Data on the move

As data and information grows exponentially, Brocade's new file management solutions are meant to help enterprises bring some order to the apparent chaos.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  July 5, 2008

As data and information grows exponentially, Brocade's new file management solutions are meant to help enterprises bring some order to the apparent chaos.

Worldwide data is predicted to grow by 600% between 2006 and 2010, and around 80% of this is unstructured information. What's more, over 80% of all data that is created in an enterprise becomes inactive after only 30 days.

According to Timm Hoyt, director of file solutions, EMEA at Brocade, the file management solutions from the company can help enterprises deal with this data more efficiently.

The latest numbers from some analyst firms peg the file area networking space in 2008 to be US$2.7 billion of vendor or manufacturer revenue worldwide. That is bigger than the SAN market.

"According to most industry analysts, data is going to grow from 161 exabytes in 2006 to 988 exabytes in 2010. The ability of current infrastructure to keep up with that growth is doubtful and many enterprises might find themselves against brick walls," says Hoyt.

Hoyt believes that Brocade's file management solutions, which include the File Management Engine, Storage X and File Lifecycle Manager among others, can help enterprises manage growing data better, enable smooth movement between primary and other storage tiers, as well as aid in consolidation and disaster recovery efforts.

"The file solutions group was formed within Brocade in late 2007. The bulk of the solutions were brought to us by our acquisition of NuView. Of course, we have done some further R&D and enhancements on the versions following the acquisition.

The first real product that came out from us was the file management engine, and that was the result of a parallel R&D activity that has strengthened the portfolio and the technologies that we acquired," says Hoyt.

Brocade continues to work on both, and Hoyt insists that soon there will be a common architecture and management for leveraging the strengths of all the company's file products.

The typical enterprise that would require file management includes any company which has 500 to 5000 users and has distributed offices to manage data from.

This is not a hard and fast rule though and companies that do not fit that description, but which have a large amount of data and consider file data as crucial, would also be better off with appropriate file data solutions.

"The pain points of file data are horizontal. There are some verticals where we see stronger reliance upon file data or have some external pressures such as compliance. Telcos are very big in file data, there is media and advertising organisations, finance and public sector," says Hoyt.

He adds: "The latest numbers from some analyst firms peg the file area networking space in 2008 to be $2.7 billion of vendor or manufacturer revenue worldwide. That is bigger than the SAN market.

The market is substantial and it is growing. Even if you consider the growth as a factor of the total amount of data that is increasing, it is still substantial."

To tap into this growing market, Brocade is looking to put in place system integrators and resellers in the region who would be better able to tap the market and address local enterprise needs.

"The first thing is finding integrators who know the market better than we do, who have the right resources and can put the solutions together. Although we have got great technology, and it is an enabler for business value, it doesn't do everything on its own. You need to build solutions around it," says Hoyt.

Brocade is looking to have such partners in place before the summer months of 2009. In parallel to this, the company will also look to increase its pre-sales solution architects and sales personnel in the region in order to address the demands of the growing market.

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