Ken Cheney, vice president for business development and marketing, Likewise (, says:
While digital data in all forms is more than doubling every two years, IDC predicted (in 2008) that the annual growth rate for unstructured data in data centers would exceed 60 percent through 2012. More recent estimates indicate that IDC’s prediction was somewhat conservative. One estimate indicates that by 2012 unstructured data will consume 80 percent of data center storage. (Unstructured data includes financial files, medical records, office documents, media and big data files.)

According to Ken Cheney, vice president of business development and marketing for Likewise, “some 40 percent of unstructured data is classified as sensitive and only 14 percent of organizations with a plan for managing that data.” To address this growing challenge, Likewise announced Likewise Data Analytics and Governance software, now available in a public beta, which gives organizations greater visibility into their unstructured data for improved security, auditing and compliance.

Industry analysts, Storage Strategies Now, wrote in a report: Most enterprise organizations have little understanding of their unstructured data. The risks and costs due to this lack of understanding include losing valuable data, not effectively exploiting assets, security risks and the inability to meet compliance, legal, and regulatory requirements.

Likewise Data Analytics and Governance enables organizations to implement a set of automated best practices to secure and manage unstructured data. The application uses analytics to contextualize data with user identity, sensitivity, and other information to mitigate risks, reduce costs and create value.

The software can help organizations understand performance and usage across storage pools, categorize unstructured data to create new applications or lines of business, and exploit data to maximize revenue. Companies can consolidate reporting across data silos, enforce consistent access policies, and manage entitlements from a single web console. The result is a global hierarchical view of an organization’s unstructured data that can identify and remediate root causes of security, performance and access issues.

“The problem with unstructured data has grown exponentially over time. It can seem insurmountable, but companies must get their arms around the sensitive data contained in these files,” said Ginny Roth, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “Without the ability to have some glimpse into this data in the wild, companies will be increasingly vulnerable to high profile breaches.”

The new Likewise application integrates with the Likewise Storage Services platform used by OEM network attached storage (NAS) vendors such as HP and EMC-Isilon, and has adapters that support NetApp, EMC-Celerra and other NAS filers. The beta version is available for qualifying customers with pricing that starts at $18,000.

The Likewise Storage Services platform, used by such OEM storage vendors as HP and EMC Isilon, offers a consistent security model for file-based access and cross-platform, unified storage across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Likewise Storage Services provides integrated identity and access management, as well as secure access to data from Windows, Unix and Linux systems. Supported protocols include SMB/CIFS 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, NFS 3.0, and a RESTful API. Likewise Storage Services is available with a commercial license from Likewise Software.