Deluged by unstructured data? NetApp and Symantec partner to offer industry-leading data governance tool.

By Sharyathi Nagesh, Technical Marketing Engineer


With the compound annual growth rate of unstructured data projected at more than 60% over the next few years, network attached storage (NAS) solutions are trying to keep pace with that growth. Future NAS solutions should not only provide huge scale-out and performance, but also tools that allow storage administrators to manage and monitor these huge data sets.


This exponential growth of unstructured data poses technical challenges for the storage administrator to meet business and legal requirements. To tackle these challenges, storage administrators need data governance tools. Data Governance tools help to understand data risks, improve storage efficiency, manage effective rights, perform data set content profiling, and assure data compliancy. These tools help business owners to understand the value of data and build effective business cases.


Using the robust File Policy (FPolicy) solution built in to NetApp Data ONTAP®, NetApp has partnered with Symantec to offer an industry-leading data governance solution called Data Insight (hereafter, “DI”). DI integrates with the NetApp storage system via the FPolicy-based file notification framework.


     FPolicy provides:

      • Support for NFS and CIFS file access to volumes
  • Real-time in-band notification
  • A reliable notification framework


The DI scale-out architecture can support both very simple as well as large deployments, in both instances minimizing hardware requirements.


Symantec Data Insight connects to NetApp storage arrays using standard Data ONTAP interfaces and:

  • Non-intrusively collects activity events using FPolicy
  • Collects permissions and metadata information using incremental scans





With this integration, DI can provide the following benefits:


Content profiling and effective rights management: DI solves the problem by leveraging proprietary pattern identification and heuristics algorithms. This helps in discovering and managing the custodians of unstructured data, helping in data center efficiency, mitigating risk, and adhering to compliance.



Compliancy and Data loss prevention:   DI integrates with the popular Symantec Data Loss Prevention suite to provide a single window to manage compliance with requirements like HIPAA and PCI (to protect “PII,” or Personally Identifiable Information) and to configure effective data protection rules for your data set.



Data management: DI helps in classifying data according to multiple parameters, enabling effective data lifecycle management. The solution provides visualization of data storage utilization and helps the effective planning of data centers in areas such as expansion strategy, data tiering, and migration strategy.



For more information on the Data Insight solution, please refer to our joint solution brief or to the solution page on Symantec.