Monday, April 9

Data Growth is Bringing Security and Ops Together

There was an interesting article posted last month in NetworkWorld by Jeff Vance applying the concept of hoarding to electronic data. My favorite quote (altered slightly) from the article is borrowed from Yogi Berra:
Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.
Vance was talking about SharePoint. To paraphrase one point: as SharePoint becomes the de facto content management system for an organization, it's performance is impacted by data growth and increased usage. Vance also points out that firms like IDC and Gartner are predicting huge growth in the amount of data being stored by enterprises. And while storage costs have decreased (and may even be an enabler), data center space and management costs increase as data grows.

There's more in the article like the impact on search, legal fees, and HVAC costs but I'm sure you get the idea (and you could always go read the article yourself).

So, why do I bring this up? Lately I've been forced to think about the negative impact of data growth by the customers I'm speaking with about their unstructured data. Many are concerned with security, but operational concerns are also prevalent. Some ONLY care about the operational concerns. Since we have a scanner that can report on data and usage, it should also provide reports on unused content and disk utilization. Right? Well, I'm certainly not going to disagree with solving real-world business problems.

I find myself speaking two languages in the same product discussion: security and operations. And as data grows across SharePoint and File Systems, I expect to see more of the same. With audit as a third big driver, maybe I can coin an acronym here - SOA. It's never been used, has it?

BTW, We have a solution that's really good at scanning large scale unstructured data environments and performing endless analysis on the data to answer all sorts of questions. We're working with a few other vendors in the IAM/IAG space who see value in that capability and may have holes in their portfolios around unstructured data. So far, those partnerships have been driven mostly by security and audit. But since the customer organizations are also driven by operational concerns, we're also talking to storage platform vendors. If you have similar interest, let me know.