New Release: Symantec Data Insight for Storage 2.0

Data Insight Technology Overview

The management of unstructured data is a very large problem. We’ve learned through customer conversations and surveys that in many organizations, unstructured data – files like documents, email, reports, letters, research notes, IP, presentations – represents up to 80% of an organization’s data.  This file data can spread among many systems and departments and migrate among systems as the storage infrastructure has grown. As a result of the data migrations or data center consolidation projects, many of the files are labeled as being owned by “Administrators” which makes it difficult for IT to centrally establish who in the enterprise actually owns the data.

Identifying data owners is critical for a number of IT initiatives and lack of data owner identification is a barrier to large-scale remediation and business process. Symantec Data Insight monitors file usage and derives relationships based on who is actually using the file as opposed to incomplete or inaccurate file metadata information. Symantec Data Insight then helps organizations either automatically infer data owners or narrow down the key data stakeholders based on the usage information. Here is an example of the value Information Security organizations can derive from Data Insight’s integration into Symantec’s Data Loss Prevention Solution.

What is Data Insight for Storage?

In spite of the rapid growth of unstructured data, storage cost pressures remain. To manage this growth, IT organizations need to manage data strategically (what data to retain vs. clean-up, what data is growing, what is the right tier etc.) as well as hold end-user’s accountable for more efficient consumption (what user/department is responsible for the data).

Data Insight for Storage is a product that leverages the same underlying technology and enables IT organizations to address these storage and data management objectives.  The critical insights into who owns the data and how it is being used can further help drive significant storage and data management efficiencies through three key benefits:

1.       Inactive/Orphan Data

Many organizations lack an effective method to clean-up old and irrelevant data. When they are able to find this data they often lack enough context to be able to make decisions, such as archive or delete the data.

Data Insight for Storage provides an intuitive web interface for visualization as well as several reports to help understand the age of the data, identify inactive data types and candidates and understand orphan data. This combined with Data Insight’s ability to identify data owners gives IT organizations the assurance they need with respect to moving or deleting data.

2.       Data Owners & Consumption/Chargeback

As organizations move towards shared IT services and file infrastructure, many lack good metrics on what department-level usage of storage looks like. This requires the identification of who owns what data. Many static models breakdown in an increasingly fluid and dynamic environment.

With Data Insight for Storage, IT can quickly identify top users of data and then set up flexible rules to assign data Owners, such as the most active user or the last modifier. Additionally, a data owner can be mapped to a department or a custodian through flexible methods to enable a business-level consumption or chargeback reports. This enables IT to start providing storage-as-a-service through more granular and accurate chargeback. Even those organizations that don’t implement chargeback do have the need to show departments how much storage they are consuming.

3.       Usage/Consumption Patterns

Another frequent challenge cited by organizations is data assessment as part of a tiered storage strategy, migration or reclamation initiative. In particular, IT organizations need to understand what type of data exists where, how is it being used, the space consumed and who is responsible.

Data Insight for Storage provides rich visualization of patterns, such as data usage by location, data usage over time, and frequency/type of activity.  The usage patterns combined with storage consumption analysis reports enable IT organizations to more effectively assess data and accordingly make the optimal reclamation, migration, tiering and capacity planning decisions as well as help reduce capital expenditure.

More broadly, Data Insight gives IT organizations a framework for involving data owners in the process of data and storage management, which starts the organization down the path of a broader data lifecycle management initiative.

Product Requirements

Server Requirements: 

Windows Server 2003/2008 32 and 64 bit versions.

VMWare (32 and 64 bit versions)

Filer Requirements:

NetApp:  Ontap 7.3 or higher

EMC Celerra:  5.6.45

Windows Storage Server 2003 (32 or 64 bit);  2008 (64bit only)

Package Information

Product Download:


Documentation can be found within the software package on File Connect and in the Altiris Knowledge Base.

Data Insight technical articles are located in the Altiris Knowledgebase.  Login credentials are required. If you do not have your login credentials, they can be requested from the Altiris Knowledgebase Login page. Please add “Data Insight customer” in the comments of your login request.


Data Insight 2.0 Release Notes
Data Insight 2.0 Installation Guide
Data Insight 2.0 Administrator’s Guide
Data Insight 2.0 User’s Guide
Data Insight 2.0 Third Party Attributes


On-Demand Webcast: Gain Visibility and Control over Your Unstructured Data with Data Insight for Storage

Blogs Feed The Bull, GRHU, SHLM, SYMC, DXPE Report! 12/17/10

DGIC, Storage Optimization without Business Risk is Why Storage Management Found Its Way into Symantec Dat..., 10/15/2010

SNS Europe, Symantec Takes On Unstructured Data with Data Insight for Storage, 01/04/11


It is still not clear for me, why documentation on DLP is available for existinig customers only, but not to potential customers? Wierd...


Anyway, I got one quick question:

How Data Insight is being installed? Does it require separate server for installation? Or, maybe, it could co-exist e.g. with Enforce Server?

Hello Volo -


Let me try to catch your question and see if I can help explain a little. The Data Loss prevention (DLP) product is considered secure and allows for the scanning of data for content. The knowledgebase is configured for product users and authentication is a requirement to access the product specific information and knowledge. With the latest release of the DLP product and the Symantec Data Insight (SDI/ DI) the integration allows for the view of the ownership from the context of Active Directory (AD) users and history of the files themselves from various storage architecture (Netapp, EMC Celerra, WinNAS, {sharepoint in the future}) that are being scanned.

The server for DI comes in the console, indexer and collector nodes that work in concert to scale across domains in an enterprise. The software can be installed in tiers  with a small scale installation consisting of at least tier one where the console, indexer and collector are all installed on one node. It is not recommended to run any other application on this server. To scale to larger environments the tiering would be expanded to include other collector nodes which do the scanning, indexers to ready data for accessibility and the console for reporting and configuration tasks. A larger scale model might appear as below:


The tiering model consists of three tiers: three-tier, two-tier, and single tier. Your installation type depends on the total number of filers that you want Data Insight to scan and their geographical distribution.

Single-tier installations are used for Proof of Concept (POC) deployments or smaller setups . The type and scope of deployment should be determined with the help of Symantec. Symantec will perform POC for the customer's who are seriously considering the ramifications and legal requirements in today's financial, health, social and business environments. Contact your account representative for information on the services offered, use the MySupport to request account assistance, use your enterprise key to access the appropriate Download site, or contact symantec from within the customer care product portal to request further information.

For further information on the product, a current datasheet, webcast and application requirements use your SYMAccount and navigate to the

I hope that helps to clear up any confusion


Rod, this was helpful for sure. Especially on tiering. Initially, I thought that DI is a tiny product that can be installed on a single computer and work on the same machine as the DLP Enforce server. But you are saying that no other software should be on DI machine. Second thing I got that it require at least two machines as far as 1-tier installation is not recommended.

I have additional questions:

What are SW and physical requirements for these machines if DI will be installed in 2-tier mode? (We will be installing DLP also in 2 tiers: Enforce+Oralce and Detect).

Thank you for the links to Fileconnect, but they are only available for the existing customers. In my case we are trying to plan the HW infrastructure needed for DLP+DI deployment.

The newest version available is now 4.5 as of June 2014. Symantec has added an additional remediation piece and workflow management portal which requires an additional standalone node and license. It is intended to leverage the applications usefulness in your environment which now also included Symantec's Data Loss Prevention and Enterprise Vault as complementary technologies with interfaces built into the product.