At VMworld this year I attended Tech Field Day Extra event as a delegate. Once of the more interesting presentations came from DataGravity. One of the reasons I found them so interesting is they are attempting to add a new dimension to the storage array market. Since the storage array market was created people have cared about three things: data resiliency, speed, and capacity. These three metrics should not come as a surprise since the intent was to leverage a larger pool of capacity for reduced cost and improved performance. Fast forward to now and these three things have not fundamentally changed much. We still care about protection our data, making it perform well, and how much data we can store. DataGravity is trying to change this by building new Data Analytics capabilities into their storage array.
If you’ve every worked in a large enterprise, you have most likely dealt with legal and security teams. They always ask the storage administrators “Can you tell me what data we stored on this server?” and “Can you tell me who accessed this file?”. To which Mr. Storage Administrator has always replied a firm “No.”. After all the storage administrator is just a steward of data and not the actual owner. He or she has no idea what the end user writes to space. Legal and Security teams use things like Data Loss Prevention and data discovery to answer their questions. Doing this process, however, is a bit of a pain for everyone involved. Wouldn’t it be nice of your storage array knew what it was storing? That is what Data-aware storage is all about.
DataGravitiy can search hundreds of file types to do some interesting things. For example, it can tell you who is talking about a particular keyword or search for Social Security Numbers. The software can also tell you who is working on documents together to give you an idea of how your organization is collaborating. One interesting feature is the ability for each user to do nearly instantaneous restores of their data.
If you’d like to know more about data analytics, in general, check out this comprehensive post by Enrico Signoretti.