Catalogic unleashes ECX 2.0 to tame duplicate data in the enterprise

Duplicate disksCatalogic Software Inc. has launched a new version of its copy management platform that promises to help organizations make more efficient use of their storage capacity amid the rapid growth in unstructured data. The release is the culmination of a journey that started three years ago at an entirely different company.

The technology at the heart of the offering was born at Syncsort Inc., a provider of data migration and integration software that ended up selling the intellectual property to a group of investors led by Bedford Venture Partners and Windcrest Partners in October of 2013. The consortium spun off their newly bought asset into an independent outfit the next year, and so Catalogic was born.

The latest release of its platform, ECX 2.0, addresses the complexity of managing duplicate data. It’s not uncommon for business applications to share files, which often requires the creation of multiple copies that become difficult to handle in large numbers. Left unchecked, that data can become a massive burden on an organization’s infrastructure after it’s no longer needed.

It’s the same challenge that Actifio Inc. hopes to address with its new cloud-based data virtualization service, but Catalogic takes a fundamentally different approach toward providing the answer. ECX plugs into the native snapshotting capabilities of the storage system on which it’s installed and allows practitioners to create workflows for automating image management.

The ability to schedule snapshotting operations in advance can save a great deal of administrative overhead, not to mention reduce the risk of human error associated with the great deal of manual work normally involved, but that’s only aspect of Catalogic’s value proposition. The more important part is the monitoring and auditing functionality included in ECX, which enable the user to keep a constant eye on different versions of data objects from a centralized dashboard.

That immediate visibility is invaluable for identifying and removing redundant data, which the company says can help significantly reduce storage requirements. ECX 2.0 also alerts the administrator every time a copy violates storage policies, a feature that makes it possible to not only address pre-existing inefficiencies but also proactively keep additional unnecessary files from piling up.

ECX 2.0 is currently only available for NetApp Inc.’s ONTAP operating system. Taken together with the fact that Catalogic’s new CEO, Ed Walsh, has sold no fewer than three startups to established vendors earlier in his career, that would make it appear that the partnership may eventually lead to an acquisition. But that is not to say there aren’t other potential buyers.

The platform could potentially prove equally complementary for many systems from NetApp’s rivals, a large number of which are already in Catalogic’s sights: Walsh publicly stated that he intends to make the platform available for customers of EMC, IBM, HP and a number of other players in the future. The company clearly has an exciting road ahead.

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