ALSP Reviews Index Engines

At the ABA Tech Show in Chicago earlier this month, Index Engines caught the attention of Joe Howie, who writes for the Association of Litigation Support Professionals monthly newsletter. Joe spoke with Jim McGann, VP of Marketing for Index Engines and Jeff Fehrman, President of Electronic Evidence Labs, a division of Onsite3. In his ALSP article, Joe summarizes how FRCP has changed the requirements for producing hard to access electronic evidence found on backup tape. He chose to review the Index Engines technology as a solution for ALSP readers. The Index Engines product offers an alternative way to access data on backup tape that is significantly faster, easier and more cost-effective than traditional, burdensome, restore methods. The resulting article can be found here.

Retroactive Data Discovery

Think about three states of being; 1. Reactive, 2. Retroactive, 3. Proactive.

Reactive might be buying new pants when your waistband gets tight. Retroactive is reducing your pizza and beer to a lite lager and one slice when the button starts to strain. Proactive is running 5 miles every morning so you stay in shape.

An enterprise’s approach to data management can also be categorized into these three states.

Reactive eDiscovery occurs when a lawsuit is engaged and relevant digital evidence must be uncovered in a hurry. Proactive data management takes the form of smart information management procedures that include indexing data as archives are created for quick and easy future access.

The process of retroactive data discovery is a relatively new concept. Before Index Engines technology became available, electing to catalog and index information stored on backup tapes, without the threat of legal action, was just not done – it was far too time consuming and expensive. Index Engines allows companies to search and access data stored on tape without restoring the full content and without the need for any additional software such as the backup software or the version of the email that was originally used.

More and more often enterprise customers are using Index Engines technology to do retroactive data discovery. They are cataloging, indexing and searching their legacy information stored on tape, to better understand and manage their data. With this knowledge, enterprises are better able to mitigate risk, control data storage costs, and control ever-growing IT infrastructure costs. This movement toward controlling past tape data archives is not possible without Index Engines.

What type of data manager are you? Or maybe the better question is; How tight is your waistband?

Efficiency Pays Off

How much data is processed in a typical eDiscovery event? Hundreds of thousands of files? Millions? Billions? Many of the cases our clients are dealing with creep up into the millions very quickly. In fact one government agency is processing over one billion emails to support a specific case.

When we architected the Index Engines discovery platform we knew it had to scale to support large volumes of data. Therefore we made sure the index footprint was as small as possible, about 5 to 8% of the original data size. Others were not as cautious. Their index may require a cache copy of the file and as a result is bloated – resulting in an index size of 60 to 120% of the original data.

It became very clear at a recent trade show just how much a bloated index adds to the overall cost. At this event, Index Engines was located next to Google. Google has an indexing appliance, as do we. They make a cache copy of each file for indexing, so their index is at least 100% of the original data size. As a result, for a project that includes 30 million files they need 6 to 8 servers to process the job. Our technology, with a 5 to 8% index footprint, only requires one server (actually half a server) and 1/10th the cost.

It pays to be efficient!

Removing the Burden

Larry Wescott summarizes the burden ruling in Thomas v. IEM, decided on March 12, 2008 as follows:

In total, to avoid disclosure of confidential and sensitive information, IEM estimates that it would be forced to review more than 67,000 emails, requiring approximately 700 hours of staff time at a cost exceeding $ 120,000.00.

Nine business days was clearly an insufficient amount of time to review the overbroad request, which would have required over four (4) weeks of staff time, working twenty-four hours a day for seven days a week in order to respond to the request.

If only Thomas’ counsel had know to present Index Engines Technology as a counter argument to this burden!

Reviewing this volume of email using the Index Engines solution would take about 25 minutes. Yes – less than ½ an hour. Here’s how:

Volume of Data:

Average size of an email = 120K (.11MB)

.11 x 67000 = 7,370MB or 7.2GB (1024MB = 1GB)

Index Engines Ingestion Speed:

Dependent on Tape Format – Let’s assume DLT

DLT (5MB/s) or 17.6GB hour / 7.2GB = 25 minutes


Ingest data = 25 minutes

Search = 10,000 x 0.001 sec – 67,000 emails = 0.007 sec.

