David Hill

Network Computing Blogger

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Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

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A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

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FTI Technology: Running Rings Around e-Discovery

That information is an enterprise asset is well-known. That it may unfortunately be a liability is also true, even though we would like to have that concern go away. Enterprises must know how to deal with the liability side of their information when civil litigation arises. As a result, the e-discovery business has risen among IT vendors that hope to help enterprises manage their litigation/liability issues. FTI Technology, with its Ringtail software, is at the forefront of improving the productivity of the e-discovery process.

FTI Consulting is a services-based organization, with deep specialized expertise in compliance, risk, reputation, liability, performance, finance and information. The company had a recent NYSE-listed market cap of $2.5 billion and is divided into five practice areas, of which FTI Technology (our focus today) is one. To give you some sense of the breadth of FTI Consulting's services and consulting activities, they include corporate finance, economic consulting, forensic and litigation consulting, and strategic communications.

FTI Technology has more than 400 employees who drive annual revenues of roughly $150 million. The company covers a lot of bases, including global electronic discovery, forensic data analysis and litigation support readiness. It's this last area on which we'd like to focus, via the Ringtail litigation support software. However, the important thing to note here is that FTI Technology is not simply a software company that has add-on services and consulting, but rather a company that integrates end-to-end software, services and consulting in a natural blend. This is a competitive differentiator for FTI Technology as it brings together the right mix of human experience and expertise with software horsepower that can be tailor-made for each client engagement.

Ringtail 8 is the latest version of FTI Technology's Review Productivity Tool for e-discovery, but how exactly it is positioned in the e-discovery "life cycle"? The e-discovery life cycle is covered in an industry-accepted framework called the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), which is really a workflow management process. As such, it can be divided roughly into three parts: The left side is information collection, the middle part is information analysis, and the right side is information delivery. There is some overlap of functions and iterations, so the division is not as neat and clean as it seems.

Now, no vendor claims ownership of the very right side of information delivery, called presentation. This is the area in which lawyers actually prepare/make their court presentations, and at least so far this has not been automated. Some vendors claim to have end-to-end solutions that cover all the other ERDM steps, but, frankly, this is very hard to perform with the depth and rigor that is needed for both information collection, which is a lot harder than you think, and analysis, which involves more sophisticated processes and analytics than you would imagine.

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