Virtual Machines Pose E-Discovery Risk, Vendor Says


As if enterprises didn't have enough worries already about e-discovery, Kazeon Systems has found a new one: virtual machine (virtual machine) instances that may have been forgotten or abandoned.

Not surprisingly, Kazeon is offering a solution for the problem: support for VMware (NYSE: VMW) in its Information Server product line. Version 3.1 of the software supports VMware instances and VMware images so users can discover unknown or hidden virtual instances on servers, laptops and desktops.

Taneja Group founder and consulting analyst Arun Taneja noted that the rise of server virtualization has led to more and more information being stored in virtual machines.

"Traditional e-discovery products and methods have not evolved sufficiently and can potentially miss out on important, relevant and incomplete information associated with a legal matter that is contained in unknown or deliberately hidden virtual environments," Taneja said.

With the possibility of stiff fines for failing to produce information in legal cases, thanks to changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), Kazeon vice president of marketing and business development Karthik Kannan said "It is no longer acceptable to say that you did not know of information that existed in your environment, nor is it acceptable to only produce part of the requested data.

"It is also important to prove that you took every possible measure to surface all material information," he added. "If there is technology such as Kazeon's in the marketplace and one party uses it and finds all information during the meet and confer stage, the other party will be at a considerable disadvantage and will risk losing the case."

Dell, Hyper-V Also Make Storage News

Kazeon's announcement is just one of many on storage and server virtualization coming this week and next, as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and VMware both hold virtualization user conferences, Microsoft this week and VMworld next.

At least 10 storage vendors announced support for Microsoft Hyper-V this week — include VMware parent EMC (NYSE: EMC) (see Hyper-V Not Yet Ready for Storage Prime Time).

And Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) joined Kazeon in getting a jump on VMworld by adding new support for VMware to its EqualLogic product line.

Dell unveiled a new array today — the EqualLogic PS5500E — and also announced new software features such as the EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware edition to protect virtual server environments. EMC plans similar VMware data protection functionality for its Replication Manager software.

Pricing for the PS5500E, which starts at 24-48 terabytes (TB) and can scale up to 576 TB under a single management interface, starts at $78,000.

The free ASM/VE software integrates EqualLogic snapshots with VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) environments to provide online backup and restores of VMware virtual machines and VMFS file systems.

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