Cost = Less than half!

Granted there are some unknown variables such as; tape format, time frame i.e. number of tapes and retention period, number of custodians for search etc. But you get the picture.

A base-priced Index Engines platform can handle up to 100,000 objects. We would have made short work of discovering these 67,000 emails. This burden could have been easily lifted.

Related Links:

Automated Extraction Makes Debut at LegalTech

Extracting responsive files and email from offline tape represents the most time consuming and costly aspect to typical legal discovery efforts. Index Engines has launched an automated extraction capability for responsive data residing on tape. Legal firms and corporations requiring access to email and data on tape can not instantly extract data without the need to restore the entire tape contents. Index Engines will be demonstrating this capability at LegalTech in NY from Feb 5 – 7. The announcement of this new product can be seen here.

Introducing Advanced Tape Discovery Service

Today at LegalTech ONSITE3 launched a new service for law firms and corporations leveraging Index Engines automated eDiscovery technology. This new service enables clients to locate and surgically extract relevant data stored on offline tapes without having to first utilize a full tape restoration process. “Offline tapes can present clients with one of the most difficult obstacles during the discovery process,” said Jeffery Fehrman, president of EELabs, a division of ONSITE3. “Our Advanced Tape Discovery is designed to expedite the early assessment process for offline tapes, as well as to facilitate a full eDiscovery process while still maintaining the same high standards for forensically sound methodologies and chain of custody documentation. ONSITE3’s adherence with these high standards ensures that produced evidence is both admissible and defensible in court.” Read more on the Onsite3 website here.

New Partners Joining Litigation Ready Partner Program

Two new eDiscovery litigation ready partners were announced by Index Engines at LegalTech today. Reliable and doeLegal join over a dozen other litigation support experts who have implemented Index Engines technology to streamline tape processing.

Both Reliable and doeLegal will automate their offline tape discovery process and better address their clients’ offline document discovery needs in the search for actionable information. The Index Engine platform will reduce Reliable’s and doeLegal’s offline document processing time approximately 50 to 70% when compared to traditional methods.

Link to Reliable and doeLegal press releases here.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Addresses Offline Tape Liability with Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Addresses Offline Tape Liability with Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform

Leading Pension Benefits Company Selects Index Engines to Deliver Rapid Access to Content on 45,000 Offline Tapes to Support Discovery Search Requests

Holmdel, NJ—— December 4, 2007 —- Index Engines, the leader in enterprise discovery solutions, today announced that Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has selected the Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform to perform comprehensive data indexing for 45,000 tapes of offline data retained on up to 10 years of backup media. Index Engines, with electronic discovery services provided by ONSITE3, will enable PBGC to speed the electronic discovery process by rapidly indexing archived data without requiring the time consuming process of tape restoration. As a result, PBGC will only need to restore what they need, rather than the entire tape contents, significantly saving both time and money.

PBGC is a federal corporation created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently protects the pensions of nearly 44 million American workers and retirees in 30,330 private single-employer and multi-employer defined benefit pension plans. PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid by sponsors of defined benefit plans, investment income, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the plans.

PBGC has more than 45,000 offline backup tapes in its data archive which, over the past 10 years, have been backed up using both CA ARCserve and Symantec Backup Exec backup software formats. ONSITE3 will use the Index Engines solution to provide next-generation enterprise search technology that will reduce PBGC’s data discovery process from months to days. The Index Engines solution will index the full content contained in PBGC’s document files and emails, including nested files, as well as metadata information. The resulting indexes can be easily searched by PBGC paralegals, researchers or corporate counsel representatives and data retrieved as needed for ad hoc discovery requests. Ultimately, with the Index Engines solution, PBGC can search their tape archives, regardless of their format, without first restoring the data to find relevant files and emails.

PBGC will begin its discovery-readiness project this quarter by indexing 20 percent of its offline tapes, using representative samples from each historic quarter over the past 10 years. PBGC will subsequently begin to index remaining offline tapes in similar increments until its data is completely indexed.

PBGC selected the Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform because it offers the following benefits:

* The only solution to perform direct indexing of offline tapes without having to restore the contents.

