With FlashSoft, SanDisk’s legal department maximized the number of searches enabling the litigation team to sharpen searches, reducing data volume and costs associated with legal review.
Application: Symantec® Enterprise Vault 10.0.2 Enterprise Vault Discovery Accel 10.0
Server: Dell R910
CPU: 4 sockets with 10 p cores each
SSD: Lightning® 400GB
OS: VMware® ESXi v5.0 U2
# VMs E-Vault: 4
# VM eDiscovery search Hosts: 1
Each VM: 8 CPU / 32GB RAM
Storage: NetApp® FAS3140
SanDisk is a Fortune 500 company with more than 5,000 employees worldwide that develops and manufactures over 40% of the world’s flash memory for smartphones, tablets and other mobile computer devices. As a 25-year flash technology leader, SanDisk has built the world’s 4th most powerful patent portfolio as ranked by IEEE Spectrum, outranking companies like GE®, Qualcomm® and Microsoft®.
Protecting these patents often involves litigation. At any given time there is a Litigation Portfolio, a collection of active legal litigation matters of different types, for example, employment, anti-trust, patent and general contract disputes, with each case having a unique profile of data. Searching company archives to discover the data profile for a particular litigation can be time consuming and costly.
eDiscovery is an iterative process. No one—internal counsel, outside counsel, judges, etc.—knows exactly how search terms will affect search results before searches are run. Opposing and outside counsel spend about a month developing a search term list with strict deadlines driving the process. Sometimes the searches are overly broad with words that are too ambiguous or too widely used to refine a document set. The only way to REFINE and REDUCE search result volumes is to iteratively run searches with outside counsel review of samples, then refine the search spec and try again. The strategy for eDiscovery is cost avoidance by eliminating irrelevant emails/documents from the search results, thus minimizing counsel time to review the search results. Occasionally cases involve 2–3 months of this iterative process, resulting in substantial eDiscovery legal costs. Unfortunately, there is little correlation between the volume of eDiscovery data and the economic value of the dispute.
There are 15–20 thousand emails per GB of data. The average read-rate of email/ attachment by lawyers is two per minute or 120 emails per hour. 1GB of email (20,000 emails / 120 per hour) takes approximately 167 hours to read. Email review by outside counsel can cost from $75–$250 per hour.
Cases considered to have a small data profile generally consist of 10–99GB of data. Medium data profile cases fall within 100–499GB, and cases with a large data profile are 500+GB of data. A typical Fortune 500 company is involved in litigation approximately 25 times a year, so eDiscovery costs can quickly add up to millions of dollars annually. Finding ways to reduce the search process and the data sets associated with a case can substantially reduce the cost of eDiscovery.
Senior Manager, RIM & eDiscovery, SanDisk
Flash Optimization Software to Reduce eDiscovery Costs
FlashSoft flash optimization software allows the SanDisk legal team to increase the number of search iterations and refine the data sets within an allotted period of time. This allows the legal team to fine tune search specifications, eliminating overly broad results. Typically, the time allotted to conduct an eDiscovery search is approximately six months in total. However, there must be a balance between the time spent refining searches and the time spent reviewing documents uncovered through this process. As such, maxi-mizing the number of searches within a set timeframe enables the litigation team to quickly sharpen searches, reducing data volume and ultimately costs associated with legal review. Prior to FlashSoft, the only way to accelerate the search and discover process was to work tirelessly around the clock for weeks on end.
SanDisk IT deployed FlashSoft for VMware® vSphere® on its virtualized servers running the eDiscovery application Enterprise Vault from Symantec®. Queries that had taken as long as eight hours could now generate results in under four hours, allowing SanDisk legal teams to run more search iterations and refine data sets in less than half the time. “The only strategy we have found effective is to find ways to work faster. In two cases this year, both I and outside attorneys worked around the clock and through weekends for weeks on end. That’s where FlashSoft can really help accelerate cases and help control costs for the thousands of companies who do eDiscovery today. And there’s also something to be said for the value of sleep,” said Senior Manager, RIM & eDiscovery, SanDisk.
While FlashSoft delivered immediate benefits for the SanDisk legal team, the SanDisk IT department has also realized benefits. SanDisk IT Director, Martyn Wiltshire states, “Any time you can make an application’s performance improve without having to re-architect the application and distract the application team from all of the features and upgrades in their roadmap…, you’re starting to offer some real value, while beginning to change the relationship between the apps team and the infrastructure team.”
Extending IT Application Performance
SanDisk has discovered additional benefits beyond the eDiscovery process. The IT department is now able to scale the eDiscovery application’s performance independent of its storage capacity requirements. Separating I/O performance from I/O capacity opens up opportunities to build a more cost- effective IT infrastructure than in the past when I/O performance and I/O capacity were mainly driven by spinning hard disk drives.
The deployment of FlashSoft software provided benefits to both SanDisk Legal and IT departments. With FlashSoft, the SanDisk Legal department was able to maximize the number of searches within a set timeframe enabling the litigation team to quickly sharpen searches, reducing data volume and ultimately costs associated with legal review. For the SanDisk IT team, FlashSoft was deployed directly onto servers that would most benefit from application acceleration without disruption to the application and associated data management and data protection policies.
Why This Matters
Most business communication takes place electronically and the volume of this electronically stored information is growing exponentially. The majority of eDiscovery costs are spent searching through and reviewing this information to find that which is most relevant to the given litigation. With the amount of information growing rapidly many organizations are also finding eDiscovery costs are becoming the most substantial line item in the budget. Software and tools that reduce the time and resources necessary to perform searches and review results substantially reduce eDiscovery costs.
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