Intel's Email Maelstrom

Chip giant admits to storage snafus in AMD dispute

March 9, 2007

2 Min Read
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5:59 PM -- Intel this week admitted that its records retention policies leave something to be desired as it struggles to find emails that may be critical to its legal battle with AMD.

The two firms are currently locked in an antitrust dispute, and emails look set to be the chip giant's achilles heel.

In a letter filed with the U.S. District Court of Delaware this week, Intel's lawyers admitted to a series of storage snafus that have hindered the firm's ability to track down certain emails. These include the loss of data on "recycled" backup tapes and inadequate email management.

As the letter explains: "[Some employees] failed to move emails from their sent box to their hard drive, and those sent items were purged by Intel's system of automatically deleting emails after they have aged a certain period of time."

Oh, dear. Could Intel be about to join Morgan Stanley in the document management hall of shame? The finance giant was famously slammed with a $15 million fine when it was unable to produce email evidence in court, underlining the importance of good archiving and records retention systems. (See A Fine Mess and Storage Goes to Law School.)Intriguingly, Intel has signed up EMC to help sort all this out. The court filing explains that the firm is implementing a new email archiving system built on software from EMC. Once fully implemented, it says, the archive will preserve all sent and received emails of employees that receive a legal hold notice for their data.

A spokesman for EMC confirmed that Intel is using the vendor's Email Xtender and Disk Xtender products as part of this effort. (See EMC Vows More for Infoscape, Legato Intros Latest DiskXtender, EMC Pounds ILM Pulpit, and NetApp OKs Legato DiskXtender.) The use of Disk Xtender, which EMC acquired through its Legato acquisition, implies that Intel is also using Centera devices within its storage infrastructure, although the spokesman refused to go into specifics.

Intel, for its part told Byte and Switch that the volume of data it needs to store as a result of the case is growing by hundreds of Mbytes a month, and a spokesman promised that its search will be ongoing. "We are still actively checking the availability of back-up tapes and secondary sources to find every bit of email in question," he says.

Somehow, I feel that we haven't heard the last of this story.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

  • Morgan Stanley0

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