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.

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