Datadobi adds ability to show chain of custody in data migrations in new release

Datadobi’s new release adds the ability to document chain of custody for compliance and legal purposes to DobiMigrate Version 5.8, a differentiator that has been absent before, because it was hard.

Michael Jack, Datadobi’s co-founder and Vice President of Global Sales

Today, Datadobi, which makes unstructured data migration software for large complex NAS migrations, is releasing DobiMigrate Version 5.8. Its main new feature, which the company believes gives it a significant differentiation in the market, is the ability to provide an enhanced chain of custody during the process of the data migration itself. This capability, long extant in storage solutions, has not been present as a dedicated part of migration solutions until now. The timing, the company stressed, makes it ideal to address corporate governance, compliance and privacy use cases created by government regulations.

“NAS migrations until now have been using legacy tools which have had no chain of custody in them,” said Michael Jack, Datadobi’s co-founder and Vice President of Global Sales. “There are very large companies that use tools that show no chain of custody. There are other external tools, but they are so time-consuming and complex that no one actually uses them. What we have improved on here is providing the ability to document chain of custody in every single one of our migrations. It’s our job to make sure that customers have that capability. We need to make the chain of custody tighter, especially in the age of GDPR [the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation].”

Regulatory issues, which have long been there around industry-specific laws like HIPAA and Section 17(a) of the Securities Exchange Act, have become more critical with the addition of privacy-focused laws like GDPR and the new California Consumer Protection Act [CCPA].

“This is one big feature that many of our customers have been asking for – the need to do migrations without breaking the chain of custody,” said Carl D’Halluin, Datadobi’s newly appointed CTO. “During the migration, you move things and decommission the source. The modification and retention policies will be handled by this. With this feature, you now have a full chain of custody over what the data was – a solution to bridge from the old system to the new system.”

D’Halluin emphasized that this capability provides for data migration what has been common practise for years in data storage.

Carl D’Halluin, Datadobi’s CTO

“This defines the concept of a certified migration which closes the loop, in the same way that compliance in storage systems has been accepted for 15-20 years,” he emphasized. “This is a similar thing for the migration side of things. Before, there were logs but there was nothing to safeguard them so they will be meaningful enough to prove that you didn’t destroy data. This proves that you didn’t destroy data.”

D’Halluin also indicated that DobiMigrate Version 5.8 captures all the complexities of vendor protocols.

“All these vendors have their own dialects of NFS/SMB, so that there are always some exceptions, some files that cant be copied,” he said. “Human action is needed to determine what to do with these. We log all that stuff as well.”

Jack emphasized that not having this ability to demonstrate end-to-end chain of custody until now was rooted in the difficulty of the project, not because of prioritization in the addition of new features.

“This is a very, very complex piece of code,” he said. “We don’t know of any other company that has been able to do this.”

Datadobi does not sell direct, originally going to market through EMC and then Dell, and adding their own channel to that one three years ago. Datadobi DobiMigrate 5.8 be generally available through its channel partners in Q2 2020.

D’Halluin noted that in today’s social distancing environment, DobiMigrate has a major advantage over many competitors.

“Partners can do all this remotely – even working from home,” he said. “Traditionally, these products are on site, but we’ve never had an on site product.”