Kazeon's storage appliance handles unstructured data

Kazeon Systems says it is set to introduce a storage appliance that not only analyses the unstructured data on file servers but also decides where to store that data, and determines who can retrieve it and when, based on rules that IT creates.

The company, founded in 2003 by Sudhakar Muddu and three other storage veterans from Broadcom, AT&T and Sprint, joins a slew of others mining data for its content, and making decisions on how and where it will be stored. Muddu was the founder of Sanera, which he sold to McData in 2003 for US$102 million.

Identifying, managing and auditing the unstructured data on a network for compliance and security purposes is a large and growing market. Unstructured content -- files, e-mails, non-transactional data and medical images -- accounts for 80 percent of the data on a network, Enterprise Strategy Group says.

"Companies have begun to recognise the risk that is created by unmanaged information in the enterprise, be that compliance issues or litigation exposure or even just making bad decisions," says Troy Toman, vice president of marketing at Kazeon.

Companies such as StoredIQ (formerly Deepfile), Arkivio, Abrevity and Scentric, which is still in stealth mode, make appliance-based software that classify data and storage resources into logical groups based on administrator-defined criteria for efficient data retention. Often, these appliances will sit in or next to the data path between file servers on a network and devices such as EMC's Centera or Network Appliance's NearStore R200 systems, which store unstructured data.

"The way to think of (Kazeon's appliance) is as an intelligent information platform that sits in front of an archiving solution like EMC's Centera," says Brad O'Neill, senior analyst for Taneja Group. "The policies the IT manager creates could control encrypting that data, moving it to an archival device or restricting access to it."

Kazeon's Linux-based appliance discovers and analyses Microsoft's Common Internet File System and the Unix/Linux Network File System data. It is similar to StoredIQ 3.0, which is designed to discover and manage data for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Taking a different approach is Arkivio's Auto-Stor, which isn't content-aware. Auto-Stor is more of a data management application that cracks open and analyses files so they can be managed more easily.

Kazeon's yet-to-be named appliance is in beta and is expected to ship by midyear. The company is funded for US$17 million by Redpoint Ventures, Clearstone Venture Partners and The Goldman Sachs Group.

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