Autonomy adds virtualization to e-discovery

Autonomy ZANTAZ's e-discovery product can now work with virtualized environments.

Autonomy's ZANTAZ division said Wednesday its e-discovery software can now find information stored in virtual environments.

The functionality comes in the form of a new module for the company's Introspect product, according to Nicole Eagan, Autonomy's chief marketing officer. The module can search multiple virtual file servers running a number of operating systems, freeing up IT shops from doing the work manually, according to the company.

Given the "extreme" type of rulings that have occurred in the e-discovery realm, such as one court's order that a company preserve its RAM data, virtualized information should undoubtedly factor into companies' efforts to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure concerning electronically stored information, Eagan said.

The company said it supports the product's use in a range of virtual environments, including VMware, Microsoft, Parallels, VirtualBox, Virtual Iron, Kernel-based Virtual Machine and VirtualLogix VLX.

Guy Creese, an analyst with Burton Group, said the new capability holds value, but perhaps only for customers with more drastic needs.

"Basically, if you're going through e-discovery, you want to "wall off" the relevant data (put it 'on hold')," he said via e-mail Wednesday. "Virtualization is a good way to do this, as you can put a virtual machine on a server and prevent others from getting to it."

An IT shop could also put data in a secured repository, and add yet another layer of security by putting the repository in a virtual setting, he added.

"Autonomy says they can make these different virtual machines look like one environment," he added. "This is a valuable feature, but this is a niche capability, as few companies would have this complex an e-discovery infrastructure."

Eagan acknowledged that the new capability might find its first adopters among larger enterprises. "That's where it will start, that's where litigation is most prominent," she said.

She declined to provide specific pricing information.

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