Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery

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					Preparing Your
Organization for


     an            Storage eBook
            Preparing Your Organization
                   for eDiscovery

                 This content was adapted from’s CIO Update, Server Watch and
                 Infostor websites. Contributors: David Cochran, Paul Rubens, Vikas Paul, Dave
                 Vellante and Michael McCreary.

                  2        Big Jump Predicted in Use of eDiscovery

                  3        CIOs on Trial: A Check List for eDiscovery and Litigation

                  5        Getting eDiscovery to Work for You

3    5

                  7        Managing Litigation Risk Starts with IT

                  9        Center of Gravity Shifts for Email Archiving
7    9
                                            Preparing Your Organization
                                                   for eDiscovery

             Big Jump Predicted in Use of eDiscovery
                                                 By CIO Update Staff

               mong more than 650 IT professionals                      “Many organizations lack expertise in this emerging
               surveyed in a CompTIA survey, Ediscovery                 area,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research,
               Trends and Practices, 53 percent expect                  CompTIA. “That’s significant because the increasingly
               the use of ediscovery within their                       connected and digital world in which companies operate
organizations to increase over the next few years.                      means the number of situations calling for ediscovery will
                                                                        only grow.”
However, many firms routinely engage in data collection
and informal investigations related                                                                                 Given this rising need for more
to personnel matters, violations                                                                                    expertise, more opportunities
of company policies and security                                                                                    should exist for IT solution
breaches that never involve the                                                                                     providers with the right skills
legal system but may nonetheless                                                                                    and expertise.
fall under the umbrella of
ediscovery. The CompTIA                                                                                             “IT companies that offer
survey identified situations that                                                                                   services such as security, data
most often trigger the use of                                                                                       storage and archiving may find
ediscovery. They include:                                                                                           opportunities to expand their
                                                                                                                    business and their client base
     •	 Investigating	an	employee	                                                                                  by becoming an ediscovery
     suspected of violating                                                                                         resource,” said Herbert.
     company rules (cited
     by 66 percent of survey                                                                      Among the steps IT firms can
     respondents)                                                                                 take to enhance their ediscovery
     •	 Security	breach	stemming	from	an	outside	threat	                credentials: get employees trained in ediscovery; stay
     (62 percent)                                                       up to date on the regulatory environment; and learn and
     •	 Pending	lawsuit	(60	percent)	                                   follow industry best practices for conducting ediscovery.
     •	 Intentional	internal	security	breach	(53	percent)	
     •	 Unintentional	internal	security	breach	(44	percent)	

Half of organizations surveyed have already developed
an ediscovery strategy, either partial or comprehensive.
Another 26 percent indicate that their organization has
no official ediscovery strategy but have engaged in
ediscovery processes informally. Among organizations
that have yet to develop an ediscovery strategy, cost and
expertise are cited as the primary reasons.

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                                             Preparing Your Organization
                                                    for eDiscovery

                                CIOs on Trial: A Check List for
                                  eDiscovery and Litigation
                                                   By David Cochran

                 oday’s CIO encounters many challenges                   CIO must be able to speak to the company’s internal IT
                 handling security and regulatory mandates               functions as well as the complexity of the company’s data
                 that extend far beyond the once-simple                  architecture. A CIO must also be prepared to defend the
                 duties of maintaining firewalls. CIOs are               company’s work practices and policies in anticipation of,
today’s corporate first responders to spot insider theft                 not just in response to, litigation. Creating a litigation
or illegal activity, recover lost or deleted data and to                 response team that prepares these responses and
ameliorate poor document retention.                                      policies ahead of time is critical.

