International Business Machines announced an expanded email archiving system built to run on top of Microsoft Windows Servers, the company said on Thursday.

The new system is designed to enable companies to retain e-mail for corporate governance and legal discovery purposes, as well as help to address immediate and future challenges with growing e-mail systems, IBM stated. Clients should also see improved performance, reduce backup/restore times, and allow for faster server consolidation and upgrades.

Customer demand for content management and e-mail storage solutions continues to grow, said Dr. Claude Lorenson, group product manager for Microsoft storage. We are pleased to work with IBM to meet that critical need and provide customers with an end-to-end Windows-based archive solution to help customers streamline e-mail archiving and reduce IT complexity.

The solution extends the existing IBM CommonStore eMail Archiving Preload with e-mail search functionality, pre-tested on an IBM System x BladeCenter Server platform powered by Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors.

The solution, including storage and services, will be available from IBM and IBM Business Partners in the first quarter of 2007 starting at a list price of $55,000 with optional eMail Search for an additional $2,000.