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Issue of November 2003 
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In Person: Legato and EMC’s synergy

‘Legato and EMC have technology synergies’

The synergy, which will develop after EMC acquires Legato, is expected to bring interesting developments in both the companies' product ranges. Is there anything in it for enterprises to be excited about? Donald Choing, Vice President, Intercontinental Operations, Legato spoke to Rahul Neel Mani on the future of two companies. by Rahul Neel Mani

How does the merger plan to address different market segments?

Legato will be an independent division of EMC. Legato's solutions can scale from small Windows-based systems to large enterprise-class setups. So, the solution can actually address a lot of EMC customers. But we typically use channel partners and focus on small, medium, and a few large customers. On the other hand, EMC uses the method of direct sales to large customers. The two strategies will now come together, and we will get access to some of the larger customers.

Twenty-three percent of EMC's business comes from software. It also wants to grow the open software part of their business now. And that is why the acquisition of Legato was important. Legato will function as an independent software arm of EMC. We will also continue to work with our channel partners and strategic alliances.

How does the technology of the two companies synergize?

An important reason why EMC plans to acquire Legato, is the synergy that already exists in the technologies offered by the two companies. For example, Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) is EMC's replication technology, and Legato's software can automatically restore applications in case of system failure and make sure there is minimal downtime. EMC saw a great value in this synergy because that was the missing link in their value chain. So we worked very closely with them to provide that solution.

The next synergy is that EMC realizes that it can't survive only on the basis of selling hardware. It also had to focus on information management and the information lifecycle. Legato's view of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is shared by EMC, who calls it Data Lifecycle Management (DLM). This basically talks about how companies should look at stored data from its creation to deletion.

Our strategy is to take information and depending on the nature of it—transactional or referential—keep it at the most suitable layer of storage. This will help a company retrieve it at the required time. ILM allows you to look at the nature of data and provide a solution to meet business requirements.

It actually looks at information from a business point-of-view, looks at the IT requirements, and breaks the necessary tasks into functions like backup, access, migration, and whether to delete.

(Ed: See the News section for a report on ILM)

EMC's software ILM might be different from Legato's DLM. How will both survive?

There was actually a lot in common between the two companies' architectures. And both companies have already decided that the two products will merge. We will take the best of both products and create one product.

Backup will be a very important component of that. And since EMC did not have availability features on its ILM product, they wanted to work very closely with Legato.

How do you plan to integrate Legato's Networker with EMC's data management?

EMC Data Manager (EDM) is well optimized for EMC's products. And our product is more general and open technology-oriented, which supports different platforms. We want to use the best functions from EDM and combine it with Networker.
But since EDM works well to meet its customers' requirements, we do not plan to merge it right away. But over time we will not have two backup products.

Is the ILM concept likely to succeed?

The ILM strategy is made of different components and has related products to address each component. The ILM solution can be customized to suit individual needs depending on the nature of data in an enterprise.

The ILM approach helps customers look at their information and classify it based on how it's used and from a business point-of-view. A company can thus apply the different components.

For example, there are components, which handle aspects like data backup, data replication, and systems availability. You do not need all the components in all areas of an organization. You may only need to use them in a mission critical ERP kind of data.

A component, which is a part of our HSM technology, migrates data from a main production storage to a less expensive storage over time. Another example of ILM components is the way it can handle reference data. Reference data is migrated to a cheaper medium of storage but is available on demand.

These components reduce the size of your changing data and improve efficiency of data. Features like these will make ILM succeed.

What technology innovations are expected to make your products successful?

In many countries other than USA, Government regulatory principles demand proper care and management of storage. An organization has to backup data and keep it ready for retrieval. So, backing-up data is not enough anymore. To help achieve efficiency, our solutions address issues beyond backup.

Our e-mail extended solution goes a step further. When e-mail enters the organization, the systems can make a copy of all mails for a particular person, or group of persons. These mails can be archived for retrieval. Even if the end user deletes the mail, it is safeguarded, since the copy still exists.

Our products can allow enterprises to perform legal discovery. All incoming mail can be indexed according to keywords. If the legal department wants to track mails regarding a particular topic to help file a suit, it can run a search on it. The company does not have to rely on backup and recovery tapes. Compliance-based searches are also possible with our innovation.

Rahul Neel Mani can be reached at: rahul@expresscomputeronline.com

 
     
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