Consultants and resellers who know how the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) affect data storage management are well positioned to offer support and services to customers concerned with electronic data discovery and being able to provide court-requested information if ever asked to do so. This guide offers advice to help you get a handle on the changes and offers suggestions to take advantage of the market through services and support.
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FRCP rules and guidelines
FRCP opportunities for resellers
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The updates to the FRCP certainly aren't anything ground breaking; they are all sensible additions, many already enshrined in other, more legally demanding requirements. The main difference is that doing something about discovery and classification becomes relevant to more organizations than was previously the case.
Every organization now needs to set up a policy on what electronic documents need to be preserved and what needs to be destroyed and why and when. As long as the rules are consistent and not event-based, it will put organizations at lesser risk to meet the new FRCP laws on e-discovery.
New FRCP rules require that courts have no sympathy for the argument that smaller establishments don't have resources to make the required changes. As a resellers or systems integrator you have opportunities to create solutions for your customers to keep them in good stead down the road.
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The new FRCP rules could boost the fortunes of MSPs that offer data backup and archiving services, if they can expand their portfolios to include data search and recovery in response to lawsuits.
The December 2006 changes to the FRCP regulations and their impact on data storage bring new challenges and opportunities involving data storage and electronic record and document management. Unlike popular regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), SEC regulation 17, FDA 21 CFR part 11 and HIPAA that may only impact certain business, FRCP, while not a regulation, has a much broader impact on those who may be involved in future litigation matters.
VARs have many opportunities to support data archiving for regulatory compliance, new FRCP and document management, among other applications. In addition to data preservation, archiving is a great way to improve overall system performance by removing seldom used data -- so you can free up storage capacity and the I/O resources needed to back up and manage data. Consequently, byproducts of archiving include performance boosts for data backups, replication and mirroring, and improved day-to-day activity.
Meeting FRCP regulations could force an SMB to dedicate staff and resources to establishing storage and data recovery procedures. To capture this business you must have the proper hardware infrastructure in place and knowledge about the compliance requirements.