If knowledge is power, then DataGravity’s solution offering may be a way for businesses to tap into that power. During Day 2 of VMworld, we sat down with the folks from DataGravity to discuss how their “data aware” storage platform is enabling organizations to gain deeper insights into their data. Referred to as their “Discovery Series” storage platform, DataGravity’s offering combines storage, data protection, governance and search and discovery into an integrated solution.
Threats To Data
Data governance is becoming an increasingly challenging problem for organizations due to a number of factors. First, regulatory mandates stipulate that certain documents, like financial records and personally identifiable information (i.e. social security numbers), need to be stored in a manner where the chain of custody of that data can be readily proven. Secondly, with data breaches becoming more commonplace, organizations need a way to quickly ascertain if sensitive information has been accessed by unauthorized users or stolen. Lastly, the sheer increase in the volume of data being created is making it very difficult for organizations to gain insight into those data access patterns and trends that could signal a threat to compliance and internal data governance policies.
Storage and Data Compliance Silos
The fundamental problem is that data governance is a function that is managed totally separately from traditional storage systems. For example, if an organization suddenly needs to produce information for an E-Discovery case, they have to employ 3rd party software tools to scan and parse the contents of their data stores to extract the information they need. This can be a time consuming activity which, in many cases, accounts for the lion’s share of costs that occur from an E-Discovery event. But what if this information was automatically pre-sorted upon data creation? And what if this data could be searched against using a Google like interface that could quickly produce the information that was needed? DataGravity claims their solution can provide this capability without causing any performance impact to production applications.
Consolidated Data Governance
Deployed as a 6U appliance and available in a 48 or 96TB configuration, DataGravity’s Discovery Series storage platform splits write I/O to a separate storage area where data is protected via snapshots. In addition to providing data protection, these snapshots can then be searched against to provide what DataGravity refers to as a “360 degree view of the data”. This includes information about which users are creating, modifying and reading data and their specific access times. In addition to helping ensure that data governance policies are being adhered to, it can provide businesses with a real-time way to demonstrate to internal or external auditors that they are in compliance with applicable regulations.
Gaining this level of visibility into application data stores, which includes NAS shares, virtual machines and iSCSI targets, can also enable storage administrators to delete unneeded or inappropriate data files like personal photos, music files, etc. to reclaim storage space. It can also arm administrators with the information they need to justify new storage purchases since it can provide detailed information on storage consumption patterns and which users are the biggest consumers of storage.
DataGravity’s Discovery Series offering provides a number of capabilities that ordinarily require 2 or 3 separate products. By combining storage, data protection and data governance functions into the same footprint, DataGravity’s solution may greatly simplify the protection, operational and compliance needs of many organizations.