By Kevin Komiega
—Searching thousands of backup tapes for individual files or e-mails is often time-intensive and costly. That is why RenewData is applying a new technology in its tape processing services that can quickly comb large volumes of tapes for discovery and risk management of stored information.
RenewData has developed a "single-pass" technology for processing backup tapes that allows files that have been segmented across more than one backup tape to be read as a whole without having to process each tape in the original sequence or read tapes more than once. It also allows processing of orphan tapes that may have originally been part of a sequence of tapes that no longer exist.
While backup tapes were originally intended for near-term recovery from full-system failures, today they are often retained for long periods of time and have become de facto archives. The problem is that there is little information beyond a date and server name to identify the content.
With the new single-pass technology, RenewData no longer needs to catalog all tapes in a given set before they can be processed. This means the company can process partial data from incomplete tape sets, thereby eliminating the need to locate all backup tapes in a set before starting the e-discovery process.
Now that RenewData can process more tapes faster, Bob Little, RenewData's vice president of marketing, says the company can help customers get out in front of e-discovery.
"Traditionally, companies wait until lawsuits happen to think about what they want to do from a discovery perspective," says Little. "But now we're seeing more and more companies that want to be proactive rather than reactive."
Little says RenewData's single-pass technology will reduce the cost of digging through data. "We realized the process of sorting through millions of tapes was inefficient so we developed single-pass technology so we can look across sets of tapes. It reduces the time it takes for us to get information back to customers and allows us to control costs and efficiencies. We pass those savings along to customers," he says.
Pricing for RenewData's new services with single-pass technology varies. Little says the cost is typically determined by the volume and complexity of the data being processed. However, he says taking the proactive approach to e-discovery can cost as little as one-quarter of the price for the same services in a reactive scenario.