EMC software automates ILM

By Kevin Komiega

—EMC this week announced a new software suite that helps end users discover, classify, and manage unstructured file data. The new product, dubbed Infoscape, is a combination of technologies obtained through a number of acquisitions and, according to the company, heralds the next generation of its information lifecycle management (ILM) software. EMC is also offering a related consulting service to help customers plan and implement the software.

Infoscape's primary function is to automate ILM services such as information protection, data placement on tiers of storage, regulatory compliance, and information security based on the information's value to the business. In other words, Infoscape automatically discovers information, assesses its importance, and executes pre-defined ILM policies.

EMC says Infoscape is more than just a bundle of existing data management products. "This is not a packaging effort. We've been writing this new software product for two years using discovery technology from our acquisition of Smarts, data classification technology from Documentum, and data movement technology from Legato," says Mark Sorenson, senior vice president of information management software at EMC.

When asked whether Infoscape works with hardware from other vendors, EMC said that interoperability is in the works. "Infoscape is storage-agnostic. It doesn't care whose storage is behind it. Out of the chute it is primarily focused on NAS servers and EMC hardware, but over time it will support NAS servers from all vendors," says Sorenson.

Once installed, Infoscape automatically discovers files in network shares by scanning and collecting file metadata. Infoscape can currently accept bulk metadata transfers from EMC's Celerra NAS devices. The software then classifies files into various categories based on either collected file metadata or actual file content using a variety of techniques.

Infoscape also automates file movement between network shares and storage servers, initially in a Celerra environment, for security, compliance, or storage optimization. The software also generates reports on items such as duplicate files and capacity utilization while leaving audit trails of all activities for compliance purposes.

Infoscape uses a full-text indexing engine to enable users to search for or within a selected category of files. Users can also use Infoscape to conduct cost analysis and modeling and to generate reports on charge backs and cost savings.

In addition to EMC Infoscape, the company introduced the EMC Information Management Strategy Service, a consulting offering from EMC Global Services. This service is aimed at helping customers define ILM policies and procedures for data classification and managing unstructured file data.

EMC Infoscape will be available in October. The base module is priced from $125,000, and capacity licensing is priced from $9,000 per terabyte.

This article was originally published on September 19, 2006