program. In addition, replication to remote sites is available to provide an additional copies of the data. Finally, offsite backups can be created on DVDs.

Can you verify the integrity of the stored data?

Yes, there are many checks to insure the integrity of the archive. Cryptographic signatures are used to verify the integrity of each email, attachment, audit logs, and indexes. System integrity is ensured through full audit logs which are available to check any changed configuration settings.

Can we get the data out of the archive? Is there any data lock-in?

All of the data is easily extracted into standard RFC email formats to be imported into any system. Athena Archiver does not have any data lock in to provide customers with the most flexibility to choose the best system for their needs at any time.

Security and Privacy Questions

How are permissions for accessing archived email managed? Does the software rely on Active Directory or have its own user management component?

Athena Archiver uses Active Directory permissions to manage users accounts. Athena Archiver also provides an additional component, which allows administrators to create custom groups and roles.

What kind of access control is there?

Users can check their own email archive. Privileged users and can access the entire archive.

Does the product provide tamper-proof storage, suitable for auditors? If so, does it require particular hardware for this purpose?

Tamper proof storage and signing is available as an optional hardware component.

Privacy, does Athena Archiver staff have access to our companies´ data?

No, the information is stored encrypted.

Functionality Questions

How fast can I get the data I am looking for?

Searches can take 1 or 2 seconds even on large data sets with hundreds of gigabytes.

What happens if we want to archive from a single server to multiple email servers in multiple locations, how can Athena Archiver handle this?

Adding additional locations or mail servers is a very simple process. Athena Archiver was built from the ground up to be a distributed system where all of the components can be separated into different servers.

Except the email archiving and retrieval functionality, does the product do anything else?

The Athena Archiver product does many things other than just email archiving. Primarily, it is a secure information store, which provides extremely rich and interactive interfaces to search, organize, and display the data from any location. It provides records management style auditing and full life cycle management, while enabling the promise of tiered storage systems. In addition, we support disaster recovery, business continuity, compliance, and legal support features.

Does Athena Archiver allow retain the folder hierarchy in Exchange?

Athena Archiver uses tags instead of folders to provide a more flexible system, which allows multiple categories to be assigned to an email. For instance an email may belong in a customer folder but may also reside in a consultant folder, but not both. Tags allow you to do both easily without forcing the relationship to be applied to similar emails.

What happens if the mail capture process crashes?

Athena Archiver still gathers the email into a queue. When the issue is resolved, Athena Archiver automatically starts sending the undelivered messages to the server. It is a highly reliable process which checks if there is any missing emails to ensure full compliance.

If Athena Archiver updates the search, client or software how does it impact us?

The entire update process is transparent to the end-users, they continue to use there current web version and then when they reconnect its running the new version.

We would like to know what all the components of the product are. Normally there is a main server and some components to integrate with Exchange and Outlook.

There are a number of components to the system. The email capture system, mail delivery agent, policy management server, mail receiving server, search server, administration server, compliance engine, and outlook add-in. All of the components can reside on a single server or multiple servers to evenly distribute load.

There are a number of competitors offering similar products. Does Athena Archiver have advantages we should know about?

Athena Archiver has many unique competitive advantages that similar products do not have. Here´s a short list.

1. Fastest, most accurate, scalable search in the industry. Most of our competitors use AltaVista or DTSearch as the main search engine. Athena Archiver is the only company which has built the indexing system from scratch to be used specifically for corporate data retrieval.

2. Cross-platform compatible. Our system is unique in it´s ability to scale to highly reliable Unix-based servers or administrator friendly windows systems.

3. Powerful interactive GUI based administration with real time monitoring capabilities. Our administration system does not use clumsy web based interfaces with limited feedback, but highly evolved, interactive interfaces which enable administrators to easily manage the system.

4. Athena Archiver is unique in it´s ability to select millions of emails and categorize or file them with a single click in seconds.

5. Built-in Lifecycle management.

6. Most secure archive in the industry. We are the only company to store the index and live data encrypted. This means that even IT administrators can be locked out of the system to ensure the highest levels of privacy and confidentiality.


What are the typical hardware requirements?

It depends on the load. Athena Archiver can run on a single low power machine for up to 50 users. A high power machine can easily handle 1500 users. Multiple machines are needed to support additional capacity.

What are the typical platform requirements?

A dual processor 1U machine with raid storage and 4 gigabytes of ram.

Do you have to install software on every computer?

Athena Archiver is web-based, so all the users need is a web browser with the Flash plugin and a link to the website. If you would like full integration with Outlook an Addin can be deployed from a single active directory server to each workstation.

Which systems will Athena Archiver run on?

The Athena Archiver client is compatible with Windows, Macintosh OS, and Unix. Supported Web browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0+, Firefox 1.x, Mozilla 1.x, Netscape 7.x or later, CompuServe 7, AOL 9, Opera 7.1, Safari 1.x or CompuServe 7 or later with Macromedia Flash Player 7.0+.