Yesterday I conducted a webinar for the Association of Legal Administrators titled Tomorrow’s Information Governance. One of the questions I received was about determining what is actually grey data, what should be kept and what is truly valueless data that should be disposed of. I thought it was a great question so I will address it here.
In recent months I have been struck by the explosion of high performance storage solutions - Nutanix, Pure Storage, Nimble, Simplivity, and Datrium just to name a few. These new storage solutions are pushing the performance envelope for the modern data center and virtual server hosts. What I find very interesting is the corresponding impact on actual storage expectations.
For anyone responsible for legal discovery – this upcoming webinar is not to be missed! Two experts in the field of eDiscovery will be presenting important new information for modern legal discovery.
Last week I was on the phone with a partner discussing ‘cold’ cloud storage and what is best for the customer. In the middle of the discussion I declared, “we are the Switzerland of cloud storage”, meaning ultimately, it is always up to the customer to decide whether or not they wish to move their data into cloud storage.
As corporate data continues to pile up within the enterprise, a much asked question, at least around the IT water cooler, is why is all of this data accumulating instead of being deleted. Employees create, send, and receive approximately 20 MB of data per day. The vast majority of this data is retained because employees feel that they will need to reuse/reference it at a later date so it accumulates on local storage, on file shares, in the email system and archive, and lately, into employee corporate and private clouds (figure1). In fact, 70 to 80% of corporate unstructured data is unindexed, unmanaged, and invisible to IT.
ATLANTA – September 20, 2016 Archive360™, the leading provider of email archive migration software, today announced that it will be showcasing its Archive2Anywhere™ compliant email archive migration solutions and Archive2Azure™, the industry’s first Microsoft Azure –based long term compliance storage solution for low-touch, inactive, and grey data during next week’s sold-out Microsoft Ignite Conference, in Booth 2144. The solutions, which quickly transform legacy email archives and other unstructured grey data into compliant, cloud-based archive environments, provide collection, migration and long term retention for archived and unstructured data for compliance, legal and business requirements.
The consolidation in the Information Governance industry continues. Recently HP announced its decision to sell its software business to Micro Focus for $8.8 billion which includes its Information Management and Governance business. These software assets include HP RISS, Mimosa NearPoint, CA Messenger, Zantaz EAS, Zantaz Digital Safe, and the Iron Mountain Digital Hosted Archive.
Corporate records are usually retained and managed due to government and professional regulations. The vast majority of those corporate records are never searched, reviewed, or ever really looked at once they're filed away. These days, electronic records are a "store and forget it" process. So why do companies keep their records on expensive enterprise-class disk, or more recently, move them to expensive high performance cloud storage? It seems to me the real reason is the popular record management systems have always targeted existing high performance storage systems simply because that’s what organizations were buying and low cost cloud storage was not designed for records management functionality.
Before you migrate your legacy email archive data to Office 365, you need to read the fine print. Buried in the Product Terms is the License Assignment and Reassignment terms. Here is what it says:
On September 2, 2016, Archive360 and other industry leaders filed a motion to join Microsoft’s lawsuit against the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”),  challenging the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”). Aside from the business benefits of cloud computing, cost savings, efficiency, and protection against hackers, cloud computing has now provided law enforcement a new tool to conduct extensive and unannounced searches. The DOJ may obtain customer’s data, including e-mails, photos, and business documents, from third-party service providers such as Microsoft, Google, or Apple. Under the “gag order” portion of the law, the government can bar those providers from notifying their customers that the government has sought access to the customer’s electronic stored information.  Prior to the advent of cloud based computing, if the government wanted to search such records it had to serve a warrant on the business thereby notifying them that their data was the subject of a search. Businesses could then challenge the subpoena or limit the extent of the documents sought; these procedural safeguards are lost if a business does not know its data is being delivered and reviewed.
A long running issue with Exchange systems is managing inactive mailboxes. An inactive mailbox is simply a mailbox that is associated with a departed employee. With on premise Exchange systems it was relatively straight forward – let them sit indefinitely, or for a specified time period (e.g. 3 years), for legal, regulatory, or business reasons.
