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A Call for Common Indexing

LAS VEGAS -- Storage Decisions -- If storage vendors are serious about helping organizations deal with new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and other compliance issues, they'll scrap proprietary technology in favor of common indexing schemes, according to an analyst who specializes in e-discovery. (See FRCP Tip Sheet and Retention Rules Set to Change.)

Michael Clark, managing director of consultancy EDDIx, told attendees at a Storage Decisions panel to demand as much from their vendors. "You have the power of the purse. Just say 'No, until you are willing to play well with other guys,' " Clark told storage admins at an executive session on storage legal issues.

Clark says effective email and other archiving needed for e-discovery requires federated search and retrieval across products from multiple vendors and storage silos. "To do that, we need a common indexing scheme," he says. "Today, all indexing schemes in archiving are proprietary and the vendors aren't opening their APIs to each other. How hard is it for EMC, Symantec, CA, IBM, and Zantaz to give their API sets to each other?"

He also says almost all big organizations will have to deal with multiple vendors for a complete archiving strategy. "When I talk to a storage administrator, he may say, 'I use [EMC] Centera for archiving,' " he says. "But as we talk he says, 'I've got some EMC, some Zantaz, maybe some IBM, and we just merged with another company so I've got some Symantec.' "

Clark says as implications of the new FRCP that took effect Dec. 1 kick in, he expects large organizations to demand common indexing in order to have a better way to pore through data that may be relevant to lawsuits.

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