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Product specs for policy manager software

These product specs for policy management software will help storage professionals evaluate and compare policy managers.

Policy management software (aka policy managers) bring a layer of intelligence to the storage infrastructure. They provide guidelines that dictate which data to store, where to store it, when to move it and when to dispose of it.

Policy managers must support a wide range of data types, including structured data such as databases and email, unstructured data such as documents and rich media, and semi-structured data such as spreadsheets. Policy managers must also support a range of storage tiers and systems, so that they can automatically move data between tiers. . .and finally to archival storage over time as policies dictate. Policy managers must also scale to accommodate huge numbers of files across hundreds of terabytes of storage, and maintain copious records of every activity to address compliance needs.

The product snapshots below consist of specifications for a cross-section of policy manager products. The products listed were selected based on input from industry analysts and SearchStorage.com editors, and the specifications are current as of March 2008. The specifications, which are provided by the vendors, are updated periodically. Vendors are welcome to submit their updates and new product specs to Matt Perkins.

Go to the first product snapshot, or select the desired product below:

  • Abrevity; FileData Manager
  • ByCast Inc.; StorageGrid software
  • IBM; DR550
  • Solix Technologies Inc.; Enterprise Data Management suite
  • StoredIQ; Information Governance
  • Sun Microsystems Inc.; Sun Customer Ready Infinite Archive System
  • Symantec Corp.; Enterprise Vault

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    Product Snapshot #1

    Product: Abrevity; FileData Manager

    Data Types: Supports unstructured (file), semi-structured (email), and structured (database) data.
    Data Hold: Yes; can set legal hold capabilities.
    Chain of Custody: Full chain of custody and auditing
    Retention/Deletion Features: Set and update retention date/time based on an event or policy parameter; Delete or shred after retention expiration.
    Discovery Features: Full discovery of metadata and content. Ability to export results for use by other products.
    Reporting and Logging Features: Comprehensive reporting engine with ability to create custom reports; verbose logging and auditing.
    Agents: None
    Scalability: 20-30 TB per FileData Classifier; up to 50 FileData Classifiers managed by a single FileData Manager.
    Archiving Platform Integration: Hitachi Content Archive Platform (HCAP), and any archive product supporting CIFS, NFS or HTTP.
    Requirements: Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 2 Internal HD's, and Windows 2003 Server.
    Base Cost: $30,000 for first FileData Classifier w/ 5 TB of management. Additional TB's or Classifier node is $3,000.
    Detailed Specs: http://www.abrevity.com/software_fdm/
    Vendor URL: http://www.abrevity.com

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    Product Snapshot #2

    Product: ByCast Inc.; StorageGrid software

    Data types: StorageGrid provides a network file system interface for storing and retrieving fixed content files via NFS and CIFS. An API is available for object storage and retrieval. The API is based on the HTTP protocol and does not require any vendor provided client libraries.
    Data hold: StorageGrid has a deletion protection feature which allows an administrator to protect files against deletion.
    Chain of custody: An Audit feature supports chain of custody requirements.
    Retention/Deletion Features: StorageGrid has a flexible mechanism for specifying data location (storage tier), retention and purging policies. It is possible to specify that the contents of files be preserved in the Grid even after the original files have been deleted from the file System Gateway. StorageGrid can be configured to encrypt all content.
    Discovery Features: StorageGrid provides an HTTP-based API which can be used to perform queries on any metadata associated with files and/or objects stored in the Grid.
    Reporting and Logging Features: StorageGrid has an Audit subsystem, which can be configured to log any or all activity in the Grid. An extensive graphical Management Interface allows users to examine current and historical operation parameters and storage utilization.
    Agents: No agents required.
    Scalability: There is no fixed limit to the number of objects that a Grid can manage. Disk and tape storage capacity, metadata capacity and file system capacity can be expanded by adding Storage, Archive, Control and Gateway nodes respectively.
    Archiving Platform Integration: StorageGrid software integrates archiving and policy management into a single platform. It integrates a heterogeneous hardware environment including spinning disk and removable media into a unified and virtualized system.
    Requirements: StorageGrid interfaces to the customer network via Gigabit Ethernet IP interfaces. StorageGrid requires access to a reliable NTP time source. Files may be ingested and retrieved via NFS or CIFS, and there is an HTTP-based interface for object storage and retrieval. Use of removable media (such as tape or optical media) requires one or more Tivoli Storage Manager servers. StorageGrid is qualified for HP, IBM and Dell server hardware.
    Base Cost: Available in Enterprise Edition, Regional Archive Edition, Service Provider Edition and Express Bundles starting at under $10,000.
    Detailed Specs: http://www.bycast.com/products/storagegrid_overview.asp
    Vendor URL: www.bycast.com

