EMC launches new data management software

Infoscape is designed to organize unstructured computer files in an enterprise computer system

Network storage vendor EMC on Monday introduced a new data storage management product that is the fruit of three software acquisitions the company has made in recent years.

EMC will launch its Infoscape intelligent information management software at an EMC user conference this week in Anaheim, California.

Infoscape is designed to organize the thousands of unstructured computer files in an enterprise computer system, such as Word documents, PowerPoint Presentations, or spreadsheets. The software organizes files by their content, their importance or whether there are regulations requiring they be saved, said Rob Emsley, senior director of software product marketing, for EMC. Building such an organizational structure makes it easier to retrieve documents when they are needed.

"This technology can provide a lot more information about the files in your infrastructure," said Emsley.

The company also Monday launched EMC Information Management Strategy Service, a consulting service to help enterprises design, build and run an information management system.

The new offerings were developed with technology EMC acquired from the acquisition of three document management software companies: Legato Systems and Documentum, both in 2003, and Smarts, in early 2005.

The acquisitions are part of EMC's strategy to diversify from being primarily a storage hardware vendor. Software sales accounted for 37 percent of EMC's revenue in 2005, up from just 17 percent four or five years ago, Emsley said.

With Infoscape, EMC is "taking a small but very important step," said Arun Taneja an analyst with Taneja Group. It's important because a major storage vendor is offering what he calls "information classification management software," but small because Infoscape initially can only run in an EMC Celerra storage environment.

Although Infoscape is initially "closely integrated" with the Celerra DART (data access in real time) operating system, it will also work within EMC's Clariion and Symmetrix server families in the second half of 2007, said EMC spokesman Todd Cadley. Infoscape, he explained, manages the information not the storage, operating at the file system level. Therefore, it will work in heterogenous storage environments.

Other major hardware makers such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard are evaluating similar solutions to the file management problem facing enterprises, said Taneja, and there are a handful of startups also developing solutions. It's possible that some of the larger companies could follow EMC's strategy and acquire some of the smaller software developers to create their own file management software products.

The base Infoscape software module is $125,000 and capacity licensing starts at $9,000 per terabyte, EMC said.

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