* Enables rapid risk assessment prior to legal proceedings with an enterprise-wide index that can be used to determine exposure based on content of files and emails.

* Ensures accuracy of discovery results by searching against an electronic repository using full text and metadata.

* Delivers fast response to legal requests by automatically and continually indexing data to ensure comprehensive search results.

* Provides a long-term eDiscovery platform that can be used over and over again with a reusable searchable repository of files and emails that can save time and money versus collecting and reviewing data for each unique project.

The Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform

Index Engines’ Enterprise Discovery Edition is an appliance-based offering that collects and prepares data in support of electronic discovery faster and more accurately than any existing solution on the market. Index Engines’ patented technologies automate information access and retrieval by streamlining online discovery and eliminating the need to restore offline tape content in order to retrieve actionable data. This approach dramatically compresses the electronic discovery process. The industry’s most extensive and powerful indexing platform, the Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Edition is the only solution capable of indexing all online and offline content efficiently, allowing instant access and retrieval of all corporate data.

Index Engines Announces Affordable End-to-End Automation of the EDiscovery Process

New Index Engines eDiscovery Edition Adds Tape Sorting and Object Extraction Capabilities Which Eliminates Time Consuming and Expensive Discovery Processes

Holmdel, NJ—— November 20, 2007 —- Index Engines, the leader in enterprise discovery solutions, today announced the eDiscovery Edition of its Tape Engine which includes new features to automate the eDiscovery process for offline tape content. The eDiscovery Edition makes enterprise litigation readiness a reality by automating tape data sorting and object extraction – eliminating the time consuming and expensive process of restoring tapes in order to begin discovery. Using patent-pending technology, the Index Engines Edition directly indexes data on offline tapes without ever restoring it. As a result, corporate legal teams can now instantly search the metadata as well as full text content of difficult-to-access data archives and extract the relevant files and email in order to respond quickly to litigation requests and to mitigate risk.

“Many companies have volumes and volumes of unsearchable data locked in proprietary tape backup formats that they have accumulated over time or through mergers and acquisitions,” said Jeffrey Fehrman, president, Electronic Evidence Labs, a division of ONSITE3. “The tremendous risk of the unknown contents of this data has prompted many organizations to wisely implement proactive litigation readiness processes. However, the discovery of this archived data on offline tapes is extremely costly and time consuming. The Index Engines eDiscovery solution unlocks this data without the time and expense of restoring each backup tape to search it. As a result, companies can now ensure litigation readiness through an automated approach that is both cost effective and fast.”

Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Edition is the only solution on the market that can directly index offline tape content and make it fully searchable without having to restore the tapes. This platform understands common tape backup formats (ArcServe, TSM, NetBackup, Backup Exec, and NetWorker) and directly indexes unstructured files and email, even back five to 10 years. Once this data is indexed, it is immediately searchable in order to find relevant content enabling companies to quickly find “smoking guns” in minutes or hours rather than days, weeks or even months.

The Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Edition includes the following new features to automate the offline tape discovery process:

* Tape Library Support: The use of libraries in litigation support is critical due to the large volumes of tapes that have been generated over time, or inherited through mergers and acquisitions. The use of individual tape drives to support discovery projects is not practical. Index Engines solution supports all common tape libraries for the ingestion of the large volumes of offline tape data. Tape libraries are connected to the Index Engines appliance via a SCSI or fibre channel connection and an auto-configure utility recognizes the specifications of the library and its internal tape management software in order to automate the cataloging and indexing of tape cartridges.

* Tape Management Utility: Offline tapes are typically not well organized or even labeled, so it is difficult to know the proper order of tapes when inserting them into a tape library. The Index Engines platform contains a new tape management module that automatically generates a catalog of the tapes loaded in a library. Once a catalog is generated indexing will occur across all tapes in the library in a logical fashion, or on backup sets selected from the catalog.

