Vendors Partner Up For All-Encompassing Compliance Offerings

The increased number of solutions aimed at storing and archiving data for compliance purposes arrives as the market for such solutions is growing in leaps and bounds. In November, for instance, analyst firm Gartner predicted that IT financial-compliance management spending will increase to between 10 percent and 15 percent of IT budgets in 2006, a big jump from less than 5 percent in 2005. That market is wide open for the channel, said Bill Allen, president of Enterprise Storage Solutions, a West Lake Village, Calif.-based solution provider. While customers talk compliance and issues like Sarbanes-Oxley, in most cases they have yet to put in place policies to ensure their data meets compliance requirements, Allen said.

“As much as we take policy issues to customers and talk about it, it&'s interesting how long people try to dodge the bullet,” he said. “Whether banking, education or commercial customers, I never run into anyone who really understands it. These are major environments. If you talk at the executive level, their position is [that] compliance is important. But the individual administrators have magically ignored what is happening. It just amazes me.”

ONStor, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based developer of NAS gateway solutions, is working with Asigra, a Toronto-based developer of distributed data backup and recovery software, on a bundle to handle remote backup and recovery for compliance purposes.

Jon Toor, vice president of marketing for ONStor, said the two vendors are marketing the bundle to their own channels as a solution that is tested and proven. “When a reseller offers the solution, he has the confidence of a single SKU,” he said. “But it&'s not. We give the resellers flexibility. They have their own fulfillment paths. Now they have a proven solution they can take to customers.”

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The solution gives solution providers the opportunity to add their own value-added services to customers, including backup, recovery and compliance, Toor said. For compliance purposes, for instance, it allows customers to quickly find data in an archive, bring it to high-speed disk and do a search, he said. “We are making sure the data is accessible and searchable,” he said. “That&'s 90 percent of the compliance scenario.” Asigra has a similar arrangement with Nexsan, Woodland Hills, Calif.

San Francisco-based software developer SenSage is bundling its enterprise security analytics software with EMC&'s Centera compliance storage array in a single offering for its channel partners and customers. SenSage expects the bundle to safely handle the growing volume of data being stored for regulatory and auditing purposes, said Scott Gordon, vice president of marketing. That data is coming as a result of such regulations as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, Gordon said. “Security event data is a new class of data,” he said. “This is terabytes of data that has to be stored for years. The average enterprise collects a minimum of 15 Gbytes of access and security data a day, and some collect 50 Gbytes to 100 Gbytes per day.”

SenSage is bundling its software with EMC&'s Centera, an appliance that allows data to be stored in such a way that it cannot be modified or deleted except according to corporate policies.

The bundles, which SenSage will sell through its direct and indirect sales force, include the SenSage software, a module with pre-defined rules and reports for specific compliance requirements such as HIPAA, and a four-node Centera. There are three configurations available. The base configuration allows the retaining of up to 11 Tbytes of secure data for at least two years, with a price starting at about $200,000, Gordon said. In December, Oakdale, Minn.-based Imation; Boulder, Colo.-based Exabyte; and Egan, Minn.-based Intradyne put together the ComplianceVault e-mail archiving appliance to help customers work with compliance requirements. The ComplianceVault solution includes a 1U Intel-based server with embedded ComplianceVault software from Intradyn, up to 1 Tbyte of internal hard disk capacity, a choice of VXA or LTO tape automation from Exabyte and accessories.

Imation officials said that the solution is initially available only from CDW for a list price starting at less than $10,000, but that the company is exploring other distribution arrangements.