Even before 2008’s financial                                                                                        The following are sample issues
meltdown, courts realized                                                                                           and questions that a CIO may
that the amount of electronic                                                                                       need to address on the stand
data in litigation was growing                                                                                      and, as part of the litigation
exponentially. As a result,                                                                                         response team, should be
new federal guidelines were                                                                                         prepared to tackle:
introduced in 2006 to address
this growing problem. At the                                                                           •	Present	a	simple	overview	as	to	
core of any litigation today is                                                                        how data is managed within the
the concept of understanding                                                                           corporate structure.
electronic data―where it is                                                                            •	Discuss	data	mapping	and	
located, how it is managed and                                                                         chain of custody procedures
how it can be accessed.                                                                                within the company. The ability
                                                                                                       to easily explain this data
In the past, the litigation team                                                                       mapping process, how it was
consisted of inside and outside                                                                        done, who did it and how it was
counsel, the business unit                                                                             audited, is a key element of any
manager and outside suppliers. The legal responsibility                           trial involving ediscovery.
for the management of a company’s data in most                                    •	Clearly	communicate	the	company’s	IT	planning	
businesses falls squarely on the shoulders of the CIO.                            approach.
Thus, if a company is ever entrenched in a legal battle,                          •	Explain	how	data	is	handled	on	a	day-to-day	basis	
the CIO needs to be part of the team and must be                                  by the business unit and managed by the IT services
prepared to take the stand. Because of this person’s                              organization.
unique ability to discuss the internal systems that                               •	Speak	to	compliance	issues	and	how	they	are	
generate the data in question, a CIO will almost inevitably                       managed from an IT perspective. Be prepared to
make any trial attorney’s short list.                                             assess what impact this system may have on the
In preparing to testify, a CIO must create a plan of                              •	Discuss	how	data	is	managed	in	overseas	
action to address the data involved in the litigation. The

       3     Back to Contents                     Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
                                            Preparing Your Organization
                                                   for eDiscovery

     subsidiaries. What safeguards are in place to                               program so required records are kept as long as
     collect data from these locations? Can data                                 required and are reliably disposed of when no
     be transferred across borders pursuant to US                                longer necessary.
     Department of Commerce Safe Harbor or other                                 •	Respond	to	the	discovery	obligations	of	litigation	
     criteria?                                                                   filed against the company within the time deadlines
     •	How	is	the	records	management	program	                                    of the courts.
     handled and what is the CIO’s role in that                                  •	Manage	the	cost	of	the	litigation	to	minimize	
     process? How might this process be impacted by                              effect on the company, both financially and in terms
     a litigation hold?                                                          of the disruption of ongoing operations.
     •	What	role	does	the	CIO	play	when	staff	needs	to	                          •	Comply	fully	with	the	requirements	of	the	courts.	
     be interviewed by the legal team for a deposition                           •	Ensure	the	company’s	lawyers,	whether	in-
     or interrogatory?                                                           house or outside counsel, are supplied with
     •	How	is	the	collection	of	data	managed	                                    the information they need and their efforts are
     internally? Who is collecting the data? Is it self-                         effectively supported.
     collection or is it managed by an outside partner?
     •	What	type	of	audit	trail	or	chain	of	custody	is	in	              A good reference tool for the CIO is the Electronic
     place as part of the day-to-day business activities?               Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), which can be found
     •	What	type	of	reporting	is	available	regarding	                   at EDRM is a collaborative effort that
     the data?                                                          involves corporations, law firms and suppliers working
                                                                        together to better delineate the best practices of
Here are a few basic guidelines that the CIO must                       managing litigation today. As part of the EDRM model,
adhere to as part of the litigation team:                               there are specific areas where a CIO can reference these
                                                                        best practices to help prepare and respond to litigation.
     •	Ensure	the	company	complies	with	regulations	                    The model covers each aspect of the litigation process
     pertaining to its business operations.                             and defines the necessary components to be successful.
     •	Maintain	compliance	with	regulations	pertaining	
     to the records the company must keep.                              CIO’s know that building a firewall after a system is
     •	Be	certain	the	company’s	records	are	                            hacked is too little, too late. Now, more than ever,
     maintained and can be located by a chosen set of                   they must extend that lesson to data management.
     criteria (examples may be by department, facility,                 Implementing a comprehensive plan in anticipation of
     subject, product, etc.)                                            litigation is the company’s best defense against anything,
     •	Ensure	there	is	an	appropriate	retention	                        technology or otherwise, that threatens the company.

