Me Tarzan, you Jane

By | 22nd February 2011

It’s a jungle out there.

Where does most of a company’s electronically stored information (ESI) reside? If you need to retrieve ESI for the purposes of litigation where do you turn?

In the days before electronic documents, lawyers and their clients would ferret about in old files, even older filing cabinets and possibly in warehouse storage in some ill lit, damp building often surprisingly on the banks of a river prone to flooding. In my own experience this was true of remote buildings on the banks of both the Thames in London and the Ouse in King’s Lynn to name but two such locations.

Some clients and their lawyers were of course relaxed to discover that the documents diligently stored were either flood damaged or so damp as to be unreadable and therefore useless for any probative value.

In other circumstances the image conjured up was of khaki clad explorers armed with machetes cutting their way through the impenetrable jungle of old unindexed files in the hope of reaching the Eldorado of documents which just might be useful to the case in hand.

So where are we today? We are all aware of back up tapes but the trouble with them has always been that the opposing party could argue with some justification that the cost of retrieving and restoring the information stored on such tapes was time consuming and expensive and likely to be disproportionate.

However the world of Tarzan and Jane and the Jungle of information has changed in the past few months. Since the late summer of 2010, Millnet has been able to offer to its clients the ability to retrieve the information required from a company’s back up tapes without the need to restore the tape before the contents can be searched. Index Engines has produced a product which is currently only offered by Millnet and one other provider in the UK market which makes it possible to read the text of the stored information and index it so that it can be viewed and searched.

The cost to index a tape starts at around £300 plus other normal processing costs as requested by the client and takes a matter of days (and in some cases only hours) which compares favourably to the many thousands of pounds and numerous weeks it used to take to restore a tape before it could be searched.

Tarzan to the rescue? Well, Millnet, with the help of Index Engines and their technology certainly can. In any event you are well advised to look askance at any opponent who seeks to argue that going to back up tapes is disproportionate.

Index Engines: further info