HP Aims to Make E-Discovery Easier

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In this compliance-crazed, litigation-laden world we live in, business and IT executives better be prepared to deliver the digital data when demanded.

Easier said than done, though, as the volume of information your enterprise produces grows unabated.

Looking to help you get a handle on things and be prepared for the day when the subpoena comes, HP today announced new products and services that help customers better manage and optimize business information as well as their technology infrastructure.

The HP Integrated Archival Platform is a part of the company’s Business Technology portfolio and is designed to help mitigate risk in electronic data discovery and compliance. It’s also designed to lower costs through better use of data center assets. The new platform is designed to make a single point to manage e-discovery by providing the infrastructure and tools to store, search and retrieve e-mails, documents and images.

Today’s news follows HP’s April announcement of its business intelligence server. “The focus was on helping customers shift through data,” said Tom Rose, worldwide product marketing director, HP Information Management, HP Software. “The focus has been on business intelligence. This time it’s on e-discovery to help you prepare for the inevitable.”

When it comes to data that might contain either incriminating or vindicating information, “e-mail is usually the smoking gun,” Rose said. HP points to IDC research that shows that 87 billion e-mail messages were exchanged worldwide on a typical day in 2006. When it comes to e-discovery businesses face many challenges, but “e-mail is the biggest culprit,” Rose said.

Enterprises have typically addressed e-discovery in one of two ways, Rose said. “They pray litigation doesn’t happen,” he said, or they cobble together a system that includes CAS and search and then buy integration services.

The HP Integrated Archive Platform is a factory-integrated product that includes HP Storageworks grid storage system, an HP Proliant server, HP’s search and indexing technology and policy management software. The starting price is $71,000, Rose said.

At that price point, the platform is also designed to put the e-discovery within the grasp of small and mid-sized businesses.

The new platform is designed to work out of the box with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino e-mail servers, Rose said. HP also introduced new HP Data Protector enhancements for Microsoft Exchange, which are designed to offer options to meet recovery point and time objectives.

In addition to supporting Exchange and Domino on the e-mail front, HP Integrated Archive Platform is also designed store, find and retrieve unstructured data and offers XAM (Extensible Access Method) support for third-party developers. (XAM is a joint storage industry standard designed to establish interfaces to coordinate metadata between applications and storage systems. The XAM project began in 2004 as a collaborative venture of IBM, EMC, HP, Hitachi, and Sun Microsystems.)

In addition to the Integrated Archival Platform itself, Valerie Logan, worldwide leader for Consulting & Integration Information Management Group at HP, said the company will provide consulting services for enterprises looking for help with product implementation, policy management or systems integration.

The Demand and Portfolio Management Solution, also announced today, will combine automated project and portfolio management software with HP’s consulting, integration and education services.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com’s Small Business Channel, EarthWeb’s Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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