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                                              Preparing Your Organization
                                                     for eDiscovery

                     Getting eDiscovery to Work for You
                                                        By Paul Rubens

               ocating, securing and producing all                         organizations they can pay for themselves in as little
               the electronically stored information                       as three months or after a single big law case. That’s
               required in the discovery phase of civil                    because the cost of software can be offset against fees
               litigation can be very time consuming                       that would otherwise be paid to outside service providers
and extremely expensive. However, failure to produce                       to process data for discovery and against the reduction in
the required information in a timely fashion can lead to                   legal fees charged by outside attorneys reviewing large
fines running into millions of dollars, thanks to revisions                amounts of written electronic material. Little wonder the
to the Federal Rules of Civil                                                                       market for ediscovery software
Procedure that came into effect                                                                     is expected to grow more than
in December 2006.                                                                                   20 percent per year for the next
                                                                                                    three years, according to Gartner
Many companies still deal                                                                           estimates.
with ediscovery obligations
by outsourcing the process to                                                                        Of course, not every company
external specialists, who may                                                                        needs ediscovery software.
charge	between	$250	and	$1,400	                                                                      Those that do tend to have one
per gigabyte to sift through                                                                         of two key characteristics: They
corporate data, collect what is                                                                      have significant intellectual
relevant and get it in to a form                                                                     property assets that must be
that can be submitted to lawyers                                                                     protected (as is the case for
for review. In the past five                                                                         companies involved in sectors
years, an increasing number of                                                                       like oil and gas, banking,
companies have begun treating                                                                        pharmaceuticals and high
ediscovery as a routine business                                                                     technology) or they are involved
process that can be performed in-house. Many of these                      in lawsuit-driven industries, such as insurance.
companies use ediscovery software to help carry out this
business process more efficiently.                                         “These companies can save a ton of money and time
                                                                           by using ediscovery systems,” said Debra Logan, a vice
Ediscovery software is designed to enable the efficient                    president at Gartner. “If you are facing more than 10
undertaking of various stages of the ediscovery process                    lawsuits or regulatory matters in a year, then it is worth
defined in the Electronic Discovery Reference Model                        getting organized using this type of software and getting
(EDRF), which establishes guidelines for ediscovery.                       a firm idea of what your IT situation looks like, what
These stages include the identification, preservation,                     information you have on tape, and so on,” she added.
collection, processing, review and analysis of corporate                   “You need to ask ‘What are our systems, who can access
information. Research house Gartner said ediscovery                        them, and what information do we have on them?’ That’s
solutions may cost more than $500,000, but in some                         the sort of level of knowledge you need to have.”

       5     Back to Contents                       Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
                                              Preparing Your Organization
                                                     for eDiscovery

