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Sonian offers compliance in the cloud with DiscoverStor

Cloud email archiving pioneer Sonian launches DiscoverStor, a cloud compliance and e-discovery platform.

Cloud email archiving vendor Sonian Inc. is branching out into data management and compliance with DiscoverStor, a cloud-based application that does search analysis of content and metadata of emails for electronic discovery.

DiscoverStor collects, indexes, stores and does deep search analysis for unstructured data on-premises and in the cloud. It includes a policy engine that allows organizations to discover dark data, create data maps of digital data for discovery purposes, delete data and set data retention rules. The service is in beta, with no date set for general availability.

It helps IT, legal, finance and audit professionals search and analyze documents, and set legal holds.

"It's a rapid and accurate early case-assessment system for enterprise data typically for a compliance inquiry," said Greg Arnette, Sonian's chief technology officer and founder. "We offer a software-reference infrastructure and we use the public cloud as our back end."

Sonian has been in the cloud archiving market since 2007. DiscoverStor uses Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM SoftLayer and Rackspace clouds to store data.

"We install a lightweight software agent and the agent moves data from on-premises to the cloud," Arnette said. "Once data is in the cloud, [IT] can build policies. The software communicates with the data and IT can create policies on what data should be moved to the cloud."

Alan Dayley, research director for information governance and data retention at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., said Sonian DiscoverStor can also be used for data archiving, although that's not its main focus.

"It's not specifically for file business intelligence, but it does give some insight if you want to use it for that," he said.

Dayley said Sonian focuses on front-end applications while using public cloud providers such as AWS and Rackspace for the back-end infrastructure.

"Some archiving vendors build out their own cloud infrastructure. Others quietly do it with colocations. Sonian has gone public, saying this is not our expertise," Dayley said. "It's actually a good idea because Amazon and Rackspace have built out the infrastructure and they can do it cheaper than Sonian can. Sonian utilizes the public cloud infrastructure, and their software and repository sits on top of it."

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