Gartner Names 6 Leaders in Resurgent Information Archiving Space

8 minute read
David Roe avatar

The financial crisis that started in 2008 changed many things. Financial companies closed down. CEOs lost their jobs. IT changed, too. Over the past few years data governance preservation has become a critical enterprise need. And Enterprise Information Archiving (EIA) is making a reappearance as a key technology to meet that need.

According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for EIA (registration required), technologies in this space are getting a second life as businesses turn to them to underpin enterprise strategies for compliance, information governance, e-discovery and the historical preservation of data.

EIA has been around for a long time -- Gartner estimates almost 20 years -- but with the economic crisis came increasingly complicated compliance requirements, resulting in enterprises searching for technology to help manage these complexities.

The number of technologies in this space is so wide that most vendors working in the information management or governance space are involved to a certain extent. But as with all Magic Quadrants, inclusion in this quadrant requires fulfilling a range of criteria. According to Gartner:

EIA incorporates products and solutions for archiving user content (such as email, files, IM and SharePoint documents) and other data types (such as structured data, websites and social media content).” 

This broad categorization could include any data management product that offers archiving. However, for Gartner EIA also requires functionality offering data reduction across content types, retention management, content indexing and basic tools for e-discovery.

EIA Magic Quadrant

Gartner also looks for federated archive repository management and policy management for migration, retention and discovery across multiple repositories. In all, 20 vendors made into the Magic Quadrant this year:

  • Leaders: HP, Global Relay, Proofpoint, Symantec, CommVault ZL Technologies
  • Challengers: Mimecast, Smarsh, Bloomberg, Microsoft,EMC
  • Vision: Barracuda Networks, Metalogix, OpenText, GWAVA, Google, ARTEC IT Solutions
  • Visionaries: MessageSolution, IBM

To be included this year, vendors had to show that they are:

  • A developer of the product and not just a reseller or value added reseller (VAR)
  • Support a growing base of customers, including at least 10 enterprise customers with 5,000 users or more
  • Have a presence in at least two geographies worldwide and be industry-independent
  • Offer it on-premises or as an SaaS offering
  • Achieve greater than $10 million in new license or maintenance revenues annually.

The resurgence of this market can be witnessed in its growth last year and expected growth over the next five years. Gartner says that last year alone, it was worth $1.76 billion and is expected to grow at a rate of 11.4 percent every year for the next five years.

This technology originally targeted email applications, but has expanded to include a wide range of content types. Customers now expect a range of basic archiving functionality resulting in vendors building new functions around emerging trends to differentiate themselves.

The resulting technologies provide:

  • Information governance, which now  surpasses e-discovery as the primary driver for deploying EIA
  • Archiving and management of multiple content types, including email, files, collaboration applications (such as SharePoint), IM, social media and web page content
  • Cloud archiving, which has surpassed on-premises archiving as the preferred deployment model for most organizations
  • Cloud storage management.

EIA Market Differentiators

An increasingly rigorous regulatory environment is forcing enterprises to archive, monitor and audit all electronic communications surrounding business transactions, and in the financial sector around all trades.

Since 2008, new regulations have been enacted that are increasingly difficult to monitor. Among those including Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, SEC Rules and FINRA Rules. And these are just in the US. In Europe there are more regulations again, and more on the way.

Two core areas set these solutions apart from standard information management solutions. Those areas include:

  • Compliance capture and management: Includes the ability to recognize and archive electronic communications around trades including emails, IM texts and voice communications
  • Supervision review:The ability to review all captured electronic communications for indicators of non-compliance. Supervision review includes capture of the data pre-trade and post-trade, and also by random sampling searching for keywords and phrases that could indicate insider trading or other illegal activity.

A relatively small number of vendors have products that provide this level of specialization, and no one vendor captures the lion’s share of the market.

In addition, a number of vendors entered the business to specifically cater to financial services firms. These vendors have recently added compliance, archiving and supervision review solutions as a service as part of their portfolios.

