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Index Engines Intros Direct Tape Extraction

Index Engines has added features to its Tape Engine appliance that lets customers extract and organize data directly from tapes and tape libraries for litigation search.

The Holmdel, N.J.-based vendor, which claims 32 direct customers and many more indirect ones, made its mark in the last three years by grabbing metadata from offline tapes, organizing it, and turning it into a searchable repository. Though Index Engines can also organize data from disk, the ability to work with archived tape formats, albeit ones restored from tape to disk first, helped differentiate it from competitors like Kazeon or StoredIQ.

In a newly released eDiscovery Edition, the vendor has added software that extracts data directly from tapes, using a technique the vendor plans to patent. Previously, customers had to use backup software (CA ArcServe, IBM TSM, Symantec NetBackup or Backup Exec, or EMC NetWorker) to restore archived files and email to disk before using the Index Engines appliance to create a searachable index. What's more, customers had to restore the data one tape at a time.

Now, customers can extract data right from tape. They also can hook the Tape Engine appliance to tape libraries to speed up the process. "We support a Fibre Channel or SCSI connection to all common tape drives," says Index Engines VP of marketing Jim McGann. "We have an auto-configure capability that determines the controls -- and configures our indexing engine to manage the robotics during the indexing process."

At least one analyst thinks the shortcuts could serve many organizations well. "Index Engines has essentially reversed how organizations look for data on backup tapes for electronic discovery purposes," states analyst Brian Babineau
of the Enterprise Strategy Group. "There is a magnitude of cost savings by taking this approach, as it takes far less people to create the tape index and complete searches.
Organizations can also save money just by knowing what tapes to restore."

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