E-Discovery from Tape Gets Easier

Index Engines adds tape sorting and object extraction to its enterprise discovery engine.

Index Engines, which helps business users index and retrieve e-mail and files, is adding automated tape sorting and object extraction utilities to its Tape Engine eDiscovery Edition appliance.

The new software, launched Nov. 20, indexes unstructured data on offline tapes without ever restoring it. This practice quashes the process of restoring tapes to find files, which can be time-consuming and expensive—as much as $1,800 per gigabyte.

The tools also let users search metadata as well as text content of data archives, and extract the relevant files from common tape backup systems, including CAs ArcServe, IBMs TSM, Symantecs NetBackup and Backup Exec, and EMCs NetWorker.

The software add-ons come at a time when many companies are storing terabytes of unsearchable data locked in proprietary tape backup formats that they have accumulated over time.

Finding the right files quickly is paramount for legal discovery processes, where litigators ask for specific e-mails, instant message records or other documents. Failure to produce files when asked can lead to legal action by courts, including fines.


Read more here about e-discovery and tape.

"If you need to produce an e-mail from the [chief financial officer] to the CEO from June 2000 that includes the keywords options grant, the storage guy is going to say, Are you crazy? I cant find that," Jim McGann, vice president of marketing at Index Engines, told eWEEK.

Index Engines, of Holmdel, N.J., enables administrators to spin tape, index all of the content and metadata, and find specific files, McGann said. The idea is to help companies find "smoking guns" in minutes or hours rather than weeks or months.

The Tape Engine eDiscovery Edition includes support for all common tape libraries for the ingestion of the large volumes of offline tape data, a new tape management module that automatically generates a catalog of the tapes loaded in a library, and an automated extraction module to automate the process of restoring tape data.

The appliance is available now, starting at $50,000. An add-on, the extraction module costs $25,000.

The product comes nearly a year after the Federal Civil Procedure Rules were instituted to make publicly traded companies store and easily retrieve digital information for litigation.

Index Engines rivals include e-discovery specialists Attenex, Stratify and Kazeon, as well as storage incumbents such as EMC and IBM.


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