Mimecast Alternatives: Archive360 vs. Mimecast [MVP Guide]
- Archive360 Team|
- July 31, 2019
Software-as-a-Service is just another way of talking about the cloud, right? Wrong. While SaaS offerings like Mimecast do share some similarities with traditional cloud services (they’re both subscription-based and delivered over the internet, for example), SaaS was around long before the cloud. As a result, SaaS services suffer from the same legacy issues that most businesses are trying to step away from by migrating to the cloud.
Whereas hyperscale clouds, like those provided by Amazon, Google and Microsoft, enable you to run your own datacenter in the same way you would on-premises (but without the associated infrastructure or maintenance costs) SaaS vendors still rely on old school co-located datacenter technology.
What does that mean in reality? Your data is hosted on infrastructure that:
- Can’t be customized for your business.
- Can’t adapt to harness the latest tech.
- Can’t do smart things like properly replicate data globally for disaster recovery purposes.
- Can’t scale infinitely as your business needs grow.
That’s a lot of can’ts for a service that comes at such a cost.
The truth is, SaaS is not the cloud. Not even close. For the most part, SaaS providers don’t even own their own data centers but instead lease a small portion of someone else’s, which itself creates even more problems which we’ll come to shortly.
But first, let’s flag that Archive 360 is not SaaS.
Archive 360 creates software that’s purpose-built to run in the cloud. The real cloud, not the second-rate SaaS approach. It’s the modern equivalent of adding software to your on-premises infrastructure; you buy it, install it and it runs within the environment you control. The only difference is that this time, that environment is the cloud. This means you retain all the power and flexibility of your cloud provider, all the features and customization you expect, without relinquishing control of ownership. Your data is stored in its native format in cloud storage or a data lake where it can be accessed and inspected by the teams that need to in order to do their jobs.
It’s an archive solution designed specifically for the infrastructure you’re migrating to. Now you know the facts would you choose anything else?
Want to know more? Keep reading or contact an Archive360 representative today.
SaaS Vendors Like Mimecast Don’t Allow You To Use Your Existing Security Footprint
You’re prepared to invest in your move to the cloud in the same way you’ve spent significantly on security. So why would you let one investment undermine the other? That’s just what happens if you opt for a SaaS vendor like Mimecast. Because SaaS is based on a one-size-fits-all model, there’s no room for the unique security footprint you’ve spent time and money on developing to meet the precise needs of your business. In the same way SaaS doesn’t offer you the control, flexibility, and scalability of the cloud, it restricts your options when it comes to security too.
With Mimecast, you have no say over the firewall in place, the datacenter used, or the background checks carried out on employees. Even encryption keys are held by the platform, not your IT. You just have to accept that your accountability is limited and spend time and effort adapting your policies to match what you’re given.
Reduced Accountability: SaaS vendors like Mimecast allow you no control over…
Of course, moving to the cloud requires you to adapt your policies too but, if your entire technology footprint will exist in that cloud, it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is adding a new provider that doesn’t align with your policies. It means creating new language and exceptions for a single third-party solution, creating conflict between IT and security, privacy and compliance teams, plus wasting stakeholder time with sign-offs. And, if the worst happens, will you really be able to say you did all you could to protect your data if you didn’t have control of a significant part of it?
You understand the importance of these policies when it comes to keeping your business safe, so why would you choose a provider whose core business doesn’t revolve around security and isn’t equipped to respond to new and emerging threats. Unlike SaaS vendors, major cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft spend tens of millions every year to stay ahead of the game when it comes to cybersecurity. Their business depends on it, which is why they deploy cutting edge tech to protect their customers.
Data security, compliance, and privacy are the top reasons customers choose Archive360 over SaaS vendors. By working inside your chosen cloud, Archive 360 doesn’t impact the policies you have created for your business, providing you with complete control and accountability in the cloud and access to the best possible security technology.
In a recent survey of global IT executives, including VPs, directors and members of the C-suite at major corporations, only 19% of those surveyed believed 75% or more of their SaaS vendors met all of their security requirements. 70% stated they had been forced to make at least one security exception for a SaaS vendor. While many of these organizations are likely using popular SaaS products like Microsoft Office 365 and SalesForce, where the size and standing of the vendor might make the business more amenable to accepting a perceived lower risk, the clear takeaway is that SaaS solutions don’t provide the security standards modern organizations require.
Elsewhere, on the topic of encryption keys, an astounding 95% of respondents believed it was important to control their own encryption keys and 81% were uncomfortable with their SaaS vendors controlling them. However, 74% of those surveyed said they did not control the encryption keys for the majority of their SaaS solutions.
This is a worrying statistic and one that many organizations will have to take steps to reverse as regulations continue to tighten and the threat of cybercrime grows. To that end, 92% of executives said they would need more security customization in the future, with 63% of them planning to retire SaaS applications that didn’t provide them control over encryption keys.
