Sengupta, David. QuickReview: Mimosa NearPoint from Mimosa Systems Inc. May 25, 2005.

Mimosa Systems OK I've been thinking of doing "QuickReview"s for quite some time now ... basically where I pick a product and give a really cursory "first impression" review of the product. Trying to provide an overview of strengths and weaknesses that I perceive in a solution. Pretty informal stuff that I don't intend to act as any sort of formal review ... really just ad hoc notes that came to mind ... but hopefully of use.

I've picked Mimosa NearPoint as my first subject :-)

  • Product: Mimosa NearPoint
  • Category: Microsoft Exchange Archival, Microsoft Exchange Recovery, Microsoft Exchange Storage Management
  • Architecture: Click here for vendor architecture diagram
  • Corporate Issues: One of their investors seems to have gotten in some hot water ... interestingly since that story was written in Feb 2005, he has disappeared from the Board of Directors listed on their site.

Highlight 1 - Log Shipping

  • product is built around concept of log shipping, whereby Exchange database transaction logfiles are bifurcated (i.e., take a copy) and the transaction logfile copies are used to maintain a copy of the production Exchange environment
  • customers would need to initially "mirror" (used lightly) their production environment ... once they have a copy in place then the bifurcated transaction logfiles can be replayed against the copy of the production infrastructure

  • Advantages:
  • having a copy of the production Exchange infrastructure provides interesting ability to go back in time, etc. and view historical "snapshots" (again, used lightly ... not to be confused with VSS snapshots, etc.) of a mailbox at any given time. Some of the features they include along these lines are:
  • ... "show mailbox contents as of" feature allows "current", "two weeks ago", "six months ago", etc. with option to display deleted messages
  • ... item- and mailbox- level recoverability for recovery or e-discovery purposes

  • Disadvantages:
  • the amount of data that they will need to persist in medium to large environments would appear to be massive ... which is why I suspect they are targetting small and medium sized enterprises per their website ... I strongly suspect companies with (i) broadly distributed Exchange environment with slow links or (ii) large numbers of Exchange servers would run into some pretty significant limitations or blocking issues if they tried to use Mimosa with it's full complement of features. Not sure but that's my guess. Will be interesting to see where things go ...
  • another disadvantage is that E12 (codename for next version of Exchange Server) has been reported to include "log shipping" technologies ... so assuming reports of mid-2006 ship dates are at least in the right ballpark (i.e., late 2006) that gives Mimosa just over a year to prove their technology and address the challenge of using a different log shipping mechanism in E12. Of course E12 log shipping won't be backward compatible so Mimosa is in the clear for Exchange 2000/2003. Then there's always Symantec's LiveState Recovery and other vendors in the Continuous Data Protection (CDP) market ... and many other CDP players (some working with Exchange, others not having announced any intentions) emerging (i.e., Revivio, TimeSpring, etc.)

Highlight 2 - Outlook Integration

  • they have built the product to expose the archive as a "Mimosa Archive" folder in Outlook... basically they set the folder homepage of this folder to a user-level config screen from which an end user can search, browse or otherwise manage their archive.

  • Advantages:
  • user-friendly and low learning curve

  • Disadvantages:
  • offline becomes an issue (didn't check if they support offline archive use but suspect not) ...
  • also in high availability scenarios, having high archive availability may be a challenge for Mimosa.

Highlight 3 - Security Model

  • they have built the product with a flexible security model (as one would expect) that, as usual, provides for both operational and compliance archival (see the E-mail Compliance Checklist I wrote in April for SearchExchange.com ... here ... for what I mean: ). Some of the features they ship include:
  • ... Self Service functionality enabling Auditor or Delegates to review archive contents within a pre-defined scope
  • ... Ability to decide whether user deletions (i.e., in Outlook) are limited to Production Exchange Servers or are also reflected in the NearPoint archive ... this becomes importance for compliance reasons depending on your corporate retention policies

Other Miscellaneous Configuration & Comments

  • Ability to archive attachments and replace them with a MimosaStub message in the original message (as one would expect ... basic archival feature)
  • Ability to exclude mailboxes or utility mailboxes from archival ... good
  • I liked one part of their Find dialog ... they let you: (i) choose addresses from GAL; (ii) senders to this mailbox; (iii) recipients of this mailbox; and (iv) contacts in this mailbox ... from an e-discovery perspective the last point (iv) is a nice innovation that I haven't seen elsewhere.
  • Obviously as you'd expect they provide the ability to set different retention policies ...


