EMC Takes Aim at Files

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EMC had a busy day on Monday, announcing its move into data classification, closing its acquisition of RSA — and buying another security company in the process.

It’s all part of the storage giant’s move into the broader IT market (see Storage, IT Converge), which the company dubs “information management.”

EMC next month will begin selling Infoscape, a single software package to allow companies to find, categorize and manage unstructured information such as e-mails, word processing documents and spreadsheets, a strategy called information classification and management (ICM) by some.

This is a key difference from the IT service management offered from IBM, CA and HP, said Rob Emsley, senior director of software at EMC. Those vendors’ software monitors resources and diagnoses errors to allow IT administrators to make fixes as needed.

By focusing on the information itself, EMC hopes to sell its own brand of service management to customers concerned about meeting compliance regulations.

“None of the aforementioned vendors with their service management frameworks really do a lot of work, if any, on aligning the information you create within the IT infrastructure to the services that you have available,” Emsley said. “This becomes really important in managing costs and avoiding risks.”

Avoiding risks is important these days, thanks to the numerous corporate compliance records that have sprung up in the last few years in the wake of accounting scandals. Regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and Graham Leach-Bliley force companies to take more stringent care of their records. Companies that can’t produce unaltered information when asked are subject to legal risks, which is why they have been buying management software from vendors like EMC, IBM, CA and HP.

Specifically, EMC Infoscape will help customers search and classify information based on its importance to the business, move that data across several layers of storage software and hardware, and manage the information for compliance.

The software, rolled from a combination of EMC’s in-house cooking and from assets gleaned from the company’s purchases of Documentum, Legato and Smarts, performs a number of tasks.

In particular, Emsley said Infoscape will be a nice complement to Smarts’ resource management software.

These include file discovery by accepting mass metadata transfers from EMC Celerra network attached storage (NAS) devices; file classification based on metadata or file content; mapping storage level service to each file type; automated file movement between network shares and storage servers; and audit trails on where information resides and how it’s managed.

Such software is all well and good, but sometimes corporations need help organizing their information before letting applications take control.

For that, EMC today began offering the EMC Information Management Strategy Service to help customers define policies and procedures to manage unstructured information as its importance changes throughout the information lifecycle.

Starting at $214,000 for a 10-terabyte configuration, Infoscape will be available in October; the corresponding EMC Information Management Strategy Service is available now, with price depending on the specific engagement.

EMC Keeps Security in Focus

Also on Monday, EMC closed its $2.1 billion acquisition of RSA — and acquired another security company, Network Intelligence, for $175 million.

The two will form EMC’s new information security unit, which will maintain the RSA brand, to be led by Art Coviello, the former CEO of RSA Security.

“Information security continues to dominate the spending intentions of CIOs around the world,” EMC CEO Joe Tucci said in a statement. “The battlefront in security has quickly shifted from securing the network perimeter to protecting and securing the information itself — wherever that information lives and wherever it moves.”

EMC said it plans to develop “an industry-first common security platform (CSP). EMC’s CSP will dramatically accelerate the integration of core security services throughout EMC’s portfolio of products, providing customers with a common, open baseline of built-in security for the information infrastructure.”

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com, with additional reporting by Paul Shread of Enterprise Storage Forum.

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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