Since ediscovery involves identifying and preserving                       you get rid of PSTs and dedupe, you can cut the volume
relevant information stored in corporate IT systems and                    of email that you store to 25 percent of what you had.
handing it over to attorneys for processing, it makes                      There are big storage gains to be made.”
sense that the less unnecessary information stored,
the more efficient this process will be. Minimizing                        Given this, it is not surprising that many of the leading
the amount of stored corporation information should                        ediscovery vendors like Symantec, EMC, CA and IBM
therefore be a priority.                                                   have storage or archiving expertise. Logan said she
                                                                           believes many more such companies are likely to enter
“The biggest sin is keeping unnecessary data,” Logan                       the market, “If you are a big storage vendor then you
said. Typically only about 1 percent to 5 percent of a                     are inevitably going to have offerings in this space,”
company’s stored data is needed long term, and about                       she said. The other types of market participants include
8 percent is needed for up to five years, she said. “The                   search-based software vendors and those that primarily
rest is usually stored because it seems like it is free to do              concentrate on processing, reviewing and analyzing
so, but if it had to be stored in filing cabinets, it would                documents. Leading vendors in this space include
have been thrown out long ago.”                                            Autonomy, Clearwell Systems, FTI Technology, Guidance
                                                                           Software and ZyLAB.
However, companies must set sensible policies
governing how data should be retained or discarded.                        The ediscovery software market has already undergone
This way, should information that turns out to be                          a certain amount of consolidation, and this trend will
relevant to a case be deleted, they can show that it                       likely continue over the coming months and years. Some
was done according to the policy and not to affect the                     analysts expect large platform vendors like HP and Oracle
outcome of the case, she added.                                            to enter the space through acquisition. Other vendors
                                                                           may also look to round out their offerings. But even if the
Looking at the range of products (which include                            market is not yet fully matured, the products currently
appliances and software as a service as well as                            on sale can offer significant savings to companies that
enterprise hosted software) that assist with ediscovery                    encounter (or launch) frequent legal challenges. The cost
can be bewildering. However, for companies looking for                     of ediscovery software may be high, but payback periods
the biggest benefit for their software buck, Logan has                     measured in months are hard to argue with.
no doubt about where to start: “Beyond a shadow of a
doubt, email archiving is the quickest win,” she said. “If

       6     Back to Contents                       Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
                                           Preparing Your Organization
                                                  for eDiscovery

                  Managing Litigation Risk Starts with IT
                                                        By Vikas Paul

                hen you don’t know where you are going,                  on the step-by-step instructions for carrying out each of
                any road will get you there, right? What                 the necessary tasks.
                if you don’t know where you are? How
                would you know how far you have to                       For the most part, there are three major risks connected
travel to get to your destination?                                       to ESI and electronic discovery that companies must be
                                                                         prepared to address:
With regards to electronic discovery, decision-making is
slowly shifting out of the control                                                                                  •	Spoliation	or	deletion	of	
of law firms and into hands of the                                                                                  potentially relevant ESI
corporate legal departments.                                                                                        •	Inability	or	failure	to	comply	
And within the corporations,                                                                                        with all of the requirements of a
there is more collaboration being                                                                                   discovery order
initiated between the legal, IT/IS                                                                                  •	Non-compliance	with	a	
and records management groups                                                                                       governmental investigation, such
as they try and tackle the ever-                                                                                    as those related to Sarbanes-
growing problem of managing                                                                                         Oxley or HIPAA.
discovery requests.
                                                                                                                    There are also many questions
There is also a shift in corporate                                                                                  that must be answered when it
litigants saying, “We don’t need                                                                                    comes to producing ESI.
to worry about assessing our
readiness because we don’t deal                                                                       •	Which	custodians	are	relevant	
with ediscovery that often” to                                                                        to the matter
“We haven’t had that major case                                                                       •	What	ESI	is	potentially	relevant	
yet, but we can see it coming up                                                                      to the matter
in the horizon and we need to plan for it now.”                                   •	What	steps	have	been	taken	to	preserve	ESI
                                                                                  •	What	tools	will	be	used	to	collect	the	ESI
With this growing understanding comes growing                                     •	What	keywords	or	timeframes	can	we	apply	to	
anxiety. Often companies simply don’t know how to                                 limit the scope of discovery?
start the process.
                                                                         Before attempting to answer any of these questions,
What companies are really seeking are well-documented                    it’s important to first determine what are the current
discovery response plans detailing all the steps                         practices around electronic discovery, where gaps
that should be followed when they are compelled                                                                         continued
                                                                         may exist and what are the risks associated with those
to produce electronically stored information (ESI).                      process gaps. In order to do this, a baseline needs to be
What, then, both IT and the general counsel need is a                    established.
playbook to help guide their internal and external teams

       7     Back to Contents                     Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
                                           Preparing Your Organization
                                                  for eDiscovery

