Breaking the Chains: Cloud Archiving Without Vendor Lock-in

Cloudficient continues to innovate with the introduction of a next generation cloud archive - Expireon. This innovation ...

Cloudficient continues to innovate with the introduction of a next generation cloud archive - Expireon. This innovation centers around paradigm shifts in the areas of indexing, data sovereignty, and right-sized eDiscovery.

The first generation of cloud archives were created to reduce the load of on-premises archiving environments. This allowed businesses to change from CapEx to OpEx, as well as free themselves from hardware provisioning and ongoing management.

As cloud archives age, companies often have pain points with time, risk, and cost. Most of these are centered around inefficiencies with indexing, vendor lock-in, and overlapping eDiscovery tools. Let’s look at each of these in detail.

next generation cloud


One of the main issues with legacy SaaS archives is the indexing architecture. Since archives were often used for Compliance or eDiscovery, rapid search is a high priority. Because of the need for search, and issues around indexing performance, all data was indexed upon ingestion.  

There are a few disadvantages of indexing everything on ingestion:

  • Overall speed of indexing. It’s got to be fast, very fast, to keep up with the high volume of data in large enterprises.
  • Corruption over time. We’ve all seen indexes in popular legacy archiving systems ending up corrupt ‘for no apparent’ reason. This leads to re-indexing requirements, taking up more time.
  • Re-indexing when technology changes. Rarely will a new technology natively read an old-style index, and if it does, that ‘old’ part of the index probably can’t take advantage of the new indexing technology.

Companies looking to move to the cloud were faced with a decision which mostly provided two paths, neither were ideal.

  1. Move data to standard cloud file repository to guarantee that the data was properly retained, and available if it was needed for Compliance or eDiscovery needs. The advantage of this solution was low cost, but at the expense of limited visibility. When Compliance or Legal teams needed to interrogate the data, it was quite an effort to get visibility into the content of the data. As we all know, time is money when it comes to Compliance and Legal.

  2. This led many companies to move to a cloud archive that provided very fast search capabilities, since all data was indexed upon ingestion. The advantage was immediate search and high visibility, but this was countered with high costs, loss of flexibility, and loss of data sovereignty.  

Companies were essentially faced with deciding between two options; low cost with low visibility, or opt for high visibility but at a much higher cost.

Exchange Migration CTA

confused decision maker

Data Sovereignty

Many companies soon found that getting large data sets out of these legacy cloud archives was a very expensive proposal. Since there was limited API access to these platforms, companies often had to rely on the professional services group of the vendor to perform exports when it came to a merger or acquisition, or if the company decided to move to another vendor. These costs would often average between $2,500 and $7,500 per Terabyte of exported data.

Then there is the issue of getting the data in a timely manner. Because data is often stored in a proprietary format, with no access via APIs, it could take excessive time to translate the data into a format that is both human and machine readable, and suitable for ingestion into a review platform. Delays at this stage of eDiscovery are at least inefficient, and often unacceptable.  

Exchange Migration

Right-sized eDiscovery

When the first generation of SaaS archive solutions were designed, there was a goal to facilitate the entire eDiscovery process end-to-end, where everything could be done in a single platform. The reality is that most companies will follow one of two workflows when it comes to eDiscovery:

  1. Perform a custodian-based export of data to pass to a downstream review tool. This generally does not include any culling at all, leaving the review and processing to more advanced tools where an investment has already been made. This review tool may be an in-house solution, or the data may be passed along to a Legal Service Provider (LSP) for further culling, review, and processing. This would result in larger data sets being passed to review, thus incurring large fees as most review tools and LSPs charge by the GB or TB of data under review. This led to the second workflow:

  2. Provide a first pass review of data, potentially culling the data set by keyword via what is known as Early Case Assessment or Early Data Assessment. This would allow eDiscovery teams to move beyond simple custodian-based searches, providing the ability to narrow down the data set even more by only exporting items that matched certain keywords. This would substantially reduce the cost of downstream review, but would increase the cost of the solution, since all data would be indexed on ingestion. Often the cost of the solution would match the potential savings in review, providing a near-even return on investment.

Next Generation SaaS Archive - Expireon

Due to technology advances, especially cloud technology, Cloudficient has found a way to provide the best of both worlds with its Expireon platform.

In a head-to-head comparison with a first-generation SaaS archive, we not only outperformed it but we also provided a much lower price point.

Expireon Performance-2


Microsoft Purview CTA

Expireon is a next generation cloud platform that solves typical pain points often found in first generation SaaS cloud archives, specifically in the areas of indexing, data sovereignty, and eDiscovery:

  1. Targeted indexing – Indexing performance enhancements allow Compliance and Legal teams the option to perform indexing on demand. We have customers that bring hundreds of Terabytes to Petabytes into the Expireon platform. When these customers need to export data for eDiscovery, most either export data based on custodians, or they target their keyword searches against only the custodians for that case or matter. Indexing the entire data set is a costly feature that may be rarely utilized. The core architecture of the Expireon platform was built to take advantage of the advancements in indexing technologies. Expireon is a flexible and efficient solution that is a perfect fit for multiple eDiscovery workflows:
    • If your workflow consists of simply exporting custodian-based data without any keyword searches, you can export by custodian, date ranges, etc. without performing any indexing, saving you money in indexing costs.
    • If you want to further cull data by performing keyword searches you can simply index ONLY the data for those custodians, saving indexing costs across data sets that are not part of the investigation, and saving money by limiting the data that is exported and sent downstream for further review.

  2. Data Sovereignty – First generation SaaS archives often hold your data hostage, requiring you to pay hefty fees to export large data sets, or if you simply want to take your business elsewhere. This is partially due to lack of API access to the data, and partially because data is often stored in proprietary formats which is often unreadable by eDiscovery professionals or must be converted before export.
    Our philosophy is that the data belongs to the customer. Data is always stored in native formats, and the customer can choose to store data within the Expireon cloud data centers
    , or within their own storage in a private cloud, or even on-premises. Since the customer owns the data, and all the encryption keys, they are free to not only move this data to another provider in the future, but they can also use this valuable data for other initiatives such as AI.

  3. Right-sized eDiscovery – When archive systems started moving to the cloud, there was a push to try to be an all-encompassing eDiscovery tool, spanning across the eDiscovery Reference Model from left to as far right as possible, including processing and review. Almost 100% of our customers prefer to capitalize on existing investments in review tools and are not interested in paying for tools that have overlapping features. Expireon provides eDiscovery professionals the ability to quickly export data based on custodians or key metadata information, or you can selectively index data for further culling via keywords, without having to pay to have a fully-indexed data set.

The final piece to this puzzle is “how do I get my data migrated into this next-generation platform?” Cloudficient has always been at the cutting edge of generation changing technologies. Cloudficient is a market leader in the data migration space, having created the third-generation migration platform for data migration. Our data migration technology is built into the Expireon platform, making onboarding simple, secure, and fast.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

Cloud Migration CTA

Similar posts