Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2012-04-18 08:34:43Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. While companies embrace The Cloud for various business purposes, the ability to conduct eDiscovery on information stored in The Cloud tends to be an afterthought – less than 16% of respondents in eDJ’s survey last year reported creating an eDiscovery plan before moving data to The Cloud.  This number is not surprising.  eDiscovery is not exactly the sexiest topic in the world and, unless a company has been burned before, there is less urgency to prepare for it.  In addition, many just assume that, as long as data is searchable, eDiscovery requirements are met.  It is not as simple as that, unfortunately.  Recently, though, eDJ was briefed on product aimed at making eDiscovery of data stored in The Cloud possible in an efficient manner.

X1 is a familiar name for anyone involved in the search market.  The company has offered a desktop search product for many years, but had largely stayed away from the eDiscovery market.  In the last year, however, IdeaLab – the parent company of X1 – launched another child company to compete directly in the eDiscovery market.  X1 Discovery leverages the X1 technology, but operates as its own independent company.  That approach is interesting given the focus it takes to compete in the eDiscovery market.  X1 Discovery launched into the market first focused on social media eDiscovery, and now has upgraded its X1 Rapid Discovery product for discovery of data stored in Cloud sources, whether their own private Clouds or public Clouds like Amazon or Rackspace.

Many of the eDiscovery collection solutions are delivered as appliances in order to allow for quick deployments, ideal for companies in reactive fire fights (and typically more consumable due to lower prices).  With X1 Rapid Discovery, the approach is different.  The product is built to be deployed in Cloud environments where there tend to be heterogeneous infrastructure elements.  The system is not tightly wound to third party hardware so it can be decoupled so as to scale out and be virtualized more easily.  X1 Discovery points to three elements that make Rapid Discovery well-suited to The Cloud:

  • Automated configuration and remote installation and operation.
  • The product is designed to be virtualized – it is not a mash-up of third-party technologies that can make virtualization more complex.
  • The product is built for scale out rather than scale up, meaning it can thrive in Cloud environments.

With X1 Rapid Discovery, there are none of the much-maligned per GB processing fees; rather, the company charges a perpetual license fee based on the number of documents active in the system.   I think that the pricing strategy could evolve a bit further, but the product is new and early customers will be able to provide feedback on issues like cost certainty and satisfaction with the current pricing model.

Perhaps most interesting to me is the work X1 Discovery has done to get into the Amazon AWS ISV program.  I have spoken with Amazon AWS folks and they are beginning to see the potential for eDiscovery solutions to thrive within that ecosystem.  But, to date, no other eDiscovery vendor has been listed in the ISV program (Sonian is part of the network for archiving).  X1 Discovery is really striking first, though I anticipate many others will follow on quickly.  The reason getting this eDiscovery ISV ecosystem rolling is important is that it opens up eDiscovery solutions to the SMB world.  Smaller businesses are more likely to leverage Cloud-based storage, especially the public Clouds.  Having a cost-effective solution available that does not require huge internal IT expertise to deploy and manage will make eDiscovery that much easier for SMBs.  Meanwhile, Rapid Discovery will still have appeal to large enterprises that have built private Clouds or that rely heavily on virtualization.

Will X1 Discovery win the day?  Certainly, the company is first to get recognition with a public Cloud provider like Amazon.  I do expect, however, that other solutions will do the same and that competition will intensify.  Keep in mind, though, that it will not be a simple switch for products that are optimized for appliance deployments.  Overall, this is good news for the market because the public Cloud providers now recognize the need for eDiscovery solutions to be part of their ecosystems and that will only serve to make eDiscovery possible for more and more companies.

0 0 votes
Article Rating