This baseline can help both the legal and IT teams                     including collection, preservation, records management,
understand what areas can remain unchanged and                         processing, review and production.
where immediate and long-term improvements need to
be made.                                                               The first step to establishing a “readiness” baseline is to
                                                                       identify the organization’s:
The best starting point to creating a baseline is
to understand the current people, process and                                   •	Litigation	profile
technologies used for litigation and discovery response.                        •	Complexity	of	ediscovery	and	IT	infrastructure
For example, IT folks in a major chemical company felt                          •	Processes	already	in	place	for	responding	to	
they already had excellent control of their electronic                          electronic discovery requests
information, but when they completed an assessment of                           •	Documentation	of	these	process
their collection processes it was determined that their                         •	Anticipated	volume	of	litigation	or	investigation	
current processes were not documented.                                          that may involve discovery

In addition, there were three major problems identified                The best way to accurately gain this information is
in their current collection protocols that were not in                 through a formal assessment process. Having a baseline
compliance with legal standards that could cost them                   from which to measure and improve provides the starting
dearly if every questioned in court.                                   point and establishes the foundation for effectively
                                                                       lowering electronic discovery costs, risks and time.
All companies have an idea of where they want to be,
but how to get there can only be answered once a
baseline assessment as been conducted that covers
all of the major electronic discovery processes,

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                                             Preparing Your Organization
                                                    for eDiscovery

            Center of Gravity Shifts for Email Archiving
                                      By Dave Vellante and Michael McCreary

               or several years, the growth of                           represent a new source of revenue, leading to a large
               unstructured content has been                             number of lawsuits in which old emails become the key
               substantially more rapid than structured                  piece of evidence used to confirm charges of corporate
               information. Because they contain highly                  wrongdoing. What’s more, changes to the Federal Rules
structured data and metadata, applications such as ERP,                  of Civil Procedure (FRCP) adopted late in 2006 now
financials, CRM, supply chain, etc., can be credibly used                require civil litigants to consider electronic evidence as
to indisputably re-create a sequence of events such as                   part of the discovery process.
who placed the order, for what,
for how much, when and on what                                                                      Not only is email a prime
terms. In contrast, unstructured                                                                    candidate to look for a “smoking
information such as emails,                                                                         gun,” but the procedures by
documents, spreadsheets,                                                                            which email is managed are
voicemail and pictures are                                                                          also coming under attack and
masses of stored information                                                                        intensified scrutiny. Sometimes,
where it’s much more difficult                                                                      it is easier to attack a firm’s
to determine what’s relevant                                                                        business policies and procedures
and replicate a decision flow in                                                                    than it is to argue the pure merits
a manner that is provable with a                                                                    of a case. Email management has
reasonable degree of certainty.                                                                     become fertile ground for these
This represents a huge liability                                                                    types of attacks. Organizations
for organizations as information                                                                    that are unable to demonstrate
uncertainty grows daily and                                                                         clear, well-defined, and followed
exponentially (see figure).                                                                         policies, procedures and tools
                                                                                                    for email management are open
                                                                                                    to accusations of systematic
                                                                         destruction or spoliation of email-based evidence.
                                                                         Penalties for these types of violations can be severe,
                                                                         ranging from sanctions all the way to an adverse inference
                                                                         whereby the court essentially states that the evidence not
                                                                         produced by an organization should be assumed adverse
                                                                         to their case, effectively shifting the burden of proof.
                                                                         Policies and procedures for retention, backup, departing
                                                                         staff, disaster recovery, security and access control are all
                                                                         fair game and may come under scrutiny.

The legal community has discovered that unstructured                     As a result, email archiving capabilities should not only
information in general, and email archives in particular,                focus narrowly on IT interests (e.g., holding down the cost

