Big-Data Analytics, E-Discovery

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-02-15 Print this article Print

Big-Data Analytics as a Service

At a February 2011 meeting of the CTO Forum in Half Moon Bay, Calif., about 60 C-level executives from diverse large enterprises such as NASA, Visa International, Google, MGM Resorts, Kaiser Permanente, Facebook and SAP Labs all came with different IT agendas. But they all agreed on one thing: The tools do not yet exist to handle big-data analytics (petabyte-level data storage and above) the way they need to be handled now, much less the way they will need to be handled in the future, as big data gets even bigger.

Because most big-data-generating companies are already cloud-savvy, SAAS figures to be prominent in the sector. Cloud services that can tackle big data in specific areas at a time are now available. Promising players in this space include EMC's Greenplum, which at the recent O'Reilly Strata Conference released a free community version of its analytics database. The Apache Hadoop project, which develops open-source software for scalable, distributed computing of big data for enterprises, also is gaining momentum in this area.

As a sidebar, upstart virtual database provider Delphix, a new startup from Avamar founder and former EMC executive Jed Yueh, brings a unique contribution to solving the big-data analytics problem. With its ability to tether production databases to any number of copies for any type of use (such as patching, reformatting, e-discovery and analytics), and keep everything synchronized, big-data analytics in a SAAS model are now a reality. It's not a surprise that Delphix has been getting a lot of calls lately; nobody else-not even Oracle-has been able to perfect this trick.

E-Discovery as a Service

Evidence collection for litigation purposes, long considered the private domain of law firms or legal departments manually searching through storage and racking up huge hourly costs, is now getting the SAAS treatment.

If a company is holding documents in cloud storage-or any storage silo-that might be required for a legal case, they now can be identified and processed for the court in a more timely fashion. Clearwell Systems, which has long specialized in finding necessary data for litigation and audit purposes, now enables users to discover information in e-mail and SharePoint documents from Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite.

Using Clearwell's new software, users can identify and collect data from Exchange Online and SharePoint Online for e-discovery requests in response to litigation, regulatory inquiries and internal investigations.

Once collected, the data from the cloud storage is immediately made available for e-discovery phases, such as processing, analysis, review and production. 

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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