Today, many enterprise data stores are measured in the multiple petabyte range and soon this will be the norm for most large companies. As large enterprises continue to cope with the growth of data - especially emails, documents, images and other forms of unstructured data – the ability of legacy applications to manage this content efficiently continues to diminish. Begrudgingly, there is a recognition that no solution provider offers a complete end to end solution.
Given this scenario, CIOs and their staff are forced to rely on trusted vendors and integrators to help IT knit together point solutions including archiving, backup and CDP (continuous data protection) , collaboration, content management, deduplication, indexing, policy management, search, security and authentication as well as tiered server and storage solutions in order to meet their unstructured data management (UDM) needs.
Since 1992 DataGlobal, which is based in Germany and has more of a presence in Europe than in North America, has been honing its solutions within the data centers of the very largest companies with a focus on helping them solve their data migration and archiving challenges. According to CEO Wolfgang Munz, their Enterprise Resource Suite (ERS) is “architected for massive scalability and high performance capable of scanning over ½ billion data files per hour, with a high degree of reliability and no single point of failure.” This is accomplished with “minimal administration from a highly automated, centrally managed browser based console.” Munz adds that, “our customers are able to view their storage usage and growth trends while achieving significant simplification in managing their information and data as well as realizing savings of 30% or greater on their Storage costs.
DataGlobal’s ERS places a “lightweight” agent on file servers to provide some rudimentary data analysis to learn about the attributes of the data such as; what are the most abundant file types. Policies can be aligned by division and business function at the file system level. Once all data is “discovered” and classified, the customer can implement the solutions’ web based services to initiate various policies and functions including data assessment (archive or delete), move data between storage tiers, create reports for capacity management and chargeback billing. ERS works like a master data funnel that allows the user to manage content without having to access the content itself.
The company just announced a File Classification Interface (FCI) for Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Server which now allows users and applications to store information such as retention time and other classification properties and background information on the files in “data stores” potentially offering the user the ability to easily and quickly identify a sub-set of files from a target of millions.
Futures and Concerns
DataGlobal expects to add additional functionality such as data copying features and tighter integration and partnerships with major application suites from archiving, enterprise content management (ECM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions providers. Given their market focus is on the very largest of data centers with complex infrastructures and heterogeneous environments, adding features and functionality will likely come down to the business opportunities that present themselves. That said, DataGlobal has begun to assemble an impressive list of technology partners that includes Data Domain, EMC, HP. Hitachi, IBM, LSI, NetApp, Permabit and Sun. With 40 to 50 employees and one strategic investor it remains to be seen how well they will be able to ramp up in the USA and support accounts worldwide.
DataGlobal is attacking the high end of the corporate data center and service provider (cloud services) market and targeting industries where information growth is greatest such as automotive, financial and telecom. Accurate and nimble classification of data in a non-invasive, highly available solution that offers intelligence on data in order to make better management decisions is squarely where DataGlobal intends to make its mark. See Data Classification: Brains or brawn?
Action Item: Users with multiple petabytes of data, especially in a Windows environment, looking for ways to improve classification and management capabilities in order to lower server, storage and administrative costs within a multi-tiered, complex, data center centric environment will want to review DataGlobal’s products and capabilities to determine if they are a fit for their business and IT environment.