Learning Opportunities

Financial EIA

Gartner recommends that enterprises look for the following characteristics on top of the mainstream archiving and review functionality in order to keep compliant:

  • Certification: Vendor certifications and relationships with regulatory bodies.
  • Vendor SLAs: These included guaranteed search times and guarantees about data discovery times
  • Content types: Ability to support specific regulations across different content types
  • Regulatory type:Enterprises should identify what vendors manage the kind regulations they are subject to.

The Magic Quadrant identified six of the 20 vendors included as Leaders. They are:


A long-time player in the information management space, HP has offerings for both the cloud and on-premises with wide range of archiving use cases, including support for Exchange, Domino, Gmail,SharePoint, IM, voice, video and social media content.

  • Strengths: It supports large-scale environments under some of the tightest regulatory regimes, and is present in multiple geographies with data centers around the globe. HP DSmail is viewed favorably for ease of use by clients.
  • Cautions: Its administrative interface can be complex and non-intuitive and its complexity can result in length deployment times.

Global Relay

Global Relay is a worldwide vendor of SaaS solutions with a strong focus on the financial services sector though it covers most of the big regulatory areas. It has invested heavily in compliance supervision and provides e-discovery natively without a separate module.

  • Strengths: It has a deep understanding of financial industries, supporting some of the biggest financial institutions in the world. It has developed most of its portfolio internally and is currently redefining its archiving.
  • Cautions: It does not provide file archiving and users have indicated that they would prefer to do routine e-discovery on their own. The original Outlook folder structure is not replicated in the archive and users have to do these themselves.


Proofpoint supports Office 365, Zimbra, file shares, SharePoint, Lync, Bloomberg messaging, Chatter and Yammer among with archiving offered as SaaS, even if an on-premises physical or virtual appliance is required.

  • Strength: Proofpoint integrates its compliance, information governance, threat protection and offers a holistic data management solution. It also provides a SLA for search time results and has a track record of providing a scalable archiving solution.
  • Cautions: Supervision continues to be a work in progress while its DoubleBlind Key Architecture requires an on-site physical or virtual appliance for archiving on-premises messaging applications. Gartner says it needs to offer enhanced integration options via API or load file options.


Symantec offers three distinct archive solutions: Enterprise Vault for on-premises deployments, Enterprise Vault.cloud as an SaaS offering and AdvisorMail for Enterprise Vault.cloud clients requiring write once, read many storage. With over 31,000 customers, Symantec is the market share leader in EIA.

  • Strengths: Symantec has a long track record and experience in scalable archiving solutions. It has a wide ecosystem of partners and its licensing is fair and transparent.
  • Cautions: Customers indicate a lack of insight on product futures and roadmaps, and support complaints have escalated in recent times. Gartner also noted that customers should be concerned about how products fit in the new Symantec Information Management business, and the amount of corporate attention they will receive.


Primarily known for its Simpana product, CommVault archives Exchange, Office 365 and Domino email, Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac file shares, as well as SharePoint. Simpana is currently an on-premises solution, but it plans to deliver a branded SaaS offering as part of its road map.

  • Strengths: Simpana is an organically grown system designed to deliver one common platform for various content types. Solid back-end features create a scalable and reliable solution.
  • Cautions: Simpana licensing can be confusing, especially in cases where both backup and archiving are purchased. Its console is complex and, in some cases, overbuilt.

ZL Technologies

ZL is typically deployed by large enterprises, and supports integrated archiving, supervision, records management, analytics and e-discovery as part of the same platform. Archiving functionality is available for Exchange, Office 365, Domino, Gmail, and SharePoint.

  • Strengths: ZL offers a scalable platform for large data environments including both structured and unstructured data. It does well in very large environments. One environment is managing 11 billion documents, including support for rapid search. It also offers excellent support services according to the Gartner report.
  • Cautions: Deployment and management can be complex and as such may not be appropriate for small organizations with simple archiving needs.Its short-term roadmap is a little murky, even if it is quite vocal about its long term goals.

This in only a snapshot of this Magic Quadrant, with 14 other vendors that Gartner recommends exploring before making any decisions.

There are also a number of other vendors that didn’t make it into the quadrant, but are still worth a look including ArcMail, Daegis, dataglobal, Dell, SilverSky and Sonian.