David Ouellette, Founder & PresidentToday every data management professional is eclipsed by the deluging size of data structures filling their data warehouses and email inboxes at a torrential rate. CIOs are constantly agonized with concerns around what data to store, how long to store it and the kind of defensible deletion strategy they need while moving the data. While Symantec’s Enterprise Vault helps large organizations effectively store, manage, and retrieve unstructured data, the company sometimes is not in the position to respond to immediate customer needs. In this scenario, David Ouellette—the Founder and President of Vault Solutions, pictures his company as a small tug boat that helps the freight ship—Symantec—manoeuvre closer to the dock through their products. With their comprehensive understanding of Symantec’s Enterprise Vault, Vault Solutions provides solutions that help users take full advantage of the built-in retention capabilities Enterprise Vault already has. Growing from a small office in Milford, New Hampshire, the company is scaling great heights with multiple products and large global companies as customers. Owing to their Symantec Technology Enabled Program (STEP) partnership, Vault Solutions has access to Symantec’s Application Program Interfaces (APIs) which enables the company to integrate their products with Enterprise Vault to provide seamless solutions. “This integration is extremely resourceful for our clients as they are not burdened with the nitty-gritty of multiple solutions as it boils down to one solution for multiple problems,” states Ouellette.
Keeping in tangent with Symantec, the company believes in constant innovation. “For instance, we are currently developing a technology, so that when Symantec comes out with their new product—code named Information Fabric, we in turn will be able to generate products that enhance its use,” reveals Ouellette. This technology will drive smart archiving by allowing customers to have a worldwide view of where their data is. “We are always adding data to our test environment, with over 20,000 mailboxes in our environment so far, so that we know our products scale efficiently before customers get them,” he adds. Vault Solutions is closely following this upcoming product as Symantec will provide ways for third party vendors to interface with it and use it as a platform. This will propagate a rich functionality and bring in information from additional sources, easing customer problems.
Unique Platforms that Add Value to Enterprise Vault
Although the Enterprise Vault is a robust platform on its own, sometimes clients face challenges when they deploy Symantec products, with regard to storing data. Vault Solutions has built a number of products, and plug and play platforms that add value to Enterprise Vault. The company, in its initial years developed a unique and effective way to filter junk messages from the review process when using Symantec’s Compliance Accelerator, which works with Enterprise Vault. Today, Vault Solutions offers fully integrated support for message archiving from AVST CX-E, a phone system with voice messages, by integrating the client’s product with Enterprise Vault. This effectively stores messages for a number of years based on retention policy, mainly for compliance reasons.
Normally, the Enterprise Vault journal archives are only available to legal, compliance, and IT teams, but Vault Solutions has developed a product—End-User and Restore— that builds on the existing indexes. This allows end users to search on data such that they only see the data that they sent or received. The End User Search and Restore has achieved immense customer acceptance over the last few years. In one case, a client that was using Google mail wanted to archive its data for the next seven years through Enterprise Vault. They wanted to use the End-User Search and Restore, but did not have Microsoft Exchange. Vault Solutions, being a small company, provided the requirement within a week, something a larger company wouldn’t be able to deliver in such a short time.
"Vault Solutions has developed numerous products that help clients take full advantage of the built-in retention capabilities that Enterprise Vault already has"
Further, Vault Solutions has built on their Archive Accelerator, which allows clients to archive Linux-based data, not traditionally possible with Enterprise Vault. Through this innovative offering, Vault Solutions has helped a manufacturer in Singapore reduce their storage cost substantially. The client generates massive amounts of data that they need to store for a long period of time and also requires constant access to that data. “By deploying Enterprise Vault along with our Archive Accelerator for Network File System (NFS) product to archive Linux-based data, coupled with Symantec NetBackup, the company was able to move all their data to tape,” says Ouellette.
We are currently developing a technology, so that when Symantec comes out with their new product— Information Fabric, we in turn will be able to generate products that enhance the use of it
The solution is a combination of Vault Solution’s products with Symantec Enterprise Vault and Symantec NetBackup which relocates older data to tape, garnering reduced costs for the client.
Vault Solutions is also a proponent of the latest versions of Microsoft development tools. While Microsoft Visual Studio helps in faster production of solutions, the .Net platform with its parallel processing allows Vault Solutions to build faster products. The firm is also integrating its products with the cloud, specifically with Microsoft Azure and Google Apps.
Harness the Potential of Unstructured Data
When it comes to building products, Vault Solutions develops applications and technology solutions that can be reused with other clients. “We work very closely with large banks that need data to be migrated from one place to another, and use this as an opportunity to build on our suite of products, that can be used in similar instances,” states Ouellette.
To ensure effectual functioning of hardware and software, the company focuses on two broad concepts— ease of use and performance. Vault Solutions improved its performance tenfold in the course of a trial period when they had to conduct a worldwide migration of archived data for one of their clients. “We were able to migrate the user archives at the same rate that the user mailboxes were being migrated by another company, even though the archives contained several times more data,” informs Ouellette. While implementing any kind of archiving solution, storage takes eminence, as it’s important to reflect on how and where one stores data, as invariably one has to migrate the data in a few years. When migrating from one environment to the other, Enterprise Vault needs to be up and running with all new servers, and Vault Solution’s products help in moving the data to new storage.
Although Vault Solutions largely believes in plug and play solutions, the company can readily customize its solutions to fit a customer’s unique needs. In a scenario, Wynn Resorts, one of Vault’s clients, wanted to have a system in place to categorize all the information that they were storing, and then use Enterprise Vault to retain the data. The client implemented Enterprise Vault and Titus Classification Suite, and Vault Solutions built an integration that works in between both. This allowed the customer to map their retention categorization information that they put into Titus, and with Enterprise Vault it was retained for the correct amount of time.
With all the resourcefulness that Enterprise Vault brings in archiving data, according to Ouellette, one of the places Symantec never focussed on was Unix-based data. “We built a way to bring data Archive Accelerator along with Unix-based data into Enterprise Vault,” says Ouellette. In the near future, the company mainly plans on focussing on Information Fabric, which they believe has a huge market ahead.
Geographical Growth and Customer Centralism
In a short span of eight years, Vault Solutions already holds a strong foot in providing support for Symantec products. Keeping up with their progressive stride, Vault Solutions is aiming at expanding geographically by setting up a support centre in Italy and in a year branch out to Australia. “We will continue to provide support to our customers out of the U.S., and find additional resellers and partners worldwide,” informs Ouellette.
Growing in a steady but efficacious manner, Ouellette is of the opinion that if he had to restart his journey with Vault Solutions, there is not much he would do differently, as even the rough times have been a learning experience. For now, the company’s key policy will continue to revolve around providing solutions that enhance Symantec Enterprise Vault technologies to the maximum.