One of the most common initial use cases for cloud storage is for the storage of archival data. However that does not mean every organization is quite ready to move all of their archival data to the cloud or, what they do move to the cloud, trust the cloud to be available to provide access to the data when they need it. In this fifth blog entry in my interview series with C2C Systems’ CTO Ken Hughes, he talks about the importance of having access to cloud storage repositories for archival data and the advantages of keeping on-premise and data in the cloud synchronized.

Charles:  How important is it to organizations to actually go in and manage their data store because they recognize their data stores are a mess? For example, they know they have all these emails sitting out there that are completely useless in that they know they do not need them anymore. Rather they just need to identify them and then apply a data retention policy to them. Is that a big or just a partial draw of your solution?

Ken: That is a big draw as that side of the business is increasing. Further, the push for this is NOT just coming from the IT department. The new driver is from the records management side of the house which encompasses compliance and the general counsel who want to ensure that data is correctly treated. That is what we call the information governance driver taking control.

Charles: Would you say their data stores are a mess in part because they are just storing everything and they do not even know what they have? If so, how do organizations put controls in place?

Ken: Yes, that is largely correct. That is why C2C offers the ability to do this control with an advanced discovery module that allows the non-IT person to go and search and manage data, map it out and identify different business processes.

This effectively gives the general counsel to go and say, “Find all the emails that are between these people in this date range.” He is going to get back a list of either a 10 or 10,000 emails. In our view, you are trying to do the very, very early stages of eDiscovery to understand the scale of a problem.

We can also archive that data and put it on litigation hold. Using C2C, it can search all these PSTs for all these custodians. If it finds anything, it makes a copy of it to make sure it is not deleted. This copy may then be put into a temporary litigation repository until somebody has made a decision this is a real case to answer.

We can then optionally turn that temporary repository into a permanent archive so that data is secure. This can actually be done by the general counsel without any involvement by the IT department.

ArchiveOne Enterprise already has all of these features in it. Most competitors will tell you they have got it all in there. While that is true to a degree, what separates C2C is the case of sophistication that ArchiveOne gets into.

For example, in our recently launched ArchiveOne Enterprise Cloud, C2C povides the ability to have a hybrid cloud. Using this new option, C2C gives organizations the option of using cloud storage as a form of disaster recovery for their archives.

These archives are completely synchronized so an organization can move to and from it with just a right click and selection of a button. This also becomes very helpful for the organization that has run out of storage and cannot physically add that more storage due to a lack of space. Using this option, they may want to offload all of their archived data to the cloud storage giving them the best of both worlds: anything from on premise archives to archives completely stored in on cloud storage.

Charles:  What cloud storage providers are you working with? Any specific providers like AWS or Rackspace? Or does it not matter?

Ken:    C2C works with a couple in this first release. One is the Amazon S3 service and the other is Nirvanix. We basically have two options for the hosted storage stuff. We do front it ourselves and sell that on as a service, for people that want to buy one-stop turnkey solution from C2C. Or if they already have their own account set up with any of those vendors, then they can use the second option which allows them to use their existing account.

In Part I of this interview series, we discuss C2C’s focus on Microsoft Exchange and which size environments C2C’s products are best positioned to handle.

In Part II of this interview series, Ken explains why eDiscovery and retention management are becoming the new driving forces behind archiving and why C2C’s ArchiveOne is so well
positioned to respond to that trend.

In Part III of this interview series, Ken discusses C2C’s policy management features and the granular ways in which users may manage deletion in their data stores.

In Part IV of this interview series Ken explains how C2C does search using a combination of both centralized and distributed search methodologies.

In the sixth and final part of this interview series Ken explains why PST management is such a problem in large enterprises and offers some suggestions as to how to get PST files under control.