• 03/20/2003
    9:00 PM
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Deepfile Comes to the Surface

Startup uses metadata to better manage files on NAS storage, angling for a deal with NetApp
NAS management startup Deepfile Corp. is putting the finishing touches on its file management appliances and has Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) in its sights as a potential OEM partner.

Founded in 2001, Deepfile has raised just over $1 million in funding from investors including Techxas Ventures; Neil Webber, cofounder of Vignette Software Corp; and Brian Smith, CEO of Crossroads Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDS). [Ed. note: Whoooo! Last of the big spenders...]

The Austin, Texas, startup has already been shipping the first of its appliances, Deepfile Auditor, for a couple of months and has two customers, Vignette and Polycom.

Auditor crawls through a file system, pulling out metadata on every file, which it saves to a database on the appliance. Each file is given a unique signature that lets the appliance compare files for similarities even if they have different names and locations. It then reports the files, their locations, and their characteristics to the second product, Deepfile Enforcer, which is slated to ship by midyear.

Based on policies set by the IT manager, Enforcer will cull duplicate files and directories and migrate older, still-useful files to less-expensive storage or tape, the company says. "We are applying file management principles to the SRM [storage resource management] problem," says Jeff Erramouspe, CEO of Deepfile. He adds that companies have deployed NAS for file storage with very little focus on creating management tools in a holistic way. "We should be thinking about managing the files rather than the disk capacity, as the file is the business asset," Erramouspe believes.

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