By supporting Unix, StorageX 5.5 now allows enterprises to build a unified global namespace across CIFS (Common Internet File System), a protocol that permits programs to request files and services on remote Windows-based computers, and across NFS (Network File System), an application that allows Unix- and Linux-based computers to view, store and update files on remote computers protocols.
With StorageX 5.5, customers now have one console and one way of managing and looking at all of the resources they have in their storage infrastructure, said Rahul Mehta, founder of the Houston, Texas-based company.
"Lets say you have an engineering department where Windows was used for home directories, share data and group data, but they also had a lot of engineering data that resided on Unix machines.
"Traditionally, an administrator would have difficulty figuring out what the departments total storage utilization was across the enterprise, as well as difficulty managing and moving thing around," he said.
The product also gives IT administrators a single tool with a common user interface to manage the environment, as opposed to specific tools and methods for managing the Unix systems and others for managing the Windows systems, Mehta said.
StorageX 5.5 also allows administrators to build and manage global namespaces based on the underlying security or group permissions assigned to the data.
"They are making it relatively easy to manage who can see and access [specific information] in a file storage infrastructure," said Michael Fisch, director of storage and networking at The Clipper Group Inc., based in Wellesley, Mass.
"Maybe you want the marketing group to be able to see some data, but not to be able to access development code or financial data. This provides a central point to specify who can see what data."
StorageX 5.5 also offers enhanced reporting capabilities, such as an improved interface for creating, modifying and deleting reports; and a File Differences Report that helps administrators quickly identify errors that may have occurred during a data migration or server consolidation.
With StorageX, NuView has distanced itself a bit from its primary competitors, Acopia Networks Inc. of Lowell, Mass., and NeoScale Systems of Milpitas, Calif. While both competitors offer inband solutions, NuView builds on top of functionality that is inherent in Unix and Windows, Fisch said. "That makes it relatively non-intrusive," he said.
As for whats next, Mehta said the company wants to continue adding functionality to the global namespace functionality. Next up, he said, is adding functionality for block data. Also important, he said, is continuing to focus more on the security aspects of the application.
"Namespace will be the focal point for the integration of security and storage," he said.