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Services Rid Users of Tape Storage Dangers

Let's be blunt: Tape doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to e-discovery. While industry experts consider tape a viable alternative for enterprise backup, when it's time to retrieve stored data during litigation proceedings, tape's a no-go.

"You're basically asking for disaster if you rely on backup tapes for long-term preservation of business records and documents for search and retrieval," says Mark Diamond, CEO of IT consultancy Contoural. Very few companies, he says, have the facilities to recover specific items of data from 100 to 2,000 backup tapes -- especially with expensive lawyers waiting in the wings.

In an effort to avoid the kind of needle-in-the-haystack nightmare the above scenario conjures, organizations are turning to service providers for help. And, in turn, they're getting assistance in moving years' worth of data stored on tape to disk -- or deleting it altogether.

This week, for instance, RenewData, which specializes in legal archiving and e-discovery services, unveiled a Backup Tape Liability Management Service for users nationwide. RenewData loads customers' tapes into drives equipped with software that reads the data, reduces it by file de-duplication (more on that momentarily), and reserves what needs to be saved on disk -- or on tape for disaster recovery purposes only. RenewData will also destroy data that doesn't need to be saved.

If anyone has questions about the methods used to organize and/or destroy data, RenewData will offer court-ready evidence of its methodology and conformance to legal standards. A so-called Media Content Database Report, for instance, can be filed in response to specific aspects of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1).

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