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IBM borgs StoredIQ for big data build-out

Set your company on auto-shred, auto-save, and auto-dump on lawyers

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Everybody is crazy about storing any kind of data their employees and systems generate in the hopes that they can turn all that big data into money.

But the dirty little secret is that this hoarding tendency has risks as well as rewards. Keeping some kinds of data is as financially harmful as not processing other kinds. And that is one of the reasons why IBM is acquiring a company called StoredIQ.

StoredIQ is based in Austin, Texas, and is nearby a bunch of Unix and processor development labs that Big Blue has operated in the region for decades. The company was founded in 2001 under the name of Deepfile Corp, and originally set out to create metadata to help companies manage all kinds of unstructured data.

It's similar in concept to Autonomy, which is now owned by Hewlett-Packard and causing it a certain amount of woe as well as hopefulness about the big data software future.

In 2005, Deepfile hunkered down and focused its wares on the compliance issue, helping customers figure out what data they needed to keep and what data they could delete. The company changed its name to StoredIQ and also used that brand for its products.

The idea behind StoredIQ's software is simple enough: identify what data you have and classify it, govern who has access to what data and what data can be destroyed, and gather up data in the event of a lawsuit or to file reports for showing compliance with government regulations.

Automating the data disposal is important because if you have precise and legal rules the shredding of information, you can get rid of it and never be accused of doing it as a knee-jerk reaction to a potential lawsuit or the breaking of a government regulation. The computer did it.

StoredIQ does have an important link to IBM already. Tom Bishop, who was formerly CTO for IBM's Tivoli systems management unit, took the CTO job at rival BMC Software in 2005, as Deepfile was rejiggering itself; in the summer of 2011, Bishop jumped to a CTO position at StoredIQ. So now Bishop is back at Big Blue.

At the time of Bishop's hire, StoredIQ had 54 employees and had closed three rounds of venture funding for a total of $31.1m in the prior year. TechxasVentures, S3 Ventures, and PerformanceEdge Partners all kicked in dough to the firm.

IBM was already a partner of StoredIQ, with its Tivoli data management and archive storage systems already certified to work in conjunction with StoredIQ applications. EMC, NetApp, and Hitachi are also storage partners for their archive arrays, and Microsoft's File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) for Windows Server 2008 R2 was integrated with the classification engine in StoredIQ's wares so they work together rather than fight each other.

IBM did not divulge what it paid for StoredIQ, but did say that it expected to close the deal in the first quarter of 2013. IBM already has an information lifecycle governance business inside of its Software Group, which includes some Tivoli apps as well as those IBM got when it acquired PSS Systems in 2010 and Vivisimo earlier this year. ®

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