These statistics paint a clear picture of the business security landscape and the risk that the one-size-fits-all approach of SaaS vendors introduces. As the trend for security customization continues and scrutiny over data handling increases, SaaS solutions will become increasingly less palatable for businesses aiming to de-risk their operations and more secure and customizable solutions, such as those in the public cloud, will be sought.
Tied to security and compliance is the issue of data sovereignty. Where does your data reside and where is it legally allowed to? Whether it’s government-mandated regulation like GDPR that requires customer data to remain in its country of origin, or internal policy regarding access to data by foreign entities, you need to know where your data is kept at all times.
For a SaaS provider, Mimecast has quite a few datacenters, but can’t match the global scale of Microsoft and Amazon. Regardless of how many data centers they have, SaaS solutions will often need you to pick a single reigon and stick with it, offering you no room for flexibility as regulations shift or your business expands into new territories. And if you do have the option to choose different locations, the SaaS model struggles to accommodate, requiring multiple archives and restricting your ability to centrally manage your data. For businesses that need to store customer and employee data within specific countries this could be a deal breaker.
By choosing Archive 360, you retain the flexibility to choose one or multiple data storage locations offered by your cloud provider and adapt to meet regulations or enable effective disaster recovery. Even if it’s stored in multiple locations, your data can still be searched in its entirety. This level of flexibility is only available in hyperscale clouds, helping maintain control of your data and ensure it’s both protected and compliant. Microsoft has even gone as far as to sue the US government on a number of occasions in order to maintain the privacy of customer data it holds, so you know you’re in good hands.
With Archive 360, you can:
- Store your data in any geography
- Manage data using your own policies
- Replicate customer data within a selected geographic area to enable disaster recovery
- Comply with global regulations including GDPR, FRCP, SEC and CCPA
You would be forgiven for thinking that data archives simply hold data in its original form so it can be accessed by you, the owner, when you need to. While that’s certainly the case with Archive 360, for SaaS vendors, it’s not true at all. Most of them ‘wrap’ each individual file (an email, for example) in a proprietary compression wrapper to not only limit the file size but to form the backbone of their management, orchestration and indexing processes. It’s an old-fashioned way of doing things that used to provide a big benefit (in the wild days before privacy and security teams) but now causes a big problem and is something you should definitely ask a SaaS provider like Mimecast about. However, whether through the use of these proprietary formats or SaaS-specific processes in general, one thing is constant – data can only be accessed via the SaaS GUI, with no API access, effectively blocking visibility for the teams that need it.
Back when storing emails was carried out solely to comply with the law, archives didn’t need to be scanned or analyzed. Today, these archives are essential for analytics, internal investigations and audits, helping teams to seek out privacy compliance violations and insider threats, or extract actionable insights. IBM, for example, can now predict with 95% accuracy which workers are about to quit their jobs, a truly amazing use of AI to understand the workforce, which Archive 360 recently commented on in a video post.
There are many great tools like this available to help organizations perform a number of tasks and unlock essential insight but, if they’re using a SaaS archive, they will simply not work.
Access All Areas: Unlike SaaS vendors, Archive 360 enables you to…
That’s why you need to be sure that your data is accessible and not trapped in a legacy-driven black box. In the same way SaaS vendors can’t keep up with the agility of the cloud, their outdated approach to archiving means they’re also not prepared for the many new opportunities the cloud brings.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, Archive 360 has no such limitation on data access. We store your data in its native format without wrapping it or hiding it away somewhere to make our lives easier, so you’re free to access, analyze and model it as you wish.
We saw the limitations of SaaS in an ever more cloud-based world and opted to create a native solution to exploit the cloud’s potential, helping our customers to make the most of their data in a secure and flexible way. As new technologies emerge, including AI and machine learning, corporate files and emails are likely to become one of the largest sources of untapped intelligence within your business, so locking them away behind a SaaS vendor’s inadequacies is simply counterproductive. Instead, Archive 360 enables you to embrace these new tools, helping you use data to not only maintain compliance and security but unlock innovation.
With data stored in its native format in the cloud and accessible through robust APIs, you can undertake your own projects or employ external providers to help you do more with the data that already exists in your business. Whether it’s easily onboarding an auditor for privacy compliance, finding the top performers in your organization, or uncovering a big idea or new business model lost in a sea of emails, data can help you to to paint a far clearer picture of your business.
With myriad uses for data available already and many more on the horizon, data access and analysis will soon be imperative for businesses to maintain a competitive edge. With that in mind, do you want to stifle your success with SaaS?
There was once a time when archiving was only about email. But that was before the days of social media and the regular sharing of audio and video files online. While the way we produce and distribute content has developed rapidly, SaaS solutions haven’t kept up with the times. Email, as a largely text-based format, is fairly easy to index and search, enabling privacy, compliance and legal teams to monitor a company’s risk profile effectively. But what about information shared in video and audio files? Or posts sent to a potential audience of millions online? SaaS solutions struggle to deal with this type of data because, frankly, they weren’t designed to handle them. Instead, they attempt to fit square pegs into round holes and treat media formats in the same way they do email files and attachments – as a ‘message’. But how do you search the content of a video or audio file that doesn’t act like an email? With a SaaS provider, you probably can’t.
