Google extends life of business email archive for up to 10 years

Posted by Christian Zibreg

Mountain View (CA) - Large organizations and enterprise customers are legally required to store business email messages securely and reliably for litigation or other legal issues. Google already offers a one year email retention for enterprise customers who host their business emails on Google's servers. The company now announced that it is extending email the time frame covered by its archiving service to up to 10 years.

Secure email archiving and retention has become much more important in recent years, primarily due to government regulations and guidelines. For instance, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure legally forces IT organizations to properly retain business email messages to enable reliable access for legal discovery. Enterprise users who host their corporate email on Google's servers can now take advantage of extended email archiving for up to 10 years, the search company said on its enterprise blog.

The basic “Google Message Discovery” service already offers email archiving, retention for one year and research for any particular message from the archive for a fee of $25 per user per year. The service can be plugged into Microsoft's Exchange and IBM's Lotus Domino email systems and comes with Postini security-features, antivirus and anti-spam filtering.

Customers who choose the 10-year option will have to pay $45 per user account per year. That may sound pricey, especially as far as large organizations are concerned, but Google claims that its offer is a bargain: "When the total cost of an on-premise security and archiving solution is taken into account, keeping email over the course of seven years can cost more than $200 per user per year," the company said.

“Google Message Discovery” is also available to buyers of an online suite of hosted cloud services that include business email, information sharing and security features called Google Apps for Enterprise.

Google has been offering Google Message Discovery service since April and boosted the offering when it acquired Postini in July 2007 for $625 million. Postini claims that it has more than 35,000 business customers and more than 10 million users worldwide – enough to make it the second largest company in this segment on a global basis. Market leader Message Labs was acquired today by Symantec for about $1 billion.