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    Product Snapshot #3

    Product: IBM; DR550

    Data Types: IBM System Storage DR550 supports all data types, structured or unstructured.
    Data Hold: Yes; DR550 has a Deletion HOLD feature which makes the selected content be protected against the normal end of life (policy expiration) process.
    Chain of Custody: Not provided
    Retention/Deletion Features: The policy-based, archive data retention capabilities are designed to support non-erasable, non-rewritable data storage, meaning it is designed to prevent deliberate or accidental deletion of data until its specified retention criterion is met. DR550 enables management of data that has no explicit retention period, such as employee (as long as employed) and customer (as long as account is open) data, through an event-based records management feature. DR550 allows a designated object or group of objects to be protected against the normal end of life (policy expiration) process by using a deletion hold management feature. The internal management system is hardened to prevent any system administrator deletion whether intentional or inadvertant. DR550 has encryption options for added security, and also offers shredding of sensitive data as an option.
    Discovery Features: Discovery is done via the content management application.
    Reporting and Logging Features: Examples of messages sent to the activity log include: When client sessions start or end, when migration starts and ends, when backup versions expire, what data is exported to tape, when expiration processing is performed, what export or import processing is performed. An API application can choose to log events (e.g. retention event, delete failures) into the activity log.
    Agents: IBM System Storage Archive Manager client required with the content management application when using the SSAM API to send objects to the DR550.
    Scalability: DR550 can scale up 168 TB with disk storage and petabytes with attached tape system. A large DR550 configuration with a 300 GB database stores approximately 500 million objects.
    Archiving Platform Integration: DR550 integrates with the major archiving applications in the marketplace (see the list at: https://www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage/disk/dr/interop.html). This is direct integration to the DR550 client. System also supports NFS/CFS file interface through DR550 File System Gateway which broadens the application support option significantly.
    Requirements: None
    Base Cost: DR550 model DR1 starts at $26K US list price.
    Detailed Specs: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/common/ssi/pm/sp/n/tsd00744usen/TSD00744USEN.PDF
    Vendor URL: www.ibm.com

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    Product Snapshot #4

    Product: Solix Technologies Inc.; Enterprise Data Management suite

    Product details not available at this time.

    Detailed Specs: http://www.solix.com/enterprise_data_archiving.htm
    Vendor URL: www.solix.com

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    Product Snapshot #5

    Product: StoredIQ; Information Governance

    Data Types: Establish policies for any unstructured electronic data, including files, documents, archives, email messages, and data within document management systems.
    Data Hold: Yes; make an exact copy of data targeted for preservation to one of many preservation platform servers that StoredIQ supports, keeping all file system metadata intact, and producing an audit trail of any such copy actions. Alternatively, modify permissions to lock a file down in place where it resides if that is the desired behavior.
    Chain of Custody: Yes; produce comprehensive audit trails of any actions performed on data. Audit information in StoredIQ can be searched and exported to create reports.
    Retention/Deletion Features: Perform litigation holds on unstructured data throughout the enterprise using either system metadata attributes such as custodian/owner, by date, or by file type, or using advanced classification criteria utilizing natural language concepts such as cities, names, companies, etc. Files identified for preservation/retention can be copied or moved with all file system metadata and object level metadata intact and unchanged to a target retention server platform that supports WORM. Full audit history is recorded of any copy/move/delete transactions performed by the product. Set the retention period on target retention server platform if that feature is available when copying or moving data. Integrated HSM capability with retention features ensures that files that are under litigation hold are not inadvertently deleted through the normal course of IT storage maintenance.
    Discovery Features: Support for proactive eDiscovery to integrate information management, records management, proactive indexing of all enterprise unstructured data, and pre-discovery reports and analytics to assist with meet-and-confer sessions as mandated under the FRCP. Ability to intelligently understand archive formats such as *.zip, *.pst, and *.nsf at a granular level for identify and extract only responsive objects or attachments within such container structures if desired. Can identify and index unstructured data live across the network in-place without having to copy or archive the data first. Ability to perform indexing on system level metadata such as file name, size, access time, owner, etc. as well as full-text indexing of the entire file contents. Over 300 different file types/formats recognized for discovery. Ability to identify and collect data across a wide variety of different platforms and repositories, such as CIFS, NFS, NetWare, file servers, NAS servers, retention servers, desktops, notebooks, email servers, and document management systems.
    Reporting and Logging Features: Detailed reports are provided out of the box, as well as data explorers which allow users to navigate information about identified data from different views, such as by location, by owner, by date, by file type, etc. Detailed file reports are generated for all classification categories defined in the system. Additional reports include all files that have had their extensions re-named, count and size of all duplicate objects detected, storage reports by group/owner/object type, and data topology maps.
    Agents: No agent software is required for StoredIQ to identify, index, and collect electronically stored data.
    Scalability: There is no hard-coded maximum number of files. Our largest appliance configuration can full index up to 200 million files, assuming 5 million files on average exist per TB of unstructured data.
    Archiving Platform Integration: Currently does not integrate directly with any archiving platforms today, but that ability is on the product roadmap.
    Requirements: The StoredIQ product is delivered as an appliance, with all necessary hardware, software, and storage included and pre-configured ready to run upon receipt.
    Base Cost: Base cost for the StoredIQ product that includes all features described above is $50,000.00 USD and that price includes the hardware, software, and storage.
    Detailed Specs: http://www.storediq.com/downloads/Product_Governance_Final_hr.pdf
    Vendor URL: www.storediq.com