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                                            Preparing Your Organization
                                                   for eDiscovery

of storing emails), but also begin to align with business                         •	Incremental	expenditures	on	core	email	archiving	
imperatives, especially from the legal function within                            activities will initially be seen as non-value producing
organizations. Legal departments view email archives                              (e.g., like buying insurance) and pressures to keep
as critical to their day-to-day operations, and email has                         storage costs down will escalate even further.
become a mission-critical application. As such, while                             •	As	business	lines	begin	to	demand	that	email	
storage cost containment remains important, and in                                archiving activities produce tangible value, this
some respects is under even greater pressure than ever,                           will force integration with other key information
successful email archive initiatives emphasize not just                           management systems of the organization, including
reducing the cost of writing email to an archive, but also                        document management and records retention.
querying email that is necessary to support an efficient
and effective discovery process. The business dynamics                   Over the next few years, we expect to see significant
and corollary IT/storage administration implications of                  new case law test the limits and requirements of email
this imperative are evolving.                                            archiving, which will continue to drive new investment in
                                                                         these technologies. We will also start seeing businesses
The two main drivers behind this trend are the need to                   further experiment with the capabilities created by email
better support the legal activities of the corporation                   archiving in other business domains in an attempt to
(i.e., reduce exposure to expensive lawsuits) and the                    affect document and information lifecycle management
necessity to maintain compliance with increasingly                       (ILM) strategies beyond email.
information-oriented regulations. It is important to note
that the shifting center of gravity for email archiving                  IT’s role should be to facilitate the transition to a legal
from the IT server room to the courtroom will evolve still               business-driven email archiving approach, recognizing
further. The technologies, functionality and business                    that approach will evolve with increased focus on access
capabilities associated with being able to query, extract                to unstructured data. However, IT organizations must also
and rapidly decipher large amounts of unstructured data                  help the business fully factor, in a more comprehensive
will eventually find themselves at the center of boardroom               way, how messaging technology affects business risk
discussions as organizations attempt to proactively                      and opportunity by addressing new email technologies
verify that business practices and employee behaviors                    (e.g., hosted email) as well as other messaging
are consistent with the cultural and policy edicts of the                technologies (e.g., instant messaging and voicemail) that
organization. Furthermore, over time, line-of-business                   employees use to perform both business and personal
executives will begin to demand a payback on email                       communications today.
archiving investments, beyond risk reduction, deriving
more value from information assets and directly improve                  IT organizations must also recognize that as the
the performance of their businesses.                                     economics and value proposition of email archiving
                                                                         and other messaging and content technologies shift,
These trends have three significant consequences for                     their centers of expertise will also shift to initially serve
storage administrators:                                                  corporate counsel in support of electronic discovery
                                                                         activities and over time to radically re-architect
     •	Storage	administrators	and	email	managers	                        the unstructured information infrastructure of the
     will be required to serve many masters, including                   organization.
     business lines, legal departments, compliance
     and an emerging records management function,                        IT Serves Many Masters
     once viewed as a backwater of corporations and
     more recently emerging as a fundamental driver of                   Email managers are under pressure to ensure that the
     business requirements.                                              cost, performance, responsiveness and validity of email

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                                             Preparing Your Organization
                                                    for eDiscovery

archives are maintained. Users and senior managers                       Impact on Users
notice when things go wrong or performance is not
adequate. At the same time, the legal and compliance                     Email is the lifeblood of most enterprises. Its value to the
functions are responsible for ensuring organizations                     business is speed, flexibility and lack of formal structure.
are adequately protected from outside (or internal)                      Any initiative that seeks to change this must include an
exposures. To IT, email archiving systems should be                      evaluation of the risk/reward equation.
implemented in ways that have minimum impact on
operations-but this is not always easy. For example, the                 As such, a primary requirement of email archiving
simplest way to populate an email archive system is to                   initiatives is to make activities as non-disruptive as
use the daily backup as a source of record. However,                     possible for users. Unfortunately, that’s not always
using the email backup copy will not ensure all the emails               feasible. While today’s best-of-breed email archiving
are captured. Emails immediately deleted by users, for                   systems preserve as much of the user footprint as
example, will not be accessible because they’ll never be                 possible (e.g., folder structures) user disruption is
backed up.                                                               inevitable.