  • Pros: Overall I liked the combination of operational and compliance archivability, item-level recoverability and historical point-in-time e-discoverability that Mimosa NearPoint provides.
  • Cons: The massive volumes involved seem to suggest limited value to medium-to-large customers as I discussed earlier. So scalability is my biggest concern.

The entire CDP space will be interesting to watch as they come up with new approaches to old Exchange management pains ...


Kovar, Joseph F. Mimosa Exits Stealth Mode With E-mail Archiving Appliance. TechWeb Compliance Pipeline. May 23, 2005.

Compliance Pipeline | Breaking News | Mimosa Exits Stealth Mode With E-mail Archiving Appliance As expected, Mimosa shipped their NearPoint e-mail archival solution earlier this week.

Fried, Ina. Microsoft faces up to SOX challenge. CNN on Yahoo! UK & Ireland News. May 25, 2005.

Microsoft faces up to SOX challenge - Yahoo! UK & Ireland News: "Microsoft faces up to SOX challenge". Will be interesting to see how Microsoft gets this from "goal" to reality in O12. One would assume this to have implications on Outlook 12 and Exchange 12.


Morgenson, Gretchen. All That Missing E-Mail ... It's Baaack. New York Times. May 8, 2005.

All That Missing E-Mail ... It's Baaack - New York Times Some good tidbits concerning Morgan Stanley ... during recent case againsg Perelman, the judge critiziced Morgan Stanley's document production. As a result they have increased their e-discovery efforts and found numerous e-mails that are evidence for other past cases. Interesting note, during Oct. 2003, Morgan Stanley was fined 10,000/day until it complied with an order that documents be produced.


Willis, Gerri. 5 Tips: Identity exposed. CNN Money. May. 4, 2005

5 Tips: Identity exposed - May. 4, 2005 Gotta keep an eye on those backup tapes. Getting access to a backup of your Exchange server, for example, is pretty well identical to giving someone access to read all the mailboxes on that server at will. Scary thought.


Bowers, Toni. Beware the unmanaged risk of e-mail and instant messaging. TechRepublic. May 4, 2005.

Beware the unmanaged risk of e-mail and instant messaging Some good stats in here: - 65% of companies lack e-mail retention policies - 54% of the corporations surveyed conduct e-mail policy training in some shape or form - 20% of U.S. companies have had employee e-mail supoenaed in the course of a lawsuit or regulatory investigation - American Home Products Corp. was fined 3.5 Billion ... e-mail was key evidence - Good quotes from Nancy Flynn (ePolicy Institute): (1) "Employers should look at e-mail and litigation in terms of not IF we someday have our employee e-mail subpoenaed but WHEN we have our employee e-mail subpoenaed", (2) "e-mail and instant messages are a primary source of evidence in court cases. They are the electronic equivalent of DNA evidence". Bottom line: IM & E-mail content need to be managed.


Todd, Chad. Restore Those Lost E-Mails. Redmondmag.com. May 2005.

Great review about Recovery Manager for Exchange from Quest Software.

U.S., Citing Motive and Evidence, Defends Conviction of a Banker. The New York Times. May 3, 2005.

The U.S., Citing Motive and Evidence, Defends Conviction of a Banker More on the case around Frank Quattrone & Credit Suisse First Boston. Core evidence in this case was a single e-mail. What you write in e-mail can come back to haunt you.

Wright, Kai. Harlem's Toxic Nightmare. GNN. May 3, 2005.

Harlem's Toxic Nightmare Example of an international human rights-related lawsuit in which poisonings in public housing in Harlem are being related to pesticides used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ... once again e-mail evidence is being referenced as part of the story as it unfolds.

Campbell, Ruth. Alpine Open Meetings Charges Dismissed. OA Online News. May 4, 2005.

OA Online News: " While the case was dropped against these two Alpine City Council members, the fact that these two councillors used e-mail to conduct city business (they were accused of circumventing the need for open public forums on specific issues) has undoubtedly affected their careers. Another reminder to think through the implications of how you use e-mail and how laws, regulations and policies can affect your e-mail usage.

[Reuters]. Morgan Stanley Gets Legal Counselor. CNN Money. May. 4, 2005

Shearman&Sterling lawyer David Heleniak joins Morgan Stanley - May. 4, 2005 Good example of a huge company with major pains tied to what is now a US$2.7 billion dollar lawsuit ... all of it is tied to evidence that is on e-mail saved in backups. Managing e-mail data across large volumes of backup media is a huge challenge facing many, many companies like Morgan Stanley.