Microsoft drills down on archiving capabilities of new Exchange

The company says that Exchange 2013 and the new version of Exchange Online simplify e-discovery, compliance and retention

New and improved archiving capabilities in Exchange 2013 make it easier for IT administrators to store and manage messages, and improve accessibility for end users, Microsoft said Tuesday at its Exchange Conference in Orlando.

The new version of Exchange has been re-architected for "In-Place Archiving" so that a primary email server can also be used for data capture retention, compliance and e-discovery, Microsoft said in a blog post.

This applies to both the on-premises edition, Exchange 2013, and the cloud-hosted edition, Exchange Online. Both are currently in beta testing. Providing archiving, compliance and e-discovery capabilities in cloud-hosted email servers is key for vendors like Microsoft, as CIOs become increasingly comfortable with shifting away from on-premises systems.

In addition to simplifying the lives of Exchange administrators and end users, this can also broaden the scope of data that is archived beyond messages to also include other Exchange elements, like calendar entries, contacts and tasks, according to Microsoft.

The new architecture also opens the door for non-IT professionals such as human resources staffers to perform certain tasks that Microsoft says will be simpler to carry out using Exchange 2013, such as flagging data that should be archived and not modified.

It is also possible for users to do e-discovery across on-premises Exchange 2013 and cloud-hosted Exchange Online servers via a Web-based interface or using the existing command-line PowerShell feature.

Exchange's on-premises and online editions compete with a variety of rivals, including IBM's Notes-Domino, VMware's Zimbra and Google's Apps.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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