NuView Relocates NAS Data

Texas startup's software upgrade enables users to automatically move files to cheap storage

August 6, 2003

3 Min Read
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Six months after adding Unix support to its StorageX software, Houston-based startup NuView Inc. is back with more enhancements: The company says it has beefed up the file server management product with data lifecycle management capabilities (see NuView Manages Data Lifecycles and NuView Fills Out).

StorageX provides a global namespace, a sort of metadirectory of NAS namespaces. With version 4.0, the software now allows administrators to set up policies to automatically manage and move data across heterogeneous NAS environments based on the importance of that data. Companies using the software can, for instance, set up policies to automatically ship data to cheaper storage as it gets older and its importance diminishes, without ever changing how users access the data.

StorageX 4.0 also offers snapshot capabilities, allowing administrators to back up only changes made to data, thus helping to shorten the backup time.

"Our global namespace enables us to treat [diverse file servers] as one large pool of storage," says Rahul Mehta, NuViews founder, president, and CEO. "We can mask the complexity of the storage... Administrators can transparently move files from different tiers of storage without affecting the users."

Information lifecycle management (ILM) has become one of the hottest buzzwords in storage. Almost every company in the industry is talking about how they can (or plan to) help users match the quality of service they need for particular types of data with appropriately priced storage (see Behind EMC's New Software Splash, Veritas Moves up the Stack, and Rainfinity Gets Reinforced).Mehta, however, insists that NuView’s global namespace approach to data lifecycle management makes it unique. He points out that, unlike global-file-system-based approaches, the StorageX global namespace doesn’t care what kind of file system is being used and can therefore be used across all systems.

The data-movement features in StorageX 4.0 are similar to those in Arkivio Inc.'s Auto-Stor, among others. However, the NuView software is primarily designed to provide a global namespace rather than migrate files.

As Enterprise Storage Group Inc. analyst Steve Duplessie notes: "Everybody is talking ILM, [but] these little goofy guys in Texas appear to really enable it to happen." [Ed. note: He's referring to NuView, not the Dallas Mavericks.]

John McArthur, an analyst with IDC, says an important feature of NuView's software is that it doesn't require any changes in how the data is accessed. "When you have to do something different to access your data, it’s a major headache for end users," he says.

As enthusiastic as industry observers may be about NuView and its new software version, they are also quick to point out that, as a startup, the company will certainly face a number of hurdles. "Whenever you work with startups, you have to go through all of the usual questions... like how they offer international support," McArthur notes. This doesn’t mean people will walk away, he says; just that they’ll be more cautious.Giving NuView a measure of leverage is its OEM partnership with Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) (see NetApp OEMs NuView).

NuView says it already has dozens of customers for its StorageX software, and that some of those are already using version 4.0. The customers are mainly Fortune 500 companies, and they stretch across different industries, including finance, oil and gas, and healthcare, Mehta says.

"I’ve been impressed that they’ve got traction in the market," says Michael Fisch, an analyst with The Clipper Group Inc. "Adding data lifecycle management gives companies one more reason why they might want to look at NuView."

The software costs $2,000 per server. Companies using previous versions of StorageX with maintenance contracts can upgrade to the new version for free, NuView says.

— Eugénie Larson, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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