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Data Domain, Mimosa add data compliance capabilities

Data Domain looks beyond backup with file-locking software; Mimosa opens its email archiving application to partners, so compliance vendors can add e-discovery and search features.

Data Domain Inc. and Mimosa Systems Inc. are broadening their data archiving capabilities in response to their customers looking for greater data compliance functionality.

Data Domain rolled out file-locking software that prevents files stored on Data Domain data deduplication devices from being deleted or altered for a set period. Mimosa unveiled a software developers' kit (SDK) that allows its e-discovery, search and enterprise content management partners to add content to its NearPoint email archiving software.

Organizations are seeking better data compliance tools in their data archiving products as they try to keep up with changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (FRCP) and other government and corporate regulations. Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Babineau said that organizations will archive more than 200,000 PB of files, archives and emails in the next five years. Hardware vendors and software vendors "are certainly going to follow the data and build or improve solutions that make the archiving process much easier for customers," he said.

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Data Domain puts lock on files

Data Domain's file-locking software, called Retention Lock, allows administrators to set policies that ensure that only adminis or trusted users can manage certain files, and that others cannot change or delete them before a specific date. Data Domain customers can replicate locked files for disaster recovery, and locking policies remain across links.

Retention Lock is part of Data Domain's strategy to move beyond only providing backup, which is the main application of its data deduplication appliances. Data Domain is going after nearline storage, and Retention Lock allows the vendor to transfer the capacity gains it provides on its backup devices to archived data. Customers can write, back up and archive data to the same system, then reduce capacity by deduplicating the archived data against the data already backed up on disk. They can then archive data off their most expensive disk storage.

Data Domain plans to add archiving capabilities, such as shredding, and will add encryption and other features through partnering. "We've solved the hard part already – doing inline deduplication," said Jeff Sosa, Data Domain director of product management. "Now we're adding capabilities."

NetApp takes a similar approach of building file locking into its file system with SnapLock. Others, such as EMC Centera, require custom APIs to add the feature.

Sosa said the file locking feature is not meant to help organizations comply with SEC or government regulations that prevent files from being altered. The purpose is to ensure end users uphold internal policies set by IT.

Data Domain has tested Retention Lock with Symantec's Veritas Enterprise Vault, EMC's eMail/Disk Xtender and CommVault's archiving software, and will make it compatible with other applications, Sosa said.

Retention Lock is a separate license for Data Domain customers running its 4.5 operating system. Pricing starts at $500 for a DD120 appliance for remote sites and runs to $24,000 for an enterprise DD690g system.

Mimosa embraces e-discovery partners

Mimosa's SDK allows its partners to insert content into NearPoint; enable their products to discover and view archived content with the NearPoint search index; change retention periods and modify metadata without rearchiving; perform litigation holds on archived content; and export content from NearPoint into their own repositories.

Mimosa also has formed a partner developer program called the Mimosa Developer Network (MDN) to make it easier for vendors to develop their applications with the NearPoint platform. Kazeon, Renew Data, FTI Consulting, FaceTime and CaseCentral are the first vendors to join the developer network.

Mimosa CEO T.M. Ravi said that the primary driver for email archiving has shifted over the past two years from saving storage capacity to e-discovery. That shift prompted Mimosa to open NearPoint for partners to add e-discovery capabilities. "More than 50% of our deals today are driven by the need for retention management, and search and discovery for legal reasons," Ravi said. "We're focused on storage management, search, discovery and content management."

Babineau agrees that customers now look to email archiving for more than reducing storage. "Customers deploy archiving to facilitate electronic discovery processes, to comply with record retention mandates and to make more information accessible without significantly increasing storage costs," he said. "To achieve one or more of these benefits, a customer may need to move data in and out of other applications like content management systems or legal review tools."

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