Case Studies - A History of Successful Engagements


Case Study #1

Client Seeks TOG Proof of Concept

A corporate client engaged TOG through a global provider of backup and storage solutions. TOG’s client was evaluating a new tape-based backup solution but wanted some assurance that the new solution would be supported by best in class vendors like TOG before they acquired the system.

As the technology was in the early stages of commercial deployment, TOG worked with the third party to define a defensible procedure and provided a set of sample restores to demonstrate the capability to the client. (TOG added this technology to backup systems that we support for our clients.)

The client was very satisfied with TOG’s proactive approach to supporting their go-forward business requirements and was also impressed with our ability to develop the solution and define a defensible process. The client is continuing down the path of integrating the newer technology into their IT environment. While the client seeks out future solutions, TOG continues to support all of their current requirements.


Case Study #2

TOG Channel Partner Support

A TOG channel partner working for a law firm had completed a few small projects in an effort to find a way to break in. The objective was to enhance credibility at the firm and drive more revenue and project work.

TOG has designed several programs to educate channel partners and their clients about various aspects of our solution set. This channel partner included TOG in a “lunch and learn” meeting at the firm which was well received and highlighted the key decision points and cost containment methods when dealing with backup tapes.

The educational forum was a success as our channel partner improved their credibility as the session was geared to best practices and ways to cost effectively plan for a tape project. This meeting led to more return work from this client and facilitated ongoing partnership discussions at Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR).

Case Study #3

Capabilities that Get Results

The Director of Practice Support at an AmLaw 50 law firm was managing an electronic discovery project for one of their corporate clients and engaged a vendor to restore a collection of tapes that had been backed up with SyncSort. Once the project began, it became apparent that there were many issues the vendor had not anticipated. Unable to support the SyncSort format or to manage the heterogeneous make up of the tapes, they could get no results. The Director called on The Oliver Group.

Preliminary analysis done by TOG on a sampling of the data indicated that a variety of data formats were used: Unix, Windows, data from a centralized server using NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol), as well as Exchange and Linux-based email. Data came in on a Friday and that following Monday, TOG returned the data with everything the initial vendor was unable to produce.

While backups can be performed on a varied-platform dataset in a single operation, restoration is another matter and not a simple “reverse” process. Each format requires separate handling so that multiple restorations are involved. TOG had previously worked with the makers of SyncSort, in both hardware and software matters, allowing them to anticipate issues of restoration others might overlook. Not only does TOG have the experience to recognize and define complex technical issues, The Oliver Group also has the infrastructure, technology, and methodologies inhouse to effectively manage them.



Case Study #4
TOG's Data Collection is Rapid, Complete and Orderly
In the midst of a lengthy discovery matter, a large corporation had to relocate its offices. To ensure a smooth transition and guarantee no data loss, their General Counsel enlisted The Oliver Group. TOG put together a team of experts that arrived at the site the very next day. A senior data consultant and two technical engineers planned and administered the entire technical side of the relocation.

Using software and hardware gathering tools, TOG took "snapshots" of pre- and post- move computers to verify that nothing was lost in the transfer. The bit-level copies of data produced a true hardware capture that included even deleted items. With minimal disruption of company operations, custodian machines and live servers were captured with forensically sound images.

TOG then returned to their facility to process some of the tapes as needed. With analytics applied to identify the relevant responsive data contained on the tapes, the appropriate data was then extracted, restored, and delivered back to the client - and the move was a non-event in terms of the discovery process requirements.


Case Study #5
Cataloging - Taming the Discovery Beast
Everyone is on informational overload these days, but nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of technology. Backup procedures capture everything from the momentous to the mundane - usually several times over. In discovery terms, this is a law firm's nightmare.

The Oliver Group was engaged by an AmLaw 100 firm to process several hundred backup tapes containing terabytes of data in response to a discovery request. TOG inventoried and verified the integrity of all the tapes using the physical header information to determine general (high level) tape contents: server name, backup name, backup date and time, and server type. Next, TOG provided the client more detailed (low level) information on tape, such as a verbatim list of media contents, as well as email server and user list data.

Using this information, the client targeted specific users and dates to determine the data relevant to the discovery request. This strategy produced a responsive dataset that was only 15% of the original data collection, trimming processing time and costs and, even more significantly, review time and costs.
Case Study #6
GroupWise - Simplifying the Complex
GroupWise email data can be tricky. The usual method of extracting data is to use an Exchange Migration tool. This has its pitfalls, as one of our clients found out.

Our client was involved in a government investigation requiring restoration of large volumes of GroupWise email data. A competitor was hired to handle the project. As work progressed, it was revealed that the competitor's process did not capture Trash Items during the restoration. The Oliver Group was brought in to take over the project because of its unique GroupWise capabilities. TOG has developed proprietary applications that enable complete restorations of GroupWise email, including Trash Items.

Even more helpful to our clients is TOG's capacity to deliver results in either XML or PST format, so that after restoration and conversion, clients have input formats that suit their particular needs.
Case Study #7
Problem-solving: Smart Approach, Best Technology
As part of an SEC investigation, a financial services company had to produce several years worth of company data. Time was of the essence because the company would have incurred hefty penalty fees daily for failing to meet stringent production deadlines set by the government.

The Oliver Group was tapped to manage the data restoration and email conversion piece of the project. The company's IT staff collected the data and forwarded it to TOG, where they were carefully checked and inventoried. Upon reviewing the tapes, TOG discovered that they were not backed up using standard methods, but were actually backups of backups. NetBackup had been used to create backups of tapes that had used Backup Exec to perform the original backups of emails in both Exchange and GroupWise formats. This added layers of complexity to a project that was already under the gun.

Restoring from a backup of a backup is the equivalent of restoring two tapes instead of one. TOG had to first restore the NetBackup, and then switch gears to restore from Backup Exec. The Exchange and GroupWise files were only accessible after both processes were completed. TOG's superior infrastructure and technical ability made it possible to complete this project quickly and efficiently, saving the client time, money and a lot of headaches.
Case Study #8
We're There When You Need Us

A financial services company had to produce archived data for a litigation issue and The Oliver Group was engaged to perform the data restoration. Due to Chain of Custody concerns and the sensitivity of the data, the company was uneasy using FedEx or a courier service and wanted TOG to handle it at all times. At 5 p.m. on the Friday before a holiday weekend, they called and needed not only an immediate pickup, but also immediate processing of the data.

With this notice, TOG sent a team to drive to the client site and retrieve the tapes. Ten hours later in the early hours of Saturday morning, processing began. With tapes duly inventoried and prepped for restoration, TOG went into crisis mode, enlisting a full production staff to work 24 hours a day throughout the holiday weekend. By Monday, the highest priority data was processed and on its way back to the client.

Case Study #9
TOG Succeeds Where Indexing Appliance Fails

A TOG long term Financial Services client failed in their numerous data recovery efforts from historical Symantec Encrypted NetBackup tapes utilizing their purchased indexing restoration appliance putting them at risk of lofty fines.

TOG has designed, implemented and employed several successful native restoration solutions to financial services companies, channel partners and their clients where many have failed in their attempts to recover data from encrypted backup tapes. TOG’s solution included restoration of 300 Symantec Encrypted NetBackup LTO5 formatted tapes in three days.

TOG staged replicas of the client’s infrastructure (e.g. servers, tape libraries, etc…), decrypted the data and produced relevant information where the client, internal IT and a TOG competitor failed utilizing an indexing appliance. In addition to the restoration, TOG performed mail conversions, keyword searching, date range filtering and deduplication of data residing on 300 pieces of media, saving the client time, money and most importantly government fines.