The data indexing and classification market is growing and developing rapidly as the compliance and legal discovery environments grow and change. Suppliers include Zantaz, Kazeon and Scentric. We've had a look at Zantaz and here we compare and contrast Kazeon and Scentric through their own views on the other.

When Scentric announced a product last year, Troy Toman, Kazeon's product marketing VP, provided a reaction to it: "Kazeon is pleased to see another entrant in the Information and Classification Market. It is further validation that this market segment, which Kazeon established with our launch over a year ago, is an exciting area that addresses critical data management issues.

Kazeon differentiated from Scentric

"Since we launched our company in March of last year, we have talked with hundreds of customers and believe that our strategy focused on file management best meets the needs of the market. We find two primary reasons that our customers ask for this focus. First, they are looking for a comprehensive solution that addresses all the aspects of data classification and management for the data at issue. Second, most large enterprises have different teams of DB admins, storage admins and email admins. They usually focus on the best-of-breed solutions in each area vs. buying a one-size-fits-all solution across all data.

"To understand the first point in more depth, it is important to understand where the complexity lies. Like Scentric, Kazeon can handle a wide range of data types, from structured XML to Microsoft Access to email to user generated shared files. The issue is not so much the type of data, but the repository and depth of support provided. Kazeon has chosen to focus on shared network file servers. Companies such as OuterBay and Princeton Softech are focusing on relational database servers. Symantec, Zantaz and others have built deep and robust solutions for managing Exchange. The resources and expertise required to build a solution that seamlessly and efficiently integrates with these existing repositories is significant. Therefore, we feel it is important to focus our resources on providing the best possible solution for comprehensive file management versus becoming a multi-purpose tool that does everything but is not seen as the best at anything.

"There is one area where customers do clearly want integration across all data types. This is for search and classifying archived information – particularly compliance data. This is an area where Kazeon already brings a solution. Almost all archive data is stored in file-based repository. Whether placing archived emails into Centera or archiving DB transactions to XML files or moving critical records onto an archive filer, the data is usually stored on a device with a file or object level interface. Kazeon’s support for NFS, CIFS and the Centera API allow it to index and classify all of this archive data and provide a single window for searching, managing and reporting on this data. This capability has been available since our first product release in 2005 and is being enhanced with our recent SnapSearch and Recovery announcement and will continue to evolve in the next few months.

"We not only believe strongly in our direction. But, we think the marketplace is validating our approach. We have dozens of customers that are working with the Information Server and several who are already using the system in production. Network Appliance has been shipping their OEM system since December 05. Wwe are excited in the number of revenue-generating deals and the deep pipeline that is building in the channel. Our announced partnership with Google is also bearing fruit in the market as we work together to increase the reach of our combined search capabilities. We’re off to an exciting start and we are just getting started."

Scentric on Kazeon

Scentric spokesperson Joe Ciarallo said: "There are several key differentiators between Scentric products and those of Kazeon or Zantaz. Scentric's Destiny software is the only to offer the following:

- Universal data classification - First platform to support all types of data - emails, files and databases.

- Scalability - Scentric is software based vs. Kazeon's appliance-based offering. Kazeon is limited to departmental classification vs. enterprise-wide classification with Scentric that is truly leveraging a distributed architecture that is WAN friendly.

- Automated & customizable policy management - Based on custom requirements, each organization defines its own policies or selects existing policies created by Scentric and its partners.

- Centralized management console - Addresses multiple platforms and all data types to break down "data silos" and eliminate the need to purchase separate software packages.

Comprehensive tool versus file management

An initial differentiation between the two suppliers can be attempted here. Scentric is a universal indexer and classifier, working across e-mails, files and databases. Kazeon looks at files. Kazeon is appliance-based whereas Scentric is not. Scentric says Kazeon is departmental in scope whereas Scentric is enterprise-wide.

For the moment it's probably best to scope out your own data indexing and classification needs and then talk to a range of potential suppliers to see how they fit your needs and what they can add to them. Hopefully this piece will give you a first-pass positioning of Kazeon and Scentric and help you see where they are coming from.