With hyperscale cloud providers investing hundreds of millions in R&D, Archive 360 enables you to leverage new technologies like these as they are introduced, while SaaS providers will need to operate outside of their comfort zone and custom build solutions in order to provide a similar service.
Ask your SaaS provider if their solution enables you to:
- Search for content effectively in archived audio or video files
- Archive and access new file formats
- Quickly adapt to new regulations
- Embrace new tools and technologies
When it comes to clouds like Azure and AWS, support for these file types are baked right in, enabling greater archive scanning accuracy. Take Azure Cognitive Services, for example, which provides the functionality to parse video and audio files and provide super-accurate transcriptions which can then, you guessed it, you can search it with Archive360. Not only that, but with Archive 360 specific search terms can be highlighted at the exact point they appear in an audio or video file, not just flag the file as a whole. It’s groundbreaking features like these that are changing the face of the privacy, security, and compliance landscapes and contributing a great deal to business intelligence as a whole. Without files stored in their native format and accessible without restriction as they are with Archive 360, your options in this field are limited, effectively calling for a blanket ban on video and audio files across your business. Who wants to be that guy? It’ll mean disgruntled employees unable to do their jobs effectively and it’ll mean you can’t ride the wave of the future as new, exciting technologies and platforms are launched. With such potential available, this is a crucial question to ask a SaaS provider like Mimecast
Where once social media didn’t have to be archived, regulations are now catching up with modern data types, albeit slowly. Using Archive 360 in the cloud, you’re prepared not only for changes from regulators but technological changes, enabling you to embrace new tools and new file types. And, with more and more file types archived today – from video and social to SalesForce files, contracts and ERP – Archive 360 allows your internal teams to access all the data they need from a single system. It’s not rocket science but entirely obvious: accessible, native, cloud-based data is as essential as the flexibility to handle future formats. Archive 360 provides you with both.
You probably already know how tough migration can be. It’s time-consuming, requires dedicated experts and has many pitfalls. Working with more than one vendor normally only exacerbates these issues. However, more often than not, that’s what you get with a SaaS solution. They’re good at what they know, but they normally require third parties to help with migration. Archive 360, owns its own migration IP and has successfully migrated more than 1000 customers and over 30 petabytes of data. Can your SaaS vendor say the same? It’s our proficiency in both migration and archiving that give you a seamless, accountable service, with the left hand talking to the right hand, providing a single point of contact for your entire migration and access to unrivalled expertise.
Moving Matters: Migration with Mimecast means…
And then there are the problems with the process of actually migrating to SaaS. Unlike Archive 360, SaaS vendors approach migration through the software API layer of your on-premises archive. They grab the data they find in your database – the index used to search metadata within emails such as sender, subject, date and time – and shift it to their platform. It might sound all well and good but, by using the software layer, SaaS vendors also rely on your on-premises database to be one hundred percent healthy in order to be successful.
Think of your database as a giant library and each file within it as a book. If you lose the index card from a book, it’s lost in the library with no way to search for it. The only solution is to go shelf by shelf. Even the smallest amount of database corruption could mean files get lost in your archive, which means API-driven migration will leave them behind.That’s a massive problem for IT, for compliance and for legal teams whose stock and trade is precision. Almost every database has some corruption and most have high levels of it, which is where most API migrations become stuck. An archive report from IT might show that a million items will be migrated but only 825,000 are actually moved across. Elsewhere, data can be warped by the API, leading to missing or incorrect metadata and, as a result, a lack of accuracy.
Archive 360 doesn’t rely on potentially damaged databases at the API layer. Instead, it goes straight to the storage and extracts exactly what is there to make sure nothing is missed during migration. Not only does this ensure accuracy but it also saves time, speeding up the migration of files without the API as a bottleneck. Where API migration tools can generally transfer up to hundreds of gigabytes per day, Archive 360 can typically extract 3-10 terabytes of data every 24 hours, such is the superior read and write capability of the storage layer. This also means that Archive 360 doesn’t sit behind your on-premises firewall for the duration of your migration, requiring infrastructure, security and networking team buy-in. With Archive 360, your data is transferred in a matter of days and processed where it’s meant to be – in the cloud.
Did you know that 25-75% of the data stored by a business belongs to employees that no longer work there? Of course, you still have to migrate that data by law, but with SaaS vendors charging per user, per month and unable to tell you which user is active or inactive, it’s important to be clear from the outset how many active users you’re migrating.
Let’s say your headcount is 2,000 users. You get a quote from a SaaS vendor based on that number and go ahead with your migration. Suddenly, your ex-employee user accounts come into play and that number becomes 8,000. At the end of the day, a user is a user, and SaaS vendors may charge for each of them whether they’re active or not.
Archive 360 enables you to move only your active users to your active archive while moving inactive users to storage that comes at a far lower cost and without a monthly cost. You can still access that data, search and analyze it, you simply don’t pay through the nose for people no longer on your payroll.
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