Part 3 in the Hosted Archiving Series
Fortiva identifies security and flexible search as two key elements in the product line. Security is a critical component in any Software as a Servie (SaaS) offering. When all the data is stored off site with another company, encryption is your last bastion of hope against would be thieves, privacy violations, etc.
Fortiva wants to ensure your data is maintained as your data. To do this, it places an appliance onsite to ensure data is only viewable by your company, employees and custodian-of-record. There are two key functions performed by the appliance. The appliance will prepare data for the indexing/search system and it will encrypt the data using a Public Key Infrastructure.
Preparing data for searching by end users is a critical step when providing encryption. Since Fortiva will manage and maintain your encrypted data in their facility, the index must be built prior to encrypting and sending data. Whenever data is encrypted by other users; their private decryption keys are not available to us. As in the case with Fortiva, their appliance reads and prepares the index data prior to encryption, because they don’t have access to the companies’ private decryption key. After the index data is created by the appliance, it uses publicly generated encryption keys to store the data in an encrypted format.
Fortiva requires that your company purchase encryption keys using a trusted third party with key escrow, i.e. Verisign. Fortiva search is enhanced using a search grid at their hosted facility and your appliance. Search grids share processing and enhance the speed on search queries. Using a search proxy and search grid, Fortiva can return results with Google-like speeds. However, Google-like speeds offer best and popular results, not precise results. Fortiva can deliver on eDiscovery levels of accuracy because their search is designed to return all the results, not just the most popular based on hyperlinks and people clicking on content. In eDiscovery, all the data matters, not just the first thirty results.
eDiscovery and corporate search requires a higher level of accuracy, being fast and wrong is no help inside the firewall. Fortiva’s focus on data encryption and data availability through search is further enhanced by their licensing options for managed data and managed search. For example, 5000 users using one (1) terabyte of storage would price out to $10/annually per user. One terabyte of storage equals about 200 gigabytes per user for 12 months that should be sufficient. However, if you wanted 5 terabytes over 5 years, the cost would increase by only $7 annually. (These are retail prices, your pricing will vary)
You should consider encrypted data and grid search as two key requirements for hosted archiving. Moreover, there continues to be a shootout between Microsoft and Google with respect to SaaS and Search. Since Fortiva partners closely with Microsoft and Google’s Postini competes for enterprise data, Microsoft has a great partner at their side and so should you if you are considering Microsoft Exchange SaaS.
The final installment for Hosted Archiving will publish next week.