FrontBridge has updated its disaster recovery service to let customers continue to send, receive and access e-mail even when their corporate mail servers are down.

A new feature called Active Disaster Recovery gives customers a Web interface for accessing up to 30 days of stored e-mail at a FrontBridge data centre when their own e-mail servers are offline. FrontBridge VP Dan Nadir explained that users will also be able to send and receive e-mail through the Web interface.

Active Disaster Recovery is one component of the company’s outsourced service, Total Message Management. The service routes a company's e-mail through a FrontBridge data centre before it hits the corporate network and provides spam and virus filtering, archiving, desktop encryption, policy enforcement and disaster recovery.

One customer said the service would let him do scheduled maintenance on mail servers without worrying about downtime. “I can take Exchange offline and know my mail is still being received,” says Nathan Wright, manager of network operations at Sentinel Benefits, which provides administrative services for corporate benefit plans.

Active Disaster Recovery gives customers access to external as well as internal e-mail. Thirty days worth of messages are automatically copied at a FrontBridge data centre, Nadir explained, while internal mail that never leaves the company’s network is automatically copied to a FrontBridge centre in batch mode.

Pricing for the new service depends on the number of users. For FrontBridge’s Email Continuity Service, which includes Active Disaster Recovery, a company with 150 to 500 users would pay $3 per user per month, according to the company.