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Deepfile Deals New Hand

In news that highlights a spurt of activity in unstructured file management, Deepfile Corp. has introduced a new product and hopes to announce another round of funding within a month.

Deepfile's new package, Sentinel, is an add-on to its file management appliance, announced last year (see Deepfile Comes to the Surface), which includes two other parts -- Auditor, which creates a metadata record of file information; and Enforcer, which lets administrators query the metadata and set up rules about actions to take on different files (see Deepfile Releases Sentinel).

Sentinel uses Auditor and Enforcer to assemble reports about files stored for specific departments or business divisions in an organization. It automatically emails these reports to particular end users (the department head, for example). According to Deepfile, this approach gives the users, not IT, the ability to determine what happens to their unstructured files.

The keyword here is "unstructured." Unlike products that work with email or structured data, such as databases, Deepfile's gear tracks Microsoft Office files, PDFs, and other kinds of files that hog space on corporate NAS, SAN, or DAS gear. A workflow engine in the software allows policies to be set on different kinds of files. For instance, all PDFs older than four years can be ported to secondary storage.

In some ways, Deepfile is playing catchup with a key competitor, Arkivio Inc., which also makes unstructured file management software -- and appears to be farther along in partnerships and customer announcements.

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