At Winter Warmer VTUG, a Focus on Data-Secure Storage

As I write my first post since joining DataGravity, Nashua, New Hampshire, where the company is headquartered, just finished cleaning up from the Blizzard of 2015 and a significant storm a week later. New England winters can’t slow down a hot industry, though, which I saw firsthand when I attended the 9th annual Winter Warmer Virtual Technology Users Group (VTUG) at Gillette Stadium in January.

The VTUG was my first day on the job at DataGravity as technical marketing manager. For two decades, I worked as a systems admin, doing everything from taking support calls to building out IT infrastructure to architecting new storage environments. In the past few years, I created technical content and evangelized storage solutions. At DataGravity, I’m charged with teaching the industry about a product – the DataGravity Discovery Series – that is shaking up how this market views storage.

The Winter Warmer VTUG was a great place to get started on that mission. There were almost 1,200 people there, and all of them were looking to solve problems in their virtual environments. My colleague Will Urban and I asked hundreds of attendees the following questions:

  • If a certain employee left the company, would you be able to find out which files he had read over the previous two weeks?
  • If someone asks you for a user audit that covers the past three months, what do you do?
  • What kinds of tools do you have to manage compliance in terms of dormant data?
  • How are you protecting sensitive data from unauthorized users?
  • How quickly could you find one piece of content within 3 million files?

The answers echo what many midmarket IT and storage admins, as well as compliance leaders, are saying. Attendees said they had struggled to find integrated solutions that would enable them to answer these questions to their satisfaction, and stitching together disparate tools to meet the need would require exorbitant investments. Surprisingly, some attendees told us they weren’t even trying to address these challenges; they simply believed they didn’t have the resources to fix data compliance, security and visibility issues.

I remember specifically one attendee telling us a story about an employee at his company, who had been fired after it was discovered that he had been using his credentials to access and read the files of the company president. Discovering this activity, said the VTUG-goer, took far longer than it should have.

This is what DataGravity means when we talk about changing the game in data storage, but the “game” today is a high-stakes one that is as focused on hardening data against compliance and security breaches as it is on storing, searching and recovering data. Storage solutions need to be data-aware and data-secure, and that requires integrating storage, data management, governance, risk, compliance, protection, recovery, search and discovery into a single appliance.

I’m looking forward to talking to more security, storage and IT leaders about the hard questions they’re struggling to answer. Check out our events page to learn where we’ll be talking about data-aware, data-secure storage next.

  Like This

David Stevens

David Stevens is a Technical Marketing Manager at DataGravity. For two decades, David worked as a systems admin, doing everything from taking support calls to building out IT infrastructure to architecting new storage environments. Prior to joining DataGravity, he created technical content and evangelized storage solutions for Dell.