Our take: When you must retrieve data fast--and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure now require that parties to a lawsuit produce evidence much more quickly than in the past--having access to a staff that lives and breathes archiving day in and day out is worth its weight in subpoenas. Applications that generate revenue, or help desk calls, get in-house admins' attention first.
To get started with storage as a service, consider e-mail. Because Exchange provides a journal interface for archiving, and e-mail has well-defined metadata in the header that can be used to set retention policies, a variety of providers have gotten into the act. Companies can implement online e-mail archiving with little to no capital expense in just a few days. In comparison, installing a fixed content storage system and integrating it with e-mail archiving software is a substantial project. This makes online archiving especially attractive to smaller organizations. Zantaz's First Archive on Demand service leverages its EAS e-mail archiving system to provide an online service, while MessageOne and Mimecast take a slightly different approach, building integrated e-mail management services that provide continuity and message management for Exchange as well as an archive.
Data Compliance: Guilty Until Proven Tamperproof