* Automated Extraction Module: Retrieving relevant content from tape requires that the contents first be restored using the original backup software used to generate the tape. In many cases, the backup software may no longer be available, making this a complicated process. Email adds another layer of complexity because full mailboxes or databases must be extracted before having access to relevant emails. The Index Engines platform automates the process of restoring relevant tape data. Following a simple metadata and/or content search to determine the relevant content, files and/or email can be selected and extracted from tape without using the original backup software. The Index Engines solution eliminates the need for the original backup software application and enables companies to only restore relevant content versus significant volumes of useless data.

“With this new version our enterprise clients can now proactively address the liability contained in their offline tapes without having to spend $1,800 per gigabyte to process tapes,” said Jim McGann, vice president of marketing, Index Engines. “Automation of the complete process, from managing tapes to ripping the relevant data off these tapes, is now practical.”

Reducing Costly and Time Consuming Discovery Steps

Collecting evidence from offline tape is normally a very lengthy and expensive multi-step process. Using traditional methods, eDiscovery includes seven key phases: 1) organize tapes; 2) prepare the software and hardware environment for tape restores; 3) restore the tape data; 4) index the data contents; 5) clean the contents by eliminating duplicate information; 6) search the contents to find relevant data; and 7) extract the relevant content to deliver to legal counsel.

With the Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Edition three of the most costly and time consuming steps have been eliminated. This increases discovery time predictability and ensures rapid litigation readiness. Using the Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform, collecting evidence only requires the following steps: 1) automate tape organization; 2) directly index the data on tape without restoring it; 3) search the content to find relevant data; 4) extract the relevant content to deliver to legal counsel.

Pricing and Availability

The Index Engines Enterprise eDiscovery Platform available now with pricing starting at $50,000. The new Extraction Module is available as an add-on to the core product at a price of $25,000.

Index Engines Welcomes the LDM Group as Authorized Litigation Ready Partner for Enterprise Discovery Solution

Index Engines’ Information Discovery Capacity Jumps to 14,000 Backup Tapes a Month

Dallas TX and Holmdel, NJ—— October 9, 2007 —- The LDM Group, a leading electronic discovery and litigation support company serving major corporations and their outside counsel during litigation discovery, and Index Engines, the leader in enterprise discovery solutions, today announced that The LDM Group has become an authorized partner in the Index Engines Litigation Ready™ Partner Program.

As an authorized reseller of the Index Engines Enterprise Discovery Platform, The LDM Group will allow customers to eliminate the need to restore data from offline tapes in the search for actionable information by improving efficiencies in the online eDiscovery process and automating access and retrieval of data. With the addition of the LDM Group to the Index Engines network of Litigation Ready Partners, Index Engines now has the capacity to help customers perform information discovery on up to 14,000 backup tapes a month.

“The Index Engines Enterprise Discovery Platform demonstrates true technological innovation,” said Anil Keswani, CTO of The LDM Group, LLC. “This solution gives us the ability to provide our clients with a high level of Electronic Discovery capability, allowing us to stay ahead of the curve in the legal arena when it comes to leveraging technology to solve the many challenges presented by electronic discovery.”

“The LDM Group offers its clients top-notch litigation support services, and this partner program will give them the technological edge to surpass their clients’ expectations,” said Jim McGann, vice president of marketing, Index Engines. “Index Engines’ Enterprise Discovery Platform and The LDM Group’s litigation support services together make a powerful combination.”

The Index Engines Litigation Readyâ„¢ Partner Program provides superior technology and resources for partners such The LDM Group, giving them the ability to take advantage of continually growing opportunities in the high-demand market for eDiscovery. The program delivers compelling sales and marketing initiatives for lead generation, technology training, sales education and tools to assist during customer engagements. For more information please visit

About The LDM Group

The LDM Group is comprised of industry veterans whose knowledge of discovery and vast project experience coupled with their technology expertise provide corporations, law firms and governmental agencies with a powerful advantage during matters involving electronically stored information (ESI). The LDM Group is committed to creating an alliance with each client, fostering a collaborative partnership for efficient and effective litigation support. The LDM Group’s mission is to be the best resource for information and support services during litigation discovery and governmental investigations. The LDM Group provides advisory and support in the areas of: eDiscovery, Native File Review, Web-Hosted Review, Computer Forensics & Collection, and Database Design and Repair. For more information on The LDM Group, please visit the company’s website at