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    Product Snapshot #6

    Product: Sun Microsystems Inc.; Sun Customer Ready Infinite Archive System

    Data Types: The product is built on a general purpose file system that provides an intelligent, tiered archive solution that's easy to use, deploy, manage and is cost-effective. It allows customers to place data from various applications into the repository without the need for an API. Policies are established based on customer requirements.
    Data Hold: Data retention is managed via File System WORM with an option to also include WORM tape.
    Chain of Custody: The product has audit mechanisms to provide chain of custody, but these are not automated.
    Retention/Deletion Features: The product supports a Network Appliance, Inc. SnapLock interface allowing the customers to set retention. This product in conjunction with an ECM vendor such as Enterprise Vault, or CommVault, provide retention and deletion support.
    Discovery Features: The product supports basic capability to examine the file system and generate reports on the files stored in the file system. For a complete e-discovery solution, the product can be integrated with a third party e-discovery solutions or ECM vendor.
    Reporting and Logging Features: The IAS product provides health, usage and daily reports. These are accessed/generated via the GUI. In addition, the Solaris OS provides advanced features like DTrace, an industry leading tool for examining reporting or logging the various operational parameters.
    Agents: No agents required.
    Scalability: There is no limit to the number of files that can be ingested into the product, with multiple file systems created. However, the product is configured to provide a global namespace, the practical limit for a single file system is about 300 million files.
    Archiving Platform Integration: The product automates archive activities and it transparently manages multiple tiers -- both disk archive and tape tier. Currently there are two versions of the product, integrated Tape with a factory installed SL500 and tape ready system which, supports numerous Tape libraries (both enterprise class StorageTek libraries and other vendors).
    Requirements: The product is an appliance and the customer interface is an IP network (Gigabit Ethernet). There are 4 ingest ports and two management ports. The product is qualified for ingesting data via NFS or CIFS archiving data from applications running on assorted OS such as Solaris, Linux, HPUx, AIX, Windows etc.
    Base Cost: List for $116,277
    Detailed Specs: http://www.sun.com/servers/cr/contentinfrastructure/specs.xml
    Vendor URL: www.sun.com

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    Product Snapshot #7

    Product: Symantec Corp.; Enterprise Vault

    Data Types: Email (Microsoft, Domino, SMTP); Journal Email; PST; Instant Messaging; Windows Based Files (Over 300 supported file types); SharePoint Portal Server Files; SAP; ECM; Database
    Data Hold: Yes; automatic legal hold is applied in-place at the file level.
    Chain of Custody: Yes; full auditing and control to track chain of custody.
    Retention/Deletion Features: Archived items can be assigned to retention categories which specify the time for retention. Furthermore, policies can be defined around expiration of content, migration to secondary storage and collection into containers. Content categories are mapped to retention categories, so content classification can drive retention periods.
    Discovery Features: Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator extends the basic search functionality to help lower the cost of data collection and facilitate the search and recovery process of archived items used for electronic discovery.
    Reporting and Logging Features: Product reports via the application log on its system status and operations. Some examples of these events are; status of Enterprise Vault services/Tasks (stop/start); Archive task (when archiving of mailboxes start); Failures (retrieval, expand distribution list, etc); Conflicts (permission, storage device unavailable, etc). Enterprise Vault provides out of the box reporting and also provides database access to enable third-party reporting (e.g., Crystal Reports). Enterprise Vault has a monitoring module that allows administrators to keep track of events and activities.
    Agents: No agents required
    Scalability: Customers in production archiving over 5.5 million messages per day.
    Archiving Platform Integration: NTFS, SAN, NAS, WORM, CAS, Tape (via NetBackup and TSM)
    Requirements: Not provided
    Base Cost: The most popular bundle is around mailbox optimization. Mailbox Optimization Advanced Edition (MSRP $51.91 Per User) includes PST Migrator, Offline Vault and Public Folder Archiving
    Detailed Specs: https://www.symantec.com/enterprisevault
    Vendor URL: www.symantec.com

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