AutoVirt Inc. today is expanding its file virtualization product to include an assessment tool that helps identify and weed out old, corrupt or junk data from its systems to help make data migration projects go smoother.
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The assessment tool is part of AutoVirt 3.5 that will launch next week. The CIFS-based global namespace product's new policy-based assessment gives IT managers a detailed view of the file data down to the file level, AutoVirt CEO Josh Klein said. The assessment tool shows administrators file metrics such as file ownership, file type, the age of the file and the share size. It identifies old or corrupt data that can stall data migration projects. Customers can run the assessment tool, and then upgrade to AutoVirt's full product.
"The assessment tool gives you a discovery capability, telling you what data you have, who owns it, who is accessing it, and what opportunities there are for migrating and identifying the right storage tier for the data," Klein said.
Marc Staimer, president at Dragon Slayer Consulting, said the assessment tool provides valuable information for file data that's hard to come by.
"There's no tool out there that tells you what data is out there, how old it is, whether it's lukewarm or cold," he said. "This is the only product I've seen that gives you information like 'these files are there but they're dead.' You could have data from an employee you fired five years ago but the files are still there."
Staimer said it's difficult for administrators to judge what type of data exists in their systems just by the file extensions, and AutoVirt's assessment tool helps them make decisions about which files should be moved to a cheaper storage tier.
"It's an interesting capability," he said. "They can figure out who owns the files, the age and the file types. You can't make assessments based on the extension. You would be guessing what type of file it is. We're getting to the point where we want our data to be more useful so we can archive it, move it and mine it. And this helps you know what's there."
The assessment tool also has a persistent error identification function and automated data mover engine. It tries to open each file and if a file can't be opened, it's identified as a persistent error that needs to be fixed. The data mover engine lets customers set policies for migrating, archiving and replicating data to a separate namespace. Policies can also be set for file copying and mirroring.
"Historically, end users had storage resource management [SRM] to give an overview of the data," Klein said. "But they didn't have the capability to do anything about it. This isn't like SRM because you can go down to the file level. Assessment gives you that understanding. You have the ability to take action and move the data."
AutoVirt supports EMC Celerra, NetApp FAS and Microsoft's file servers. The firm's Klein said the vendor has more than 100 customers since launching its first AutoVirt version in late 2008.