The alternative method of using a journaling feed                        Newly introduced policies and consequent migration
ensures every email is captured. However, journaling                     activities will invariably introduce change. For example, in
introduces overhead and complexity that may impact the                   an effort to keep costs down and email manageable, an
production email system and may also increase storage                    organization might mandate that after 60 days, emails be
costs substantially. We have heard storage and/or email                  migrated to more cost-effective storage tiers. Users will
managers argue: “We don’t need to install journaling;                    at that time have access to a “stub” while the email itself
it’s an unnecessary expense because we already back up                   resides in the archive. Users will find the performance of
and archive the vast majority of emails that come in to the              accessing this migrated file to be much lower than what
organization.” This line of thinking misses the business                 they’ve been conditioned to expect.
requirement by a mile. The truth is that counsel must be
able to say they have included all emails in a discovery                 The key to managing this disruption is communicating
request. If users can “shred” emails by deleting them                    the benefits to users. The two main benefits are virtually
immediately, they will, and often do so routinely. If that               unlimited mailbox sizes, and simplification of email
email is discovered in, say, another organization, counsel               management (e.g., elimination of managing .pst files).
has lost all credibility, and the organization will lose the
trust of any court. This exposure can far outweigh the                   On balance, users will find they are much more
incremental costs and overhead of installing journaling.                 productive with the new system in place; however, it will
                                                                         take time for them to realize these benefits, and IT can
It is a cost of business to ensure all emails are captured,              expect some friction in the transition process.
and that the legal department has a comprehensive
understanding of the email content in question. It must                  Moreover, the availability of free, Web-based, consumer
be assumed that opposing legal counsel will mercilessly                  email services forces firms to complement efforts to
exploit any weakness in your email systems. IT must                      implement the right mix of email archiving technology
ensure the business clearly specifies the requirements                   with the right mix of end-user education. Use of internal
for email archiving, including the needs for provenance,                 email systems can be monitored to verify that guidelines
permanence, comprehensiveness and deletion policies;                     are being followed. But users can increasingly circumvent
otherwise, any supposed legal umbrella will be illusionary.              an organization’s email mandates by using third-party
                                                                         email services such as Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail to

      11     Back to Contents                     Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
                                              Preparing Your Organization
                                                     for eDiscovery

conduct company business. It’s clear that the courts                       SATA arrays should be aggressively investigated. Also,
expect firms to be able to access and provide copies                       N-tier storage strategies make sense with email archiving
of any digital communication conducted in support                          as newer emails will reside on near Tier-1 storage (let’s
of business. It’s not clear if the courts will relax this                  call it T1-B) and will be migrated to T2 and T3 tiers as
expectation simply because a business document was                         archived over time to save additional costs. This will
created and distributed over a third-party mail system.                    require clear policies, data- classification efforts, and
                                                                           technologies to automate the migration of files.
As a result, email governance policies must include users’
activities with third-party email systems, with special                    It is important to note that data classification must be
efforts made to determine the risk to the firm posed by                    automated at the point of creation or use; otherwise,
third-party email provider archiving practices. Bad user                   classification efforts will become impossible to maintain.
behavior will trump any technology implementation,                         This is challenging because tools and metadata are often
necessitating clear policies regarding third-party services.               lacking, especially for unstructured content, although
The bottom line is that email archiving will require                       emails contain plenty of metadata that serve as a good
introducing changes to the way users work. With older                      starting point for auto-classification efforts. Over time,
emails, response times will be slower and certain activities               more business-relevant metadata can be introduced,
more restrictive. But users will ultimately be freed from                  including user-driven classification schema.
the hassles of running out of mailbox space and dealing
with .pst files.                                                           Also noteworthy is that installing journaling requires
                                                                           additional overhead on the processor and the network
Technology Integration Actions                                             and often requires changes to the core email system
                                                                           to ensure application performance and behavior is
Case studies of large and mid-sized organizations show                     predictable. While journaling is necessary to ensure all
that as much as 50 percent of file-based storage (e.g.,                    emails are captured, it will require more storage, servers
NAS) is allocated to storing .pst files, often a huge                      and I/O performance. On the flip side, restoration of
amount of storage. This is not surprising, given the                       email backups is simplified because the first line of
overlap in email content (i.e., the same attachment can go                 restoration is the email archive (versus email backup
to 10 different users).                                                    media that must be accessed in snapshots of time).

