Abrevity tackles data classification

Posted on February 13, 2006

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By Ann Silverthorn

—At the ILM Summit in Irvine, CA today, Abrevity introduced its FileData Manager information classification management (ICM) product. Both FileData Manager and BioData Manager, which was introduced last month, run on top of 1Base, the foundation of Abrevity's ICM technology. BioData Manager is similar to FileData Manager, but is customized for the biosciences market.

Abrevity's ICM is a form of information lifecycle management (ILM) that goes beyond identifying data's file name, extension, date modified, date created, etc. ICM also provides information about the file path and what is inside the files. This can include financial information inside spreadsheets, social security numbers inside PDFs, or compliance data in e-mails. FileData Manager can target specific files based on metadata attributes that users have created, open those files, and extract data from them.

"A company with a million files may want to focus only on finance files," says Eric Madison, Abrevity's director of marketing. "FileData Manager can target information that's on the finance share or any data generated by the CFO. The product targets, opens, and creates attributes about those files. It then gives users a searchable method whereby it might be determined that, say, 20% of the files created by the CFO are not critical files. The 80% that are critical can be tagged with specific values and policies can be applied so some files can be moved to non-rewritable media for compliance purposes."

FileData Manager discovers and extracts metadata from 300 common file formats. It goes beyond search engine capabilities and can display the data based on attribute values. It can classify on any of the eight metadata summaries that the operating system provides and can create additional metadata, such as key words based on an SEC regulation. Users can then determine if files are on the right type of storage—such as primary storage for content-addressable storage (CAS) or write-once, read-many (WORM) media. Based on the tags or the classification of the data, Abrevity's API works with any kind of block-based replication tool to migrate data from one type of storage to another in a tiered storage configuration.

The related product, BioData Manager, targets and extracts metadata from files created for clinical research by laboratory instruments such as flow cytometers. Researchers might create a file for each cell that is studied, resulting in thousands of files. BioData Manager can extract specified data from each of those files and aggregate them into reports, a task that would be extremely labor-intensive if done manually. Furthermore, after files have been tagged FDA-compliant, they can be moved to non-rewritable media.

Since FileData Manager and BioData Manager are essentially modules sitting on top of a common data model and API, Madison says Abrevity will likely branch out into other vertical markets that have large amounts of data to be managed, such as the oil and gas and entertainment industries. FileData Manager and BioData Manager are priced at $5,000 per terabyte of data managed.


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