Packaged Approach to E-Discovery

Xiotech's solution allows archiving, discovery, and putting corporate data in a headlock

June 6, 2007

3 Min Read
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With CIOs facing ever-increasing legal and compliance pressures, vendors are cranking up their efforts to solve firms' e-discovery woes.

Today SAN specialist Xiotech unveiled its first email archiving and e-discovery system, Corporate Evidence Management System (CEMS), which captures and classifies electronic files.

Recent months have seen a flurry of activity around email archiving and records retention, thanks largely to some high-profile legal cases involving Intel, AMD, and Morgan Stanley, as well as a slew of compliance regulations (See Intel's Email Maelstrom, A Fine Mess, and Storage Goes to Law School.) "The regulatory and legal aspects [made users] put a different set of glasses on," explains Brian Babineau, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

Despite increasing levels of paranoia, users have bemoaned the lack of products that could link records management, email, and e-discovery systems. (See Legal Eagles Seek Data Unity.)

Xiotech's new package includes a one rack-unit high AMD-based application server that runs the CEMS software, a 2-Tbyte Xiotech Magnitude system, and a network switch from either Cisco or Brocade. (See Xiotech Intros Storage System and Weiss Group Selects Xiotech.)Pricing for the solution starts at $245,000, although Xiotech told Byte & Switch that larger versions, holding up to 6-Tbytes of data, are also available now.

The initial offering scans emails, although Rob Kondoff, Xiotech's senior director of marketing says that subsequent versions planned for later this year will trawl desktop and file server data. This could embrace, for example, someone copying a sensitive document on to a thumbnail drive or accessing it on a file server and printing it out.

The initial version of the CEMS software, which was developed by Xiotech, uses the journaling interface of Microsoft Exchange to capture emails and then store them on the Magnitude systems. "As it is captured, the email message is inspected," says Kondoff, explaining that it ties in with security policies set up by the user. Typical policies involve scanning for inappropriate content such as references to body parts or phrases such as "confidential financial document".

If an email contains these words or phrases, a separate email can be sent notifying HR managers or the CFO, according to Kondoff.

The exec adds that CEMS can also deal with "legal hold" orders, which occur when firms must ensure that documents needed in court cannot be destroyed or altered. "This means that a legal officer can go into CEMS and search for the relevant content and also ensure that it cannot be deleted or tampered with."Xiotech told Byte & Switch that it is using CEMS within its own infrastructure, in addition to two firms that have run beta tests on the technology. Only one of these firms, Detroit-based marketing consultancy George P.Johnson (GPJ) has been made public, and is using CEMS for classifying documents related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

A number of vendors are currently making moves in this space, such as archiving specialist Zantaz, which offers legal hold capabilities in its software. (See Orchestria, Zantaz Integrate and Zantaz Supports Exchange.)

Unlike Xiotech, Zantaz has taken a purely software-based approach to e-discovery, although other vendors such as Fortiva, Iron Mountain, and Zantaz partner Orchestria, are also offering archiving and e-discovery as managed services. (See Fortiva Guarantees Search, Zantaz Offers On Demand, Smoke Clears for Iron Mountain, and Zantaz Offers On Demand.)

ESG's Babineau told Byte & Switch that a packaged solution could prove a viable option for cash-constrained midsized businesses. "It provides the opportunity for smaller firms to deploy something in-house, rather than rely on a service provider," he says.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

  • Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Fortiva Inc.

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

  • Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Morgan Stanley

  • Orchestria Corp.

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Xiotech Corp.

  • Zantaz Inc.0

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