The good news for storage administrators is that a                         Interestingly, we have begun to see some courts and
comprehensive email archive system can get rid of                          attorneys start to question the authenticity of electronic
.psts over time, freeing up storage space. Also, storage                   evidence. As any IT professional knows, electronic files
administrators receive this benefit on the coattails of                    are not the same as paper, and proving authenticity is
a wider corporate email archiving initiative. Storage                      difficult to impossible in many cases. As a consequence,
managers should move legacy .pst files to the slowest,                     several additional technology integration points are worth
least-expensive devices and eventually phase out .psts                     noting:
through attrition, depending on legal retention policies.
New .pst files should be aggressively deleted as the new                            •	In	the	near	term,	we	expect	to	see	more	hardware-	
archive will house the emails of record.                                            and software-based WORM technologies and some
                                                                                    newer PKI/time-based approaches
The challenge is that email archiving initiatives will create                       •	Security	in	many	ways	is	more	difficult	because	
truckloads of more storage that needs to be managed,                                more people have access to the repository. Audit
especially as journaling is introduced. Technologies such                           trails and other security practices are fundamental
as thin provisioning, data deduplication and low-cost                               •	Getting	rid	of	emails	is	a	key	challenge,	Shredding	

       12    Back to Contents                       Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
                                             Preparing Your Organization
                                                    for eDiscovery

     policies and technologies to ensure files are deleted                Much, if not most, of today’s activity around email
     and storage devices are scrubbed is critical to                      archiving is being driven by the need to reduce corporate
     keeping costs down and archives manageable.                          exposure. Organizations realize, however, that the
                                                                          broader use and integration of unstructured information
Email archiving shows up as the tip of the iceberg when                   systems brings potentially enormous value in terms of
it comes to managing, securing and exploiting the                         improved opportunity mining, cross-selling, and massive
unstructured data within an organization. While some                      productivity enhancements. These initiatives will require
vendors are trying to integrate the pieces into a single                  storage administrators to consider accommodating the
solution, no vendor has articulated a complete and                        policy edicts of many other parts of the organization
scalable technology road map to achieve this. Today’s                     within the process framework of the email archiving
email archiving products can largely be viewed as point                   infrastructure. This means balancing the needs of
solutions that either focus on infrastructure challenges,                 maturing email archiving processes with other document
or attempt to solve end-user problems for archiving                       and ILM activities, and integrating what may be “siloed”
or ediscovery. Many solutions fail to provide adequate                    security, compliance, retention and other practices.
functions for users, or provide user functions without                    Developing cross-organizational standards today will
adequate performance, scalability or integration with                     dramatically accelerate integration efforts down the road.
other unstructured data in the organization. The market
will likely bifurcate, and users should expect products that              We are just beginning to understand this vision in terms
concentrate either on data infrastructure or best-of-breed                of business requirements, key metrics, technologies and
functionality.                                                            challenges. Nonetheless, mid- and long-term plans must
                                                                          begin to incorporate the notion that information value
As such, in designing strategies for unstructured data in                 can be viewed and measured using a balance-sheet
general, and email archives in particular, IT organizations               metaphor, where information assets and liabilities, while
should avoid dependence on single- vendor products                        evolving, can be observed as snapshots in time. The
that try to integrate the infrastructure and end-user                     composition of that information balance sheet can be
functions within the same solution.                                       measured, albeit somewhat subjectively, and affected
                                                                          by specific strategies and actions that, like a balance
The likelihood of success in the long run is limited. Short-              sheet, can become an indicator of health, viability and
term tactical adoption of these products is necessary,                    opportunity.
but the business case should assume a cost of migration
to other products within five years as technology
advancements are rapid.

       13    Back to Contents                      Preparing Your Organization for eDiscovery an Storage eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.