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DataGravity has released the first ever storage product combined with big data tools for IT administrators, audit and business users to track information in real-time for better governance and security.

DataGravity has released what it claims to be the first ever storage product combined with big data tools for IT administrators, audit and business users.

The patent-pending Discovery Series flash-optimised array can query file up to 400 formats from text files to Adobe PDF through its HTML5 user interface (UI). IT administrators and business users can see which employees are creating, modifying and reading files in real-time with visualisations on the Discovery Series dashboard.

All personally identifiable information employees might save, like credit card and national insurance numbers, are indexed and flagged on the interface. Users can perform a risk analysis to see who has accessed this personal information and track interactions over time.

The storage and analytics package, the first release from CEO Paula Long's (founder of Dell-acquired EqualLogic) and president John Joseph's storage company, is tapping into the struggle companies are facing with unstructured data, which is costly and often split into departmental silos, rendering it impractical for business insight.

Long and Joseph told ComputerworldUK it is the first on the market to offer a storage and analysis combination for mid-sized companies - offering more value for organisations' spiralling storage costs.

“Getting intelligence from unstructured data has traditionally meant a long, expensive journey and complicated, layered products on top of primary storage. That’s not attainable for most mid-market organisations,” said Long.

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“The future of storage is about much more than just the data container; it’s about delivering integrated technology that lets users hear what the data they’re storing has to say about their business, and we see that future starting now.”

Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data visibility, up to the board level. Improved data governance can open up new revenue streams, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs, aside from better assessing risk, Jim Orr, Information Builders’ data governance expert recently wrote in a blog post on ComputerworldUK.

“The unstructured data dilemma is growing, and International Data Corporation (IDC) has been predicting technology would catch up to provide an answer to the market demand,” added Laura Dubois, program vice president of storage at IDC.

“The DataGravity approach is transformational in an industry where innovation has been mostly incremental.”

While other companies offer similar combined storage and analytics products, like Oracle’s Exalytics BI tool, the Discovery Series serves a different purpose. For example, Exalytics is a BI platform, designed for fast structured data analytics for the high end of the market, DataGravity said.

"DataGravity offers a primary storage array for the mid-tier with built in data insights. Our insights are focused on informing the IT Administrator, audit and business user," Long said.

Data recovery

The line of arrays offer “instant recovery and zero impact” Joseph told ComputerworldUK. Copies are saved on the primary and the secondary controller (Intel node) so backups are unaffected if the primary storage is damaged.

The Discovery Series, the first product from DataGravity, supports NFS, CIFS/SMB and iSCI LUNs, and can manage virtual machines (VMs) natively.

A 48TB and 96TB arrays are available to buy in the US, priced between $50,000 and $100,000 with a one-off fee “for now”, the CEO told ComputerworldUK. UK customers can expect to see it on the market next year.

DataGravity is privately funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and General Catalyst Partners. DataGravity has raised $42 million to date and was founded in 2012.

CEO Paula Long is one of the founders of EqualLogic which was acquired by Dell, in 2008, for $1.4 billion. It was the largest cash-only payout ever for a venture-backed firm at that time.