Enterprise search meets data archiving

By Kevin Komiega

The continued rise of information lifecycle management (ILM) and data retention requirements handed down from the folks in Washington have served as a catalyst for the crossbreeding of enterprise IT technologies-namely, a steady stream of enterprise search companies partnering with storage vendors to help classify, index, and retrieve archived information.

Enterprise search software developer Fast Search & Transfer is riding this wave of software symbiosis and recently launched a new product to the OEM channel aimed at helping storage system, information management, and data-protection vendors to develop solutions that classify and make searchable both structured and unstructured information across the enterprise.

The new product is called FAST InStream for Data Classification and is based on the company’s existing technology, which already serves as the search engine for more than 3,000 online Websites, ranging from job-hunting sites to online Yellow Page listings. The company is taking that technology and applying it to the data archiving process.

FAST InStream for Data Classification was built on the premise that effective archiving must include a combination of scalable data and content classification with contextual enterprise search technology. The product uses broad techniques for data classification and can tag data in several ways, including by application, to enable the movement of data to specific tiers of storage based on importance.

“Many people think search is an application, but we disagree. We see it as an enabling technology that provides a real-time transparency into an archiving infrastructure,” says Rob Lancaster, vice president of channel development at Fast Search & Transfer.

The company is currently pitching the product to a range of archiving vendors. Some of the storage partners on Fast’s resume for InStream for Data Classification include Avamar, CommVault, EMC, MessageOne, Mimosa, RenewData, and Symantec. The latest storage vendor onboard is Archivas, which last month launched a new version of its flagship archiving software that uses Fast’s data classification technology.

Version 1.8 of Archivas Cluster (ArC) has been beefed up to include new search, discovery, and scalability features. ArC 1.8 uses Fast technology as the foundation for the concurrent indexing of metadata and content as files are written to the archive regardless of ingestion rate, with built-in ability to extract text and metadata from 370 file formats and 77 languages.

“The enhancements Archivas is delivering in version 1.8 center around what we believe to be today’s most critical user requirements-search, discovery, and scalability,” says Jeff Spotts, vice president of marketing at Archivas.

The software also provides for event-based updating of the full text and metadata index as retention status changes or as files are deleted. It also provides a Web-based discovery application that allows users to find result sets with sub-second response times regardless of archive size; filter those results by frequently occurring phrases within files, file type, or retention status; and then act on those results.

Fast’s InStream for Data Classification is available now to OEM partners, while Version 1.8 of the Archivas Cluster software will be generally available in early August.

This article was originally published on July 01, 2006