Everyone leaves the company eventually. Better opportunities, reduction in workforce actions, termination, or your manager has the IQ of un-popped popcorn…, no matter the reason, everyone eventually leaves. In the UK, these people are referred to as “leavers.” In the U.S. they’re called departing employees or ex-employees, and depending on the circumstances, more colorful names. However, the way company handles these departing employees can mean the difference between business as usual or major customer satisfaction issues, project delays, higher eDiscovery costs, and higher costs.
If you’re moving a legacy email archive to Office 365, chances are good that you also have Exchange journal data to move as well. If you do, it’s likely that the total amount of journal data is equal to or greater than the total size of your email archive.
With regards to Office 365, you might be wondering where the journal data is stored. It comes down to two possibilities; move the journal into the Personal Archive of an Office 365 active mailbox, or create separate Office 365 mailboxes (e.g. Journal Mail 001, Journal Mail 002, Journal Mail 003) and move the journal data for groups of custodians into those. This practice is called "journal splitting”. To many, an unknown concept that raises many questions, the most important being; is journal splitting the best practice for your organization’s regulatory or legal needs? The answer is it depends… Let’s break it down so you have all the facts before you make a migration decision on your journal.
Organizations habitually over-retain information, especially unstructured electronic information, for many reasons. However, many organizations simply have not addressed what to do with this data so fall back on relying on individual employees to decide what should be kept and for how long and what should be disposed of. On the opposite end of the grey data management spectrum, a minority of organizations have tried centralized enterprise content management systems and have found them to be difficult to use. In these cases, employees find ways around these complex systems by keeping huge amounts of data locally on their workstations, on enterprise file shares, on removable media, in cloud accounts, or on rogue SharePoint sites that are used as “data dumps” with little or no records management or IT supervision. Much of this information is transitory, expired, or of questionable business value. Because of this lack of active management, information continues to accumulate. This information build-up raises the cost of storage as well as the risk associated with eDiscovery. In some cases the company’s General Counsel actively stops grey data “clean up” processes because they are afraid of being accused of destruction of evidence in a future case.
You've decided to migrate the on premise Exchange email system to Office 365 but your email migration service provider has rightfully asked if your company also employs a separate email archiving solution. For most companies, the answer is yes and in most cases that email archive is 10x to 20x larger in size than your live email system. The great thing is Office 365 includes the personal archive so you will be able to migrate the entirety of your aging and costly email archive up to Office 365 and jettison the high annual cost of maintaining the on premise email archive. The only cost involved is the actual migration of the archive data and in most cases that cost will be a small percentage of the annual archive support cost.
Managing the huge amounts of data submitted by clients for eDiscovery response is a time-consuming and complex task. Many law firms are struggling to keep up with the data storage, professional, and client demands, and many don’t have (or enforce) law firm data ingestion processes nor economical long-term electronic data storage. One continuing issue for many law firms is the data ingestion process (or lack of a process) to ensure client data sets are logged, indexed, secured and managed appropriately. On too many occasions, large client data sets are handed over to the managing attorney directly, bypassing firm data ingestion processes, making it harder to find and manage. So the first key to handling and organizing client data costs effectively is to create and enforce a client data ingestion process that includes participation of the firm’s information governance (IG) team.
Upcoming webinar on Aug 24, 2016 11:00 AM PDT
Is your law firm swamped with data? After years of collecting data from clients undoubtedly you have TB's of data under management. Your challenge is how to reduce total cost while keeping the data secure and accessible.
A couple of years ago the Akron Legal News published an editorial on information governance in law firms. The article by Richard Weiner, explored how law firms are dealing with the transition from rooms filled with hard copy records to terabytes of electronically stored information (ESI) - which includes both firm business records as well as the huge amounts of client eDiscovery content. The article pointed out that these days, ESI flows into law firms so quickly and in such large quantities, no one can actually track the volume much less know what it contains. Law firms have reached an inflection point; change the way information is managed or suffer client dissatisfaction and client loss.
Due to the recent acquisition of Daegis/AXS-One by OpenText and the subsequent drastic reduction in R&D and support staff, it is apparent to the AXS-One customer base that the product has reached a de facto end-of-life.
Question; how many attorneys know what an email message “stub” is or that they can be a major risk when responding to an eDiscovery request? Even many IT professionals aren’t aware of the legal implications of mailbox message stubs. With that in mind, let’s look at a scenario where mailbox message stubs can become an issue in discovery.