Data Dynamics aims at single view of unstructured data

Data volume is ballooning, and storage is becoming more disparate, which makes the need for a single platform to manage storage and compliance a key requirement for organisations

Storage is a huge cost to enterprises. And while the cost per GB in raw terms is constantly falling, when management is factored in we arrive at thousands of pounds or dollars per TB held.

The bitter irony in all that is that most data is inactive. That’s just one problem Data Dynamics looks to solve with its unified data management platform portfolio, that allows organisations to get a comprehensive view of data stored, where it is stored, its use and risk profiles and the ability to fix, migrate and monitor it.

During the recent virtual edition of the IT Press Tour Data Dynamics showcased its core products – StorageX, which focuses on analysis, management and movement of data to optimise storage – and Insight Analytix, which allows discovery and classification of data with reporting and remediation.

So far, those products only work with unstructured data, although that accounts for the vast bulk of most organisation’s holdings, but the move to encompass structured data is on the roadmap, along with automated remediation of files according to policy and audit logging to keep a record of all file activity.

That said, the company claims big gains for its 350-plus customer, citing one Fortune 100 manufacturer that saved $2.6m using its products. Key savings came from being able to identify inactive data residing on tier 1 storage – 53% of the total volume – and that 74% of its data should have been archived. Altogether 51% of storage costs were saved.

CEO Piyush Mehta talked about how Covid has accelerated complexity in the IT environment, by adding to data sprawl as work became more distributed and remote, with greater use of the cloud and by these factors leading to potentially greater exposure of sensitive data.

These are the kind of challenges Data Dynamics claims to address. Chief among these are data sprawl, into primary, secondary, backup, archive and cloud tiers, with a lack of visibility and understanding of data held.

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Instead of a data management process that can become siloed between storage, data protection, security, compliance etc Mehta proposes, “leveraging these together in one central way”.

“What we’ve done is to give the customer a single, unified unstructured data management platform to allow these not to be siloed,” said Mehta. “The competition is focused on one or two tasks, not taking a step back to be a single, central data management platform.”

But what about the roughly 15% of data that is structured? Not handling that leaves it in a silo potentially, so when will Data Dynamics incorporate that? “It’s on the roadmap,” said Mehta.

To provide that single view Data Dynamics’s products analyse data for a range of attributes, including location, compliance requirements (in terms of key regulations/laws such as HIPAA, GDPR etc), usage, sensitivity/security risk profile etc and then tag data to add and manage classifications driven by customer requirements.

Data can be reported on and action take according to requirements that range from the appropriateness of storage media to its risk profile in compliance terms.

Actionable security remediation

Data Dynamics plans for actionable security remediation to be added based on the discovery and characteristics of personally identifiable information in a coming release.

It can deal with file and object data currently and can operate with all the main cloud providers.

Mehta thinks now is a good time for the company, with organisations moving the cloud that need to know what to move so they can avoid unnecessary cost. He cites one oil and gas company that migrated 600TB to Azure NetApp Files with the use of Data Dynamics and boosted productivity by 15x with 75% reduced project costs.

“75% of data is more than three years old in terms of last access,” he said. “So it doesn’t need to be on costly storage. Also, if you’re going to move data to the cloud is it compliant to move?”

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