Symantec has recently announced a new version of their Data Insight software that helps data centers monitor and manage file data and thereby, help manage and secure data.
Symantec Data Insight
Data Insight is a file monitoring and management tool which provides an automated way to find out who is accessing files in your data center. Armed with such information, IT staff can identify data custodians or owners that can with the help of access reports better manage and maintain oversight for data center files.
Early on Symantec had surveyed a number of users that had singled out data ownership as a central problem impeding many companies from providing better data security and compliance. Moreover, many security experts readily admit there is sensitive data out in their data center but they don’t have a clue as to who is using it. Data Insight was invented to answer these and other questions surrounding unstructured or file data access.
Once data ownership has been established, Data Insight can then supply automated reports identifying users and files accessed. With that knowledge data owners or custodians can readily determine if such access is consistent with company compliance and other business requirements.
In addition, IT now has a contact point within business units that owns data. They can now officially find out if data still needs to be available or if access needs to be further restricted. Further, who better to ask about other performance, recovery and/or other SLA requirements for this data.
Also, data custodians become the primary business unit compliance officer with respect to their data. Data Insight can be combined with other Symantec software such as Symantec Data Loss Prevention and other offerings to supply even better data security exposure and compliance control.
Data Insight is a software only product that runs on Windows and operates on customer hardware. Symantec suggests that Data Insight use higher performing storage because it can become a heavy IO consumer, depending on data center file access activity.
Symantec Data Insight 3.0
Data Insight 3.0 now offers:
- Data Custodian Management automation,
- Added EMC VNX and NetApp NFS support,
- Enhanced Microsoft SharePoint permissions and Veritas Storage Foundation 6.0 support,
- Added directory services for LDAP, NIS/NIS+ support, and
- Increase indexing and query performance
Previously, Data Insight had supported NetApp CIFS (SMB) and EMC Celerra (NFS and CIFS) for file access event reporting. Also, the SharePoint integration now includes support for permissions.
Better Data Insight performance comes from separating the file access indexing function across a set of servers and no longer using a relational database. Recall that Data Insight is architected around three main elements: a collection component which executes in file accessing servers; an indexing component that now runs across a set of servers; and a management console responsible for reporting and online query. When indexing is spread across multiple servers the management console federates search requests across all of them. With the new performance enhancements, Symantec stated that Data Insight could handle datasets exceeding 100sTB of file data and billions of file access events.
Data Insight 3.0 base pricing is $5000 for the first 250 file users but this supports unlimited file storage.
Unstructured or file data has been the hardest thing to manage and control from a compliance perspective. It is so easy to create, share and proliferate that file data almost defies management.
But Symantec Data Insight addresses these issues by helping to identify data owners and custodianship and monitor file access. By doing this, a business unit user can take responsibility for their file data.
Data custodianship probably only makes sense in larger data center environments and in this case, only applies to file data. For smaller shops, custodianship is probably hard to find even without such tools. Nonetheless, given the ease by which file data can proliferate, even some smaller environments might benefit from ongoing monitoring of file access provided by Symantec Data Insight.
[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in March of 2012. If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports.]