Hit the URL for StoredIQ and you'll land on the Website of Deepfile Corp., a three-year-old maker of file management appliances. It's no accident: The new name, which becomes official Monday, goes with a new mission and new product that highlight an emerging ILM (information lifecycle management) specialty, namely helping companies sort through unstructured data and stay out of trouble.
StoredIQ's new focus is on "content-driven compliance and security for unstructured data." [Ed. note: CDCASFUD, anyone?] The gist is separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to email and the flotsam of corporate networks, including MP3 music files, image files, Excel charts, and Office documents -- all of which can take up sizeable chunks of server and storage space and present a range of problems for organizations.
These problems aren't just centered around discovering who's surfing porn sites after lunch or using their workstations to download the Beatles canon. How does a healthcare organization ensure that records pertaining to particular classes of patients -- people over 90, for instance -- are stored in compliance with the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)? How can a large conglomerate's accounting department ensure its ducks are in order for the SEC's lawyers?
These kinds of internal and external regulatory tasks have become a big part of what storage networking is all about. More than one third of the reasoning behind archiving email in the first place, for example, is to comply with regulations, according to figures cited in a recent Byte and Switch Insider report, ILM: At the Crest of a Wave. Add in other unstructured data and it's easy to see why a market is forming around getting control of it all.
Some of these issues have been taken up by vendors active in ILM. But StoredIQ execs say their wares go beyond ILM. They also differ from products geared to that part of ILM known as content-addressed storage (CAS). "With a lot of CAS systems, someone has to manually tell the system what to do with a particular file," says StoredIQ CEO Bob Fernander. That means searching for files ahead of time before the system can be programmed to take action with them.