While most organizations have a handle on structured data residing in their databases, it's the vast number of files residing outside of databases that makes information management such a headache. Such files sometimes account for 70 percent to 80 percent of data stored online, typically scattered across multiple servers and networks, and is very hard to manage. As a result, IT organizations have little visibility into how storage is being used or what type of information is being stored on the systems they are managing. This is particularly the case on NAS systems.
"Most people have no idea what is being stored on their NAS systems," says Jay Desai, director of product management at Kazeon Systems Inc. of Mountain View, CA. "The guy managing that data really lacks visibility. He doesn't know, for example, how many copies of each file he has stored."
The company offers the Kazeon Information Server (IS) in three different versions.
The Kazeon IS1200-F is aimed at optimizing file servers and NAS resources by leveraging file attribute information. It can quickly find files distributed across storage volumes, simplify response to legal discovery or compliance audits, classify files based on file metadata and file content, and take action (move, copy, delete) to migrate files to tiered storage. This migration can occur as a one-time move or an automated transparent migration of files that occurs at preset intervals.
"We discover, scan and index files, either at the metadata or content level, or both," says Desai. "Adding such capabilities makes it easy to know your storage content, spot duplicates and isolate files that should not be stored such as those containing personal information being kept in a line of business system."
The IS1200-F also provides file reporting and data placement for tiered storage. The base system is a commodity 1U server loaded with Kazeon software.
"Because it is out-of-band and agent-less, installing the IS1200-F involves no disruption to existing processes and environments," says Desai. "One of our boxes can be installed and scanning all your NAS filers in about 30 minutes."
The base IS1200-F system, for example, helps administrators to reduce the amount of effort spent manually gathering information. According to Desai, a single system can discover and classify many millions of files each day. One unit costs around $50,000. Alternatively, these Kazeon units can also be clustered into a single logical system. By doing so, they then offer automated failover and workload distribution.
Kazeon produces two more units. The Kazeon IS1200-S is focused on storage search solutions such as backup search and recovery, legal discovery and archive search. The IS1200-S search technology can be used for large file repositories from primary file servers to archive and backup stores. It enables a full text search for nearly 400 kinds of files that may be distributed across hundreds of servers. This includes e-mail files, .pst folders, or compressed .zip files. To accomplish this requires about 5 percent additional storage.
Further, this search technology goes beyond standard keyword search applications to include searches based on file metadata or other attributes. Security policies integrate with Active Directory or NIS identity management systems.
The IS1200-C, on the other hand, is aimed squarely at information governance issues related to data privacy, security and compliance. It takes a content-aware approach to policy-based automated file management. The idea is to quickly identify potential exposures and automate policy enforcement around encryption and retention.
The Kazeon policy engine, for example, helps preserve files for long-term retention and controls access via a search interface. Abstracts add advanced search and tagging services to support compliance audit or legal discovery activities.
The potential of Kazeon's technology is demonstrated by the company it keeps. It has partnerships with Google, for example, that use the IS1200 with a Google Search Appliance to provide Google users with easier access to files.
It has also teamed up with Network Appliance, Inc. (NetApp). Kazeon's Information Server is being harnessed by NetApp's DataONTAP OS for greater visibility into the content of unstructured data, as well as business policy automation for compliance and litigation purposes. The NetApp Transparent Migration Manager and the NetApp Retention Manager discover and manage files to meet compliance, legal discovery, and corporate data retention needs.
"Our technology is all about ILM and that's why storage OEMs have realized they need it," says Desai.
This article was first published